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Engineers Just Broke the Capacity Limit For Fiber Optic Transmission

So, that Internet apocalypse that’s going to befall us when our fiber optic cables max out? Maybe not so much. On Thursday, engineers reported in Science that they’d broken the “capacity limit” for fiber optic transmission, opening the door to future networks that carry more data further at lower costs. » 6/27/15 4:12pm 6/27/15 4:12pm

Why Are You Nearsighted? Here's An Explanation You May Not Have Heard.

Nearsightedness is reaching epidemic levels worldwide, but nowhere is its rise more prevalent than East Asia, where as many as 90% of teenagers and young adults now suffer from blurry distance vision. Why the sudden spike? Book work has long been blamed, but recent findings point to something else. » 3/18/15 3:20pm 3/18/15 3:20pm

How Nanoscale Optics Create Nature's Most Dazzling Colors

What do a butterfly's shimmering wings, a fish's opalescent scales, and a peacock's brilliant feathers have in common? Yes, their colors are beautifully iridescent. But they are also produced by the physical interaction of light with sophisticated nanoscale architecture that we are only just beginning to understand. » 2/19/15 2:14pm 2/19/15 2:14pm

This Glorious Gallery Highlights A Myriad Optical Delights

The International Year of Light continues with a beautiful gallery celebrating all aspects of light: multispectral astronomical, technological innovations, bioluminescence, eclipses, and even noctilucent clouds. I'll say this for it: this is the most visually interesting and diverse "Year of..." celebration! » 1/28/15 2:32am 1/28/15 2:32am

The Space Station Has 15 Sunsets A Day, And All Are Beautiful

The International Space Station goes through a full day in 92 minutes, each with its own sunrise and sunset. The Earth's atmosphere acts as a prism, bending rays of sunlight to paint the station in a quick succession of rich colours. Astronaut Butch Wilmore photographed how the light changes on a solar array. » 11/18/14 4:23pm 11/18/14 4:23pm

In This Image, Two Photons Interact. Here's Why It's Groundbreaking.

Normally, photons want nothing to do with one another. Light waves just pass through each other like ghosts. But now, for the first time ever, scientists at the University of Vienna have coaxed a strong interaction between two single photons. It's an achievement that opens up radical new possibilities for a number of… » 11/04/14 12:30pm 11/04/14 12:30pm