Essay Fiber Optics

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Fiber Optics

What are Fiber Optics?

Fiber optics are thin transparent fibers of glass or plastic enclosed by a material of a lower index of refraction and that transmit light throughout their length by internal reflections. Real fiber optic cables are made out of very pure glass, glass so pure that if it were miles thick, light would still be able to pass through. The fiber optic strand, although thin in diameter, is stretched to miles in length. Therefore only the purest of glass would be efficient and useful for sending light signals. The glass of these fiber optic cables is drawn into a very thin strand (as thin as human hair), then it is coated in two layers of plastic. By coating the glass in plastic (this is called the
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Single Mode cable is a single strand of glass fiber, while multimode cable is made of multiple strands of glass fibers. Each fiber in multimode cable is capable of carrying a different signal independent from those on the other fibers in the cable bundle.

Light pulses beam into the fiber's core with an LED (light-emitting diode), or laser and these signals are sent over miles and miles. However, the signal over time will begin to weaken. In order o maintain the signal over great distances, there are repeater stations at about every 40 to 60 miles that retransmit these light signalsto ensure the signal reaches its destination.

Because light is being used, large amounts of data can be sent at an extremely rapid speed(at the speed of light). Modern day fiber systems can transmit billions of bits per second with a single laser. This can be achieved by the the laser can turn on and off billions of times per second, which would allow for such a high transmission rate. In addition to high rate of transmission, the newest systems increase the number of signals that can be transmitted into each fiber by utiliizing multiple lasers with different colors. The increased data-carrying ability and cost-savings potential that fiber optics possesses over copper wire cable has already changed the communications and holds many promises for the future of information technology.

Milestones in Fiber

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