By shooting a brief and powerful laser beam shaped like a doughnut through the air, researchers created a 45-metre-long structure that could guide a light pulse like an optical fibre


29 January 2023

Abstract red laser beam

A laser can be used to make an optical fibre out of air

Shutterstock / Maryna Stamatova

A doughnut-shaped laser was ysed to create a 45-metre-long optical fibre out of air and a pulse of light was then sent through it. The technology could eventually be used to detect radioactive materials from kilometres away.

Tight beams of light, like lasers, can transmit information and energy, but they tend to widen as they travel which makes them lose both. This is why they are often confined to glass tubes, or optical fibres, when used for communication. …

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