Light-Powered Gyroscope is World’s Smallest: Promises a Powerful Spin on Navigation Technologies
A pair of light waves – one zipping clockwise the other counterclockwise around a microscopic track – may hold the key to creating the world’s smallest gyroscope: one a fraction of the width of a human hair. By bringing this essential technology down to an entirely new scale, a team of physicists hopes to enable a new generation of phenomenally compact gyroscope-based navigation systems, among other intriguing applications.
“We have found a new detection scheme that may lead to the world’s smallest gyroscope,” said Li Ge, a physicist at The City University of New York’s College of Staten Island. “Though these so-called optical gyroscopes are not new, our approach is remarkable both in its super-small size and potential sensitivity.”
Ge and his colleagues – physicist Hui Cao and her student Raktim Sarma, both at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut – recently published their results in The Optical Society’s (OSA) new high-impact journal Optica.