New technique to suppress sound waves from disorder to improve optical fiber communication

Monday, August 7, 2017 - 16:32 in Physics & Chemistry

Energy loss due to scattering from material defects is known to set limits on the performance of nearly all technologies that we employ for communications, timing, and navigation. In micro-mechanical gyroscopes and accelerometers, such as those commonly found in cellphones today, microstructural disorder impacts measurement drift and overall accuracy of the sensor, analogous to how a dirty violin string might impact one's enjoyment of beautiful music. In optical fiber communication systems, scattering from material defects can reduce data fidelity over long distances thereby reducing achievable bandwidth. Since defect-free materials cannot be obtained, how can we possibly improve on the fundamental technological limits imposed by disorder?

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