Imagine chugging eight gallons of milk in one second? What would happen? Your stomach lining and pretty much your entire mid-section would no longer exist due to sudden and massive expansion. Fortunately, wireless vortex beams don’t have stomach linings. However, they have been limited to a single signal being transferred across the airwaves. That’s all changing now, with ‘infinite’ data transfer possible (in the lab) at the rate of 2.5 Terabytes per second, equivalent to seven of your favorite Blu-ray movies per second.

Revolving Vortex beams

The revolving vortex beam is the cause of the massive increase in throughput. Up until recently radio frequencies have been limited to more simple physics with the single beam being spun to transmit the waves of data. That’s all changing now, first with the Bo Thide of the Swedish Institute of Space Physics showing that multiple data streams could be transferred over a single frequency and now, with Tel Aviv University and the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the University of Southern California teaming up to move 2.5 terabytes of data through eight ~300Gbps of twisting visible light data using Oribital angular momentum (OAM).

“Each of the eight beams has a different level of OAM twist. The beams are bundled into two groups of four, which are passed through different polarization filters. One bundle of four is transmitted as a thin stream, like a screw thread, while the other four are transmitted around the outside, like a sheathe. The beam is then transmitted over open space (just one meter in this case), and untwisted and processed by the receiving end. 2.5 terabits per second is equivalent to 320 gigabytes per second.”

Now, we’re not even there with wired or fiber optic networks, but in the case of wireless, higher data transfers would all but do away with the wire congestion… replacing it with twisted bits of wireless congestion. One pain point with working with a large 3D data set is the time it takes to transfer data over a network, even through a USB port. It could be that wireless transfer could eliminate that lag and the additional smoke/coffee/Facebook breaks that go along with them.

You can read more on the Angular Momentum of light here and

Source: Nature
Via: ExtremeTech
[Image credit]


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.