Download City of light: the story of fiber optics by Jeff Hecht PDF
By Jeff Hecht
City of Light tells the tale of fiber optics, tracing its transformation from 19th-century parlor trick into the basis of our international communications community. Written for a huge viewers by means of a journalist who has coated the sector for 20 years, the publication is a full of life account of either the folk and the tips at the back of this innovative technology.
The uncomplicated notion underlying fiber optics used to be first explored within the 1840s whilst researchers used jets of water to lead gentle in laboratory demonstrations. the belief stuck the general public eye a long time later while it was once used to create beautiful illuminated fountains at a few of the nice Victorian exhibitions. the fashionable model of fiber optics—using versatile glass fibers to transmit light—was came across independently 5 occasions in the course of the first 1/2 the century, and considered one of its first key purposes was once the endoscope, which for the 1st time allowed physicians to seem contained in the physique with no surgical procedure. Endoscopes turned functional in 1956 whilst a school undergraduate found the best way to make strong glass fibers with a pitcher cladding.
With the discovery of the laser, researchers grew attracted to optical communications. whereas Bell Labs and others attempted to ship laser beams in the course of the surroundings or hole mild pipes, a small crew at typical Telecommunication Laboratories checked out guiding mild through obvious fibers. Led by means of Charles ok. Kao, they proposed the assumption of fiber-optic communications and confirmed that opposite to what many researchers inspiration glass might be made transparent adequate to transmit mild over nice distances. Following those principles, Corning Glass Works built the 1st low-loss glass fibers in 1970.
From this element fiber-optic communications constructed quickly. the 1st experimental cell hyperlinks have been demonstrated on reside cellphone site visitors in 1977 and inside of part a dozen years long-distance businesses have been laying fiber cables for his or her nationwide spine structures. In 1988, the 1st transatlantic fiber-optic cable hooked up Europe with North the United States, and now fiber optics are the most important aspect in international communications.
The tale maintains at the present time as fiber optics unfold throughout the communique grid that connects houses and places of work, developing large details pipelines and changing copper wires. The booklet concludes with a glance at a number of the intriguing power advancements of this expertise.
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Extra resources for City of light: the story of fiber optics
That would have pleased Colladon, who took pride in his practical inventions such as compressed air. He probably intended his paper in La Nature and his autobiography to ensure that future generations recognized his pioneering role. Yet he would have been furious to see the pioneers of ﬁber optics assigned the credit for light guiding in a water jet not to him but to John Tyndall, who ﬁrst demonstrated it thirteen years after Colladon. Professor Tyndall’s Performance A small man with bright gray eyes, Tyndall joined the Royal Institution in London in 1853.
23 It’s easy to imagine him focusing sunlight into a bent glass rod to burn holes in pieces of paper. The inspiration added up to a simple solution to his problem: It is only necessary to make up a cable of parallel laid quartz hairs or strands of similar material, the ends of which can be cut off plane. One end of this cable can face the instrument and another can face toward the observer. The light from the instrument will fall on the ends of the quartz ﬁbers and be transmitted through them coming out as an image in the other end visible to the observer.
They abandoned the idea of drawing one ﬁber at a time. Instead, they blew hot air into molten glass, splattering short, coarse threads of liquid into the air, where they quickly solidiﬁed. The process yielded a soft, ﬂeecy mass of ﬂexible ﬁbers—glass wool, the ﬁberglass used in modern insulation. 19 The ﬁberglass industry has been growing ever since. Nobody paid much attention to the optical properties of glass ﬁbers, other than when they glittered in fabrics on display. However, engineers did learn about the mechanics of glass ﬁbers and the properties of molten glass.