Researchers create atomic television that transmits live video with big atoms and small lasers

Now, the input is sent from a video camera to modulate the original carrier signal to display a live video signal or video game. This signal is fed to a horn antenna directing the transmission to the atoms. The original carrier signal is used as a reference and compared to the final video output detected through the atoms to evaluate the system.

An in-depth study into the laser beam sizes, powers, and detection methods required for the atoms were essential to receive video in a standard definition format.

According to the release, the beam size affects the average time the atoms remain in the laser interaction zone. This average time is inversely related to the receiver’s bandwidth, which means that a shorter time and smaller beam produce more data. Smaller areas result in a higher signal “refresh rate” and better resolution.

The researchers found that small beam diameters for both lasers led to faster responses and color reception – a data rate of 100 megabits per second was achieved. This is an excellent speed for video gaming and household internet.

However, the atomic television may take a while to be part of your home entertainment setup; research is ongoing to increase the system’s bandwidth and data rates.

Study abstract:

We demonstrate the ability to receive live color analog television and video game signals with the use of the Rydberg atom receiver. The typical signal expected for traditional 480i National Television Standards Committee format video signals requires a bandwidth of over 3 MHz. We determine the beam sizes, powers, and detection method required for the Rydberg atoms to receive this type of signal. The beam size affects the average time the atoms remain in the interaction volume, which is inversely proportional to the bandwidth of the receiver. We find that small beam diameters (less than 100 μm) lead to much faster responses and allow for color reception. We demonstrate the effect of the beam size on bandwidth by receiving a live 480i video stream with the Rydberg atom receiver. The best video reception was achieved with a beam width of 85 𝜇m full-width at half-max.