An optical oscilloscope has been developed by a team of researchers from UCF and it is the world’s first optical oscilloscope. Optical oscilloscope is used to measure the electric field of light. Oscilloscope converts light into electrical signals. It is like a hospital monitor converting a patient’s heartbeat into electrical oscillation.
Until now, reading electric field of light was challenging due to the high-speed oscillation of light waves. As light waves oscillate at a higher-speed, it has a higher density of transmission of information. But the new tools for measuring light fields can only resolve an average signal which is only a ‘pulse’ of light and it is not associated with the peaks of the pulse. But the measurement of the peaks of a single pulse is important as in that space information can be packed and delivered.
A co-researcher and Associate Professor of Physics at UCF, Michael Chini has said that Fiber optic communications have the advantage to make things faster with the help of light. But before this finding researchers were functionally limited by the speed of the previous oscilloscopes. The new optical oscilloscope will increase the speed of how things work about 10,000 times than the previous oscilloscopes.
The findings of the researchers have been published in Nature Photonics journal.
The research team has also used the new device to measure its capability in real-time electric fields. They have used it in electric fields of individual laser pulses in the lab of UCF. The next experiment that they will do with this device is to check how far they can push the limits of the speed of the device.
The lead other author of this research paper is Yangyang Liu, a UCF postdoctoral scholar. Other authors of this research paper are Jonathan Nesper, Shima Gholam-Mirzaei and John E. Beetar.