Researchers create hollow fiber optic cable, almost reach the speed of light

Fiber optic cables are usually made of glass or plastic but those materials actually slow down the transmission of light ever so slightly. Researchers at the University of Southampton in the UK have created a hollow fiber optic cable filled with air that's 1000 times faster than current cables. Since light propagates in air at 99.7 percent of the speed of light in a vacuum, this new hollow fiber optic cable is able to reach data speeds of 10 terabytes (!) per second. Now that's fast. While the idea isn't new, it's previously been hampered by signal degradation when light travels around corners. This new hollow fiber optic cable reduces data loss to a manageable 3.5dB/km, making it suitable for use in supercomputer and data center applications. Isn't science wonderful?

[Image credit: qwrrty, Flickr]