By twisting light beams, engineers could produce the fastest Internet ever. Today, for the speediest broadband, fiber-optic cables transmit information in pulses of light. Since the early 2000s, physicists have been working to make data travel even faster by bouncing light off a liquid crystal to twist it. Several coiled beams can nest within one another and move through the same space at the same time.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.