Opacity drives light to speed up information transport

Ruocco Giancarlo, Department of Physics
Physical Sciences and Engineering

It is common knowledge, that the most efficient material for the transmission of light rays, is windows’ glass, while opaque materials would work as obstacles, as smoke or clouds do.

In a recent paper from Departement of physics of Sapienza university of Rome and Italian Institute of Technology, demonstrated that counterintuitively, opacity may favor light and information transport especially in the field of telecoms. In particular it has been demonstrated that opacity and disorder host “single-mode transmission” which is the most refined form of light transport which is currently exploited to bring large bandwidth internet in our houses.

In this research, published on the Nature Communcation journal this March, the team designed a peculiar form of opacity which allows hosting in a optics fiber cable, a multitude single-mode of channels allowing a more efficient form of communication which is also more damage-resilient.

“While remaining in these channels supported by opacity, the fingerprint of the channel is unvaried”, explains Giancarlo Ruocco, Head of the IIT@Sapienza-CLNS and professor of the Physics department of the Sapienza University of Rome. “The invariance of the fingerprint is the proof of the single mode-nature of the transmission, which makes the transmission more efficient and reliable”.

“The position of this single mode channels is unknown prior to the experimental characterization", shows Marco Leonetti, Researcher of the CNR-Nanotec which is a co-author of the article “Our approach enables to individuate them”.

The results pave the way for a novel generation of optical fibers capable to transport information thorough turbid medium and have possible applications in endoscopy and telecoms.


Team Leader
Giancarlo Ruocco
Dip. di Fisica
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