Andrew Weiner and Daniel Leaird found a way to put a single pulse of light into an arrayed wave guide grating and get a rapid-fire burst of 21 light pulses out of it, with each pulse separated by only two-trillionths of a second. It works similarly to a prism, separating white light by wavelength. The unique properties of the device allow generation of identical, wavelength-shifted pulse trains for communication and photonic signal processing. The discovery could help satisfy demand for increasing network bandwidths. The pair of Purdue University engineers say their device has transmission speeds that are ten times faster than anything currently available. "ISPs are primarily operating at 10 Gbytes/sec per channel, times very many wavelength channels," says Weiner. "Our work can impact higher speed systems, 100 Gbytes/sec per channel and above," he says. Wiener and Laird's idea is to build a module that takes parallel electric data input and converts it into a fast serial optical data stream suitable for fiber transmission. For more information, contact Weiner at email@example.com or call (765) 494-4709.
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
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