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Using Sound for Faster Optical Communications Networks

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As data demands increase, researchers find that stimulated Brillouin scattering, which is based on interactions between light and sound, may hold solutions.

AMOL CHOUDHARY, INDIAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, (IIT) DELHI, AND ELIAS GIACOUMIDIS, DUBLIN CITY UNIVERSITY

Data information is transferred across and within countries, cities, and continents at near the speed of light, and optical fibers carry most of it. Such speeds seem adequate for the current global internet backbone. However, because of the popularity of services such as Netflix and YouTube, optical fibers are now coming under huge pressure to meet the demands of increased data traffic. Research in fiber optic networks is responding to this demand on several fronts: by moving to spatial division multiplexing where various modes of light are transmitted over the same optical fiber, or by...Read full article

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