Orbital angular momentum (OAM) multiplexing is a physical layer method for multiplexing signals carried on electromagnetic waves using the orbital angular momentum of the electromagnetic waves to distinguish between the different orthogonal signals.
Orbital angular momentum is one of two forms of angular momentum of light. OAM is distinct from, and should not be confused with, light spin angular momentum. The spin angular momentum of light offers only two orthogonal quantum states corresponding to the two states of circular polarization, and can be demonstrated to be equivalent to a combination of polarization multiplexing and phase shifting. OAM on the other hand relies on an extended beam of light, and the higher quantum degrees of freedom which come with the extension. OAM multiplexing can thus access a potentially unbounded set of states, and as such offer a much larger number of channels, subject only to the constraints of real-world optics.
As of 2013, although OAM multiplexing promises very significant improvements in bandwidth when used in concert with other existing modulation and multiplexing schemes, it is still an experimental technique, and has so far only been demonstrated in the laboratory. Following the early claim that OAM exploits a new quantum mode of information propagation, the technique has become controversial; however nowadays it can be understood to be a particular form of tightly modulated MIMO multiplexing strategy, obeying classical information theoretic bounds.
OAM multiplexing was demonstrated using light beams in free space as early as 2004. Since then, research into OAM has proceeded in two areas: radio frequency and optical transmission.
An experiment in 2011 demonstrated OAM multiplexing of two incoherent radio signals over a distance of 442 m. It has been claimed that OAM does not improve on what can achieved with conventional linear-momentum based RF systems which already use MIMO, since theoretical work suggests that, at radio frequencies, conventional MIMO techniques can be shown to duplicate many of the linear-momentum properties of OAM-carrying radio beam, leaving little or no extra performance gain.
In November 2012, there were reports of disagreement about the basic theoretical concept of OAM multiplexing at radio frequencies between the research groups of Tamburini and Thide, and many different camps of communications engineers and physicists, with some declaring their belief that OAM multiplexing was just an implementation of MIMO, and others holding to their assertion that OAM multiplexing is a distinct, experimentally confirmed phenomenon.
In 2014, a group of researchers described an implementation of a communication link over 8 millimetre-wave channels multiplexed using a combination of OAM and polarization-mode multiplexing to achieve an aggregate bandwidth of 32 Gbit/s over a distance of 2.5 metres. These results agree well with predictions about severely limited distances made by Edfors et al.
The industrial interest for long-distance microwave OAM multiplexing seems to have been diminishing since 2015, when some of the original promoters of OAM-based communication at radio frequencies (including Siae Microelettronica) have published a theoretical investigation  showing that there is no real gain beyond traditional spatial multiplexing in terms of capacity and overall antenna occupation.
OAM multiplexing is used in the optical domain. In 2012, researchers demonstrated OAM-multiplexed optical transmission speeds of up to 2.5 Tbits/s using 8 distinct OAM channels in a single beam of light, but only over a very short free-space path of roughly one metre. Work is ongoing on applying OAM techniques to long-range practical free-space optical communication links.
OAM multiplexing can not be implemented in the existing long-haul optical fiber systems, since these systems are based on single-mode fibers, which inherently do not support OAM states of light. Instead, few-mode or multi-mode fibers need to be used. Additional problem for OAM multiplexing implementation is caused by the mode coupling that is present in conventional fibers, which cause changes in the spin angular momentum of modes under normal conditions and changes in orbital angular momentum when fibers are bent or stressed. Because of this mode instability, direct-detection OAM multiplexing has not yet been realized in long-haul communications. In 2012, transmission of OAM states with 97% purity after 20 meters over special fibers was demonstrated by researchers at Boston University. Later experiments have shown stable propagation of these modes over distances of 50 meters, and further improvements of this distance are the subject of ongoing work. Other ongoing research on making OAM multiplexing work over future fibre-optic transmission systems includes the possibility of using similar techniques to those used to compensate mode rotation in optical polarization multiplexing.
Alternative to direct-detection OAM multiplexing is a computationally complex coherent-detection with (MIMO) digital signal processing (DSP) approach, that can be used to achieve long-haul communication, where strong mode coupling is suggested to be beneficial for coherent-detection-based systems.
A paper by Bozinovic et al. published in Science in 2013 claims the successful demonstration of an OAM-multiplexed fiber-optic transmission system over a 1.1 km test path. The test system was capable of using up to 4 different OAM channels simultaneously, using a fiber with a "vortex" refractive-index profile. They also demonstrated combined OAM and WDM using the same apparatus, but using only two OAM modes.
In 2014, articles by G. Milione et al. and H. Huang et al. claimed the first successful demonstration of an OAM-multiplexed fiber-optic transmission system over a 5 km of conventional optical fiber, i.e., an optical fiber having a circular core and a graded index profile. In contrast to the work of Bozinovic et al., which used a custom optical fiber that had a "vortex" refractive-index profile, the work by G. Milione et al. and H. Huang et al. showed that OAM multiplexing could be used in commercially available optical fibers by using digital MIMO post-processing to correct for mode mixing within the fiber. This method is sensitive to changes in the system that change the mixing of the modes during propagation, such as changes in the bending of the fiber, and requires substantial computation resources to scale up to larger numbers of independent modes, but shows great promise.
In 2018 Zengji Yue, Haoran Ren, Shibiao Wei, Jiao Lin & Min Gu at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology miniaturised this technology, shrinking it from the size of a large dinner table to a small chip which could be integrated into communications networks. This chip could, they predict, increase the capacity of fibre-optic cables by at least 100-fold and likely higher as the technology is further developed.
Alan E. Willner is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California. He is also president of the Optical Society.
Willner is known for his research on optical fiber communications and free-space communications. Willner's doctoral advisor was Richard M. Osgood Jr..
He is a recipient of the Paul F. Forman Engineering Excellence Award and several other distinctions.Angular momentum of light
The angular momentum of light is a vector quantity that expresses the amount of dynamical rotation present in the electromagnetic field of the light. While traveling approximately in a straight line, a beam of light can also be rotating (or “spinning”, or “twisting”) around its own axis. This rotation, while not visible to the naked eye, can be revealed by the interaction of the light beam with matter.
There are two distinct forms of rotation of a light beam, one involving its polarization and the other its wavefront shape. These two forms of rotation are therefore associated with two distinct forms of angular momentum, respectively named light spin angular momentum (SAM) and light orbital angular momentum (OAM).
The total angular momentum of light (or, more generally, of the electromagnetic field and the other force fields) and matter is conserved in time.Bo Thidé
Bo Y. Thidé (born in Gothenburg, Sweden) is a Swedish physicist who studies radio waves and other electromagnetic radiation in space, particularly their interaction with matter and fields. He received his B.Sc. in 1972, his M.Sc. in 1973, and defended his Ph.D. thesis on semiclassical quantum theory at Uppsala University in 1979. His Ph.D. was obtained under the supervision of professor Per Olof Fröman at the Department of Theoretical Physics, Uppsala University. He has worked at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics in Uppsala since 1980, where he has been a professor since 2000.
In 1981, Bo Thidé discovered electromagnetic emissions stimulated by powerful radio waves in the ionosphere during experiments in August 1981 at the EISCAT facility in Tromsø, Norway. For the first time it was shown that the plasma turbulence excited by powerful radio waves in the ionosphere radiates secondary electromagnetic radiation that can be detected and analysed on the ground. These stimulated electromagnetic emissions (SEE) exhibit a rich spectral structure, particularly near harmonics of the ionospheric electron gyro frequency. The SEE technique is now a useful tool in plasma turbulence research. For his discovery, Thidé was awarded the Edlund Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1991.
In the mid-1980s, Thidé published a series of papers together with Bengt Lundborg on a highly accurate analytic approximation method to calculate the full three-dimensional wave pattern, spin angular momentum (polarization) and other properties of radio waves propagating in an inhomogeneous, magnetized, collisional plasma,
Together with colleagues from Italy and Spain, Thidé discovered in 2010 a new phenomenon in General Relativity which allows the detection of spinning black holes by analysing the orbital angular momentum and optical vortex structure of radiation from the accretion disk near the black holes. The results were published in
Nature Physics.Thidé has advocated Orbital angular momentum multiplexing for radio transmissions, opening up additional degrees of freedom.
Thidé is the author of the book "Electromagnetic Field Theory", which is used in the course Classical Electrodynamics at Uppsala University
and University of Padua.Index of physics articles (O)
The index of physics articles is split into multiple pages due to its size.
To navigate by individual letter use the table of contents below.Multiplexing
In telecommunications and computer networks, multiplexing (sometimes contracted to muxing) is a method by which multiple analog or digital signals are combined into one signal over a shared medium. The aim is to share a scarce resource. For example, in telecommunications, several telephone calls may be carried using one wire. Multiplexing originated in telegraphy in the 1870s, and is now widely applied in communications. In telephony, George Owen Squier is credited with the development of telephone carrier multiplexing in 1910.
The multiplexed signal is transmitted over a communication channel such as a cable. The multiplexing divides the capacity of the communication channel into several logical channels, one for each message signal or data stream to be transferred. A reverse process, known as demultiplexing, extracts the original channels on the receiver end.
A device that performs the multiplexing is called a multiplexer (MUX), and a device that performs the reverse process is called a demultiplexer (DEMUX or DMX).
Inverse multiplexing (IMUX) has the opposite aim as multiplexing, namely to break one data stream into several streams, transfer them simultaneously over several communication channels, and recreate the original data stream.Optical fiber
An optical fiber is a flexible, transparent fiber made by drawing glass (silica) or plastic to a diameter slightly thicker than that of a human hair. Optical fibers are used most often as a means to transmit light between the two ends of the fiber and find wide usage in fiber-optic communications, where they permit transmission over longer distances and at higher bandwidths (data rates) than electrical cables. Fibers are used instead of metal wires because signals travel along them with less loss; in addition, fibers are immune to electromagnetic interference, a problem from which metal wires suffer excessively. Fibers are also used for illumination and imaging, and are often wrapped in bundles so they may be used to carry light into, or images out of confined spaces, as in the case of a fiberscope. Specially designed fibers are also used for a variety of other applications, some of them being fiber optic sensors and fiber lasers.Optical fibers typically include a core surrounded by a transparent cladding material with a lower index of refraction. Light is kept in the core by the phenomenon of total internal reflection which causes the fiber to act as a waveguide. Fibers that support many propagation paths or transverse modes are called multi-mode fibers, while those that support a single mode are called single-mode fibers (SMF). Multi-mode fibers generally have a wider core diameter and are used for short-distance communication links and for applications where high power must be transmitted. Single-mode fibers are used for most communication links longer than 1,000 meters (3,300 ft).Being able to join optical fibers with low loss is important in fiber optic communication. This is more complex than joining electrical wire or cable and involves careful cleaving of the fibers, precise alignment of the fiber cores, and the coupling of these aligned cores. For applications that demand a permanent connection a fusion splice is common. In this technique, an electric arc is used to melt the ends of the fibers together. Another common technique is a mechanical splice, where the ends of the fibers are held in contact by mechanical force. Temporary or semi-permanent connections are made by means of specialized optical fiber connectors.The field of applied science and engineering concerned with the design and application of optical fibers is known as fiber optics. The term was coined by Indian physicist Narinder Singh Kapany, who is widely acknowledged as the father of fiber optics.Optical vortex
An optical vortex (also known as a photonic quantum vortex, screw dislocation or phase singularity) is a zero of an optical field; a point of zero intensity. The term is also used to describe a beam of light that has such a zero in it. The study of these phenomena is known as singular optics.Orbital angular momentum of light
The orbital angular momentum of light (OAM) is the component of angular momentum of a light beam that is dependent on the field spatial distribution, and not on the polarization. It can be further split into an internal and an external OAM. The internal OAM is an origin-independent angular momentum of a light beam that can be associated with a helical or twisted wavefront. The external OAM is the origin-dependent angular momentum that can be obtained as cross product of the light beam position (center of the beam) and its total linear momentum.Polarization-division multiplexing
Polarization-division multiplexing (PDM) is a physical layer method for multiplexing signals carried on electromagnetic waves, allowing two channels of information to be transmitted on the same carrier frequency by using waves of two orthogonal polarization states. It is used in microwave links such as satellite television downlinks to double the bandwidth by using two orthogonally polarized feed antennas in satellite dishes. It is also used in fiber optic communication by transmitting separate left and right circularly polarized light beams through the same optical fiber.Siae Microelettronica
SIAE MICROELETTRONICA is an Italian multinational corporation and a global supplier of telecom network equipments. It provides wireless backhaul and fronthaul solutions that comprise microwave and millimeter wave radio systems, along with fiber optics transmission systems provided by its subsidiary SM Optics.
Company products are deployed in more than 90 countries worldwide. The company is headquartered in Milan, Italy, with 26 regional offices around the globe.Wavelength-division multiplexing
In fiber-optic communications, wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) is a technology which multiplexes a number of optical carrier signals onto a single optical fiber by using different wavelengths (i.e., colors) of laser light. This technique enables bidirectional communications over one strand of fiber, as well as multiplication of capacity.
The term wavelength-division multiplexing is commonly applied to an optical carrier, which is typically described by its wavelength, whereas frequency-division multiplexing typically applies to a radio carrier which is more often described by frequency. This is purely conventional because wavelength and frequency communicate the same information.