updated 04:40 pm EST, Fri March 9, 2012
Findings could lead to 1,000-times faster 4G
A research team at the University of Pittsburgh has come up with a way to increase wireless data transmission speeds by a factor of thousands. Headed up by Hrvoje Petek, a physics and chemistry professor at the University's Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, the team has reportedly created a "frequency comb" that includes over 100THz (terahertz) of bandwidth. It does so by "exciting a coherent collective of atomic motions in a semiconductor silicon crystal."
In other words, it divides a single color of light into a series of evenly spaced spectral lines. During their experiments, the team witnessed reflected light oscillating at 15.6THz. In theory, this finding could one day allow smartphones and computers to transmit data in the terahertz frequency range.
That electromagnetic spectrum sits between infrared and microwave light. Modern devices are restricted to gigahertz frequency bandwidth signals. The team used silicon for the semiconductors in its experiments. The team believes they can upscale their work to achieve petahertz frequency range oscillations, of 1,000 times faster again than what it managed to achieve already. [via PCMag]