Light is the fastest substance we know (and also a wave), so there is every reason to use it for ultra-fast communication systems. A typical example is fiber optics. It gives us the ability to send messages at a fantastic speed. And this is not her only trump card. Under certain conditions, if you "roll" the light into a spiral, you can multiply the amount of information in each message.
Traditionally, fiber optics technology transmits information in the form of a pulse of light, which prompted scientists to experiment with increasing the bandwidth by changing the "shape" of light. The method of "twisting" of rays in the form of a corkscrew was used as a particularly promising method, and the degree of twisting was called the "orbital angular momentum" - OAM (orbital angular momentum).
It looks something like this. Instead of the already familiar scheme - "one wavelength - one channel of information", in each "turn" of light one more value can be encoded, and with an increase in the number of such "turns" the volume of transmitted information will multiply.
But transmitting information is only half the battle. It still needs to be decoded at the other end of the "wire". Current receiving decoders are usually very cumbersome and take up a lot of space. Researchers from the Royal Melbourne University of Technology and the University of Wollongong (Australia) undertook to make them more compact.
They managed to create a device that works thanks to an additional metal oxide (CMOS) sensor. These chips convert incoming photons into electrons, making it possible to read data using conventional electronic devices. However, before the light hits the sensor, it passes through another layer that unravels the curled light.
As a result, we get an efficient and cost-effective system that can increase the speed of information transfer available to us by 100 times in the coming years.