Needle Beam Propagates Without Spreading
A new type of light beam called a "needle beam" has been discovered by Harvard-led researchers. The needle beam apparently propagates without spreading outward, moving along a specially-prepared surface.
(Federico Capasso (left) and Patrice Genevet demo 'needle beam' tech)
The needle beam arises from a special class of quasiparticles called surface plasmons, which travel in tight confinement with a metal surface. The metallic stripes that carry these surface plasmons have the potential to replace standard copper electrical interconnects in microprocessors, enabling ultrafast on-chip communications.
One of the fundamental problems that has so far hindered the development of such optical interconnects is the fact that all waves naturally spread laterally during propagation, a phenomenon known as diffraction. This reduces the portion of the signal that can actually be detected.
"We have made a major step toward solving this problem by discovering and experimentally confirming the existence of a previously overlooked solution of Maxwell's equations that govern all light phenomena," says principal investigator Federico Capasso, Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering at SEAS. "The solution is a highly localized surface plasmon wave that propagates for a long distance, approximately 80 microns in our experiments, in a straight line without any diffraction."
The so-called needle beam, the technical term for which is a cosine-Gauss plasmon beam, propagates in tight confinement with a nanostructured metal surface...
The idea of a form of electromagnetic communication that does not spread out is mentioned by EE 'Doc' Smith in his 1930 novel Skylark Three (see the article on tight-beam communication).
However, a closer match is probably the similarly-named needlecast from Richard Morgan's 2003 novel Altered Carbon:
"...How regular is the update?”
Bancroft smiled. "Every 48 hours." He tapped the back of his neck. "Direct needlecast from here into a shielded stack over at the PsychaSec installation at Alcatraz."
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/8/2012)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Face2Face Is Bradbury's Spot-Wavex Scrambler
'A special spot-wavex scrambler also caused his televised image... to mouth the vowels and consonants beautifully.' - Ray Bradbury, 1953.
Tony Stark's Transparent Phone Possible With Graphene?
A nearly unbreakable smartphone - based on graphene.
Needle Beam Propagates Without Spreading
'Direct needlecast from here into a shielded stack...'
Penguin E-Books For Libraries
Read about it on your iPad.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
RFID Chipped Employees Of Three Square Market
'About a third of the people in Manhattan have replaced their Freedom Card with a radio-frequency chip...'
JAXA's Int-Ball Drone To Follow Astronauts In Space Station
'I want you to build me some of those.'
Amazon Patents Annoying Robot That Follows You
'The... machine, being homotropic, headed toward them, still bleating...'
Hand Gestures And Body Poses Control Devices
'He waved his hand... the circuit switched...'
Rovable Robots Crawl Across Your Body
'Most of the crew have the tiny imp ride on their shoulder...'
Sansar Social Virtual Reality Platform In 2017?
'And just as a daydreamer forgets his actual surroundings, and sees other realities...'
Cellphone Harvests Power From Ambient Radio Signals And Light
A battery-free phone.
Desktopography Makes Virtual Desktops Real
'Ender doodled on his desk, drawing contour maps of mountainous islands and then telling his desk to display them in three dimensions...'
LaWS Laser Can Take Out Rogue Drones
Looks like a weapon for the Runaway squad!
Moon Express Lunar Robot Mining: Shine On, Harvest Moon
'The bulldozer moved through the lunar strip mine... '
Liquid Body Armor For TALOS Exoskeleton
'... instantly became rigid all over when something struck it...'
Hyperloop One Video Shows It Works!
'Complete evacuation of the interior of the tubes [and] a wave that provides the new propulsive energy for the cars...'
Chairless Chair Exoskeleton By Sapetti
'Earth's scientists... devised rigid metallic clothing...'
Publishing Technologies In Science Fiction
Well, this should be enough references to start...
Russia Working On Military Exoskeletons
'Вы похожи на большую стальную гориллу...'
3D Printed Bionic Chinese Skin
Your skin is ready!
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories