Twisting a beam of light allows data to be sent through optical fiber at 1.6 Terabits per second

07/03/2013 - 00:00

By Mia Feldman -

For the first time beams of “twisted” light have been used to transfer data through optical fibre.  A team of researchers from Boston University and University of Southern California succeeded in transmitting 1.6 terabits per second using one kilometer of optical fiber. Last June, a team of researchers transmitted data through the air at 2.56 Tb/s using twisted light, but this is the first time the method has been used to send data through optical fiber.

Twisting light means photons have a quantum characteristic called orbital angular momentum (OAM). Photons with OAM have electric and magnetic fields that corkscrew rather than oscillate in a plane.