Higher Order Poincare Sphere model developed by physicists with the Institute of Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers tracks movement of complex forms of light.
Physicists with the Institute of Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers (IUSL) at The City College of New York have presented a new way to map spiraling light that could help harness untapped data channels in optical fibers. Increased bandwidth would ease the burden on fiber-optic telecommunications networks taxed by an ever-growing demand for audio, video and digital media. The new model, developed by graduate student Giovanni Milione, Professor Robert Alfano and colleagues, could even spur enhancements in quantum computing and other applications.
“People now can detect (light in) the ground channel, but this gives us a way to detect and measure a higher number of channels,” says Mr. Milione. With such heavy traffic funneled through a single channel, there is great interest in exploiting others that can be occupied by complex forms of light, he explains.
The team published their work in the July 25 issue of Physical Review Letters. Mr. Milione will present it at the Optical Society of America’s “Frontiers in Optics 2011” conference, October 16 - 20 in San Jose, Calif.
He was selected as a finalist in The Emil Wolf Outstanding Student Paper Competition, which highlights excellence and presentation skills of students at the conference. He and other finalists will be recognized at the OSA Foundation Chairman’s Breakfast Wednesday, October 19.
Polarization is everything to a physicist tracking light in an optical fiber or laser. More than a way to cut glare with sunglasses, polarization refers to a specific direction and orientation of the light’s movement and electric field — when it isn’t going every which way as it does when emanating from a light bulb, for example.
“Being able to follow polarization and other changes as light travels gives you insight into the material it travels through, ” explains Milione. This helps control the light and can essentially give a fingerprint of the material being analyzed.
Detecting the polarization also lets users finely tune a laser. Such control can allow a laser to burn away one layer of material while leaving the other layers it passes through intact.
Until now, only the simplest form of light, the ground state, could be mapped and controlled. Multiple higher channels in an optical fiber, which could be occupied by more complex light, were left sitting idle.
A globe-shaped model, called the Poincaré Sphere, has long been used to map such simple light. This light has peaks and troughs, like waves on the ocean, and moves or vibrates in “plane waves.” One maps how light intersects the sphere in the same way one pinpoints a location on Earth using longitude and latitude.
But complex light moves with both spin and orbital angular momentum, more or less like the movement of our moon as it spins on its axis and orbits the Earth.
Such light twists like a tornado as it travels through space and takes the form of what are called vector beams and vortices. To map these vortices the researchers expanded the existing sphere to develop their Higher Order Poincaré Sphere (HOPS).
The team studies even more complex patterns of light, such as star-shaped forms. Their model uses the HOPS to reduce what could be pages of mathematics to single equations. These are the mathematical tools that will harness the complex light for use in technology.
“The sphere facilitates understanding, showing phase vortices are on poles and vector beams are on the equator,” explains Milione. “It organizes the relationship between these vortices of light.”
“This kind of organization on the higher level Poincaré Sphere could clear the path to a number of novel physics and engineering efforts such as quantum computing and optical transitions; could greatly expand the sensitivity of spectroscopy and the complexity of computer cryptography; and might further push the boundaries what can be ‘seen’,” said Dr. Alfano.
The research was funded in part by Corning Inc. and the Army Research Office.Reference:
http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.053601Institute of Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers
Jessa Netting | EurekAlert!
Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling
29.03.2017 | New Jersey Institute of Technology
NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts
28.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences