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'twisted' Light Could Illuminate New Path For Wireless Communications

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Orbital angular momentum could take optical and radio communication to new heights.

Research into optical angular momentum could help overcome challenges with using twisted photons across open spaces and enable advanced wireless communications.

Credit: Anatomy Blue

Researchers at the University of Glasgow in the U.K. and elsewhere have conducted research into "optical angular momentum" (OAM) to overcome challenges with using "twisted" photons across open spaces and enable advanced wireless communications.

The team analyzed the effects on both the phase and intensity of OAM conveying light over a real link in an urban setting to assess the viability of such modes of quantum information transfer.

"A complete, working optical angular momentum communications system capable of transmitting data wirelessly across free space has the potential to transform online access for developing countries, defense systems, and cities around the world," says Glasgow's Martin Lavery. "Free-space optics is a solution that can potentially give us the bandwidth of fiber, but without the requirement for physical cabling."

Lavery says the study could lead to the development of high-dimensional free-space optics that would offer a less expensive and more accessible alternative to fiber-optics connections.

From University of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
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