Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

Amsterdam Water Week
Young entrepreneurs from 'Finish Society India' and 'Sidian Bank Kenya' were honoured in this year’s 'Sarphati Sanitation Awards'’, presented at the opening ceremony of Amsterdam International Water Week on 30 October 2017.

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All headlines
  • Human cell atlas: The plan to map every cell in your body
  • A helium-resistant material could usher in age of nuclear fusion
  • Camera spots hidden oil spills and may find missing planes
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  • 'Twisted light' could create ultra-fast wireless
    A new method of using photons to carry information might provide a new wireless solution for communication. A collaborative team from the UK, Germany, New Zealand, and Canada have developed a way to 'twist' photons to improve on open-area quantum information transfer.

    Photons already have seen use in a number of tests to determine the precision of quantum networks over long distances. While the advent of quantum communication might just well be on the horizon, the team has figured out a way to use photons to carry information and data wirelessly, potentially replacing today's fibre optics and creating a much faster internet.

    The researchers call their new technique 'optical angular momentum' (OAM) which works by 'twisting' light across open spaces. Concretely, they twisted photons by passing them through a special kind of hologram to give the photons this OAM. Capable of travelling across open spaces, these twisted photons can carry more data in each transmission, while also becoming strong enough to withstand interference caused by turbulent air.

    The hologram enables the photons to carry more than just the usual binary bits of 0s and 1s used in today's digital communications - the same way a quantum network relies on quantum bits (qubits) to relay information.

    The method was shown to be effective across a 1.6 km free space link the research team built in Erlangen, Germany, an area that simulated an urban environment with all the potential sources for signal disruption.

    Science Alert / Science Advances    October 31, 2017