Perfect Mirror
By Clive Thompson

(FORTUNE Magazine) – You're looking at light going through an experimental "omniguide"---a tube that reflects light with no signal loss. Developed in 1998 by a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this "perfect mirror" (it's made of nonmetallic, "dielectric" materials) promises to usher in a new generation of cable that's faster, cheaper, and more versatile than normal fiber optics--"by several orders of magnitude," boasts Yoel Fink, an MIT professor and its co-inventor. Plus, signals sent on Omniguide cable won't lose strength, as they do in normal fiber-optic cable, eliminating the need for amplifiers in long, intercontinental hauls. "Most people assume that fiber-optic cable is as good as it gets," Fink says. "But this is going to be better."

--Clive Thompson