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Laser Whirlpools May Speed Data Transmission

Photonics.com
Jul 1999
HAIFA, Israel, July 14 -- Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have shown that small lasers can produce complex patterns of tiny optical vortices, or whirlpools of light. The finding, published in the July 9 issue of Science magazine, may lead to the development of new methods of high-speed data transmission and data processing.
The Technion team of Meir Orenstein and Jacob Scheuer used vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers, which emit laser light over a surface some 20 microns on a side. The researchers modified the lasers by doubling their size and increasing the current input by three to six times, causing the beam to break up and organize itself into the complex patterns. What we observed were regular arrays of optical vortices, said Orenstein.


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