Whether you're a huge geek or a total luddite, you've got to be excited when scientists invent a new kind of laser, especially one that stands to replace the one we've been using for fiber optic communications for the last 40 years. A team of CalTech researchers did just that. Be excited.
This new laser is notable for its unprecedentedly high spectral purity. Spectral purity basically refers to how close a laser is to operating on a single frequency. It's a valuable metric because the narrower the range of frequencies, the more information the laser light can carry. This also allows for higher data transfer speeds—in other words, faster internet. Since fiber optic networks are really taking over everything, this is good news for everybody.