Pasta-Shaped Radio Waves Broadcast Across Venice

06/03/2012 08:28 GMT | Updated 05/05/2012 10:12 BST

Pasta-shaped radio waves have solved the problem of broadcasting in a congested city.

Italian and Swedish researchers have created fusilli-shaped radio waves that twist around existing spectrums to deliver an infinite number of channels.

Venice was the testing ground for the research, and the results were published in the Institute of Physics and German Physical Society's New Journal of Physics on 2 March.

But why try to trick your way around spectrums? The boom in smartphones, wireless internet and digital TVs mean the air is jammed with radio frequency bands, so there's less and less room to broadcast every day.

Lead author Dr Fabrizio Tamburini said: "You just have to try sending a text message at midnight on New Year's Eve to realise how congested the bands are."

"In a three-dimensional perspective, this phase twist looks like a fusillli-pasta-shaped beam. Each of these twisted beams can be independently generated, propagated and detected even in the very same frequency band, behaving as independent communication channels," Tamburini said.

Two tasty radio waves in the 2.4 GHz band were transmitted over a distance of 442 metres from the lighthouse on San Georgio Island to a satellite dish on a balcony of Palazzo Ducale on the mainland of Venice. Two channels were succesfully detected.

"Like in digital TV, on each of these to implement even more channels on the same states, which means one could obtain 55 channels in the same frequency band," said Tamburini.

The carb-heavy discovery could help scientists understand space.

Tamburini said the finding could help to analyse the incoming waves from the "million-solar mass monster", the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, Sagittarius A.