New Technique Twists Light Signals to Achieve Theoretically Limitless Bandwidth
These new, high-capacity vortex beams tap a characteristic known as orbital angular momentum (OAM).
Right now, conventional transmission protocols like Wi-Fi or LTE modulate the spin angular momentum (SAM) but not the OAM. You can think of SAM as the spin of a signal, like a bullet (or a tightly spiraling football) twisting as it carves a direct path through the air. …if SAM is the earth rotating on its axis, then OAM is its movement around the sun—not just rotation, but actual movement in space.
This new, previously untapped dimension of movement allows engineers to still manipulate SAM while layering OAM on top. Researchers from Tel Aviv University in Israel, the University of Southern California, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory were able to twist together eight different beams of visible light using OAM resulting in 320 gigabytes per second of data transmission. That’s roughly seven Blu-ray movies per second
(via By Twisting Light Signals into a Vortex, Researchers Create Fastest Wireless Connection Ever | Popular Science)