You might think your internet service is fine as it is — when it works, of course, which might be rarely if you have certain providers — but what if it could be a hundred times faster? Yeah, that sounds pretty neat right? Well that’s what researchers from Australia are working on right now, having developed a new breakthrough in fiber optics that could pave the way for incredibly speedy surfing.
The research, which was published in Nature Communications, gives fiber optics systems a new way to interpret information by actually twisting light as it travels. This allows the light to carry a lot more data than it already does, which is awesome, and actually implementing such a system might be easier than you’d think.
Fiber optics data networks are quite efficient already, generally outpacing copper-based networks. Fiber optics uses flashes of light to carry information from one spot to another, and speeds can be quite impressive.
Still, traditional fiber optics has some drawbacks. As the Guardian notes, existing networks typically use color and orientation of light patterns as their primary means of relaying information. Since fiber networks are already ahead of the competition in terms of speed, this has never really been much of a problem, but researchers from Australia’s RMIT University think they can do even better.
The new fiber optic system the researchers came up with bends like into a spiral pattern as it travels, effectively adding a new variable that can carry even more data. “It’s like DNA, if you look at the double helix spiral,” Min Gu, co-author of the research, told the Guardian. “The more you can use angular momentum the more information you can carry.”
This new breakthrough is more compact than previous efforts to increase the efficiency of fiber optics and, the researchers claim, could be easily added existing fiber networks to augment their capabilities.
As with everything related to internet service providers, you can expect new technology to be adopted approximately a decade after it’s been render obsolete, so let’s all look forward to ultra-high-speed fiber internet sometime around 2040.