New Note: This page is now antiquated. See my papers to find out what I really did.
Note that I know or understand very little of the following ideas. The only reason they are here is because they struck me as interesting and possibly had potential (within the scope of my understanding) for a project. The ideas are listed chronologically, the order in which they came to me.
- Data Transfer using Optical Vortices
Optical vortices have property called orbital angular momentum which can exist in any number of different states. Computers normally function in binary (using 1s and 0s). In order, therefore, to encode the base-10 number 79, it must be sent as 1011001. That's 7 pieces of information. One could supposedly encode the same information in only one state (the 79th state) of orbital angular momentum of an optical vortex, thereby increasing transfer speeds dramatically.
- Surface Scanning using Optical Vortices
The different OAM (orbital angular momentum) components of an optical vortex are called spiral spectra. Shining an optical vortex on an object causes the beam to scatter while changing the state of the spiral components. The scattered photons can hold a lot of information about the object off of which the light was initially scattered, yielding better image resolution.
- Real-time Holography
This is my pet idea (and also the most likely to fail). Holograms are created by interfering a reference beam and coherent light scattered off some object onto a photo-plate. When the reference beam is later shined through the recorded interference pattern, it recreates both the intensity and phase of the light scattered by the original object, resulting in a 3-D image that can be viewed from different angles. If instead of a photo-plate, a CCD camera captured the diffraction pattern, the image could be piped anywhere and displayed on a screen where a reference beam could be used to create a hologram of a moving image. It would kind of be like the Star Wars effect where you see a three dimensional video hologram pop up from the table when people communicated.