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A team of University of Otago/Dodd-Walls Centre scientists have created a novel device that could enable the next generation of faster, more energy efficient internet. Their breakthrough results have been published in the world's premiere scientific journal Nature this morning.
The internet is one of the single biggest consumers of power in the world. With data capacity expected to double every year and the physical infrastructure used to encode and process data reaching its limits, there is huge pressure to find new solutions to increase the speed and capacity of the internet.
Principal - Investigator - Dr - Harald - Schwefel
Principal Investigator Dr. Harald Schwefel and Dr. Madhuri Kumari's research has found an answer. They have created a device called a microresonator optical frequency comb made out of a tiny disc of crystal. The device transforms a single colour of laser light into a rainbow of 160 different frequencies – each beam totally in sync with each other and perfectly stable. One such device could replace hundreds of power-consuming lasers currently used to encode and send data around the world.
The work was born out of Dr. Schwefel's previous research at the prestigious Max Planck Institute in Germany and his collaboration with Dr. Alfredo Rueda who did some of the preliminary research.
Internet - Lasers - Email - Cell - Phone
The internet is powered by lasers. Every email, cell phone call and website visit is encoded into data and sent around the world by laser light. In order to cram more data down a single optical fibre the information is split into different frequencies of light that can be transmitted in parallel.
Dr. Kumari says the current infrastructure is struggling to cope with demand as internet consumption increases significantly.
Lasers - Colour - Time - Application - Colours
"Lasers only emit one colour at a time. What this means is that, if your application requires many different colours at once, you need many lasers. All of them cost money and consume...
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