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Published November 15, 2002 | public
Journal Article

Coherent Optical Information Systems


Coherent optical beams are used to communicate, store, and process information in a growing number of applications. The availability of coherent laser sources is of critical importance for the realization of such optical information systems. An incoherent source randomly populates the available temporal and spatial channels of the optical system, making it difficult to represent information. Coherent laser sources provide a stable carrier on which to encode information, making it possible to realize powerful information-processing techniques such as wavelength division multiplexing in fiber networks, gated holographic imaging, and three-dimensional optical data storage.

Additional Information

© 2002 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Special thanks to Z. Liu for critical review of the manuscript and suggestions. I also thank Y. Abu- Mostafa and K. Buse for fruitful discussions, and H.-T. Hsieh for help with the preparation of the manuscript. The work at Caltech is supported by the NSF Center on Neuromorphic Systems Engineering, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).

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