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Light Beams With a Twist Could Give a Turbo Boost to Fiber-Optic Cables

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Science  28 Jun 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6140, pp. 1513
DOI: 10.1126/science.340.6140.1513

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The global flow of data traffic faces backups as gnarly as an L.A. commute, but help may be on the way. In this issue, researchers describe a novel type of fiber optic line that allows them to encode data in a whole new way, using the way light waves corkscrew as they travel. Combined with more conventional ways of cramming extra data down fiber optics, the new approach could vastly increase data transmission rates.