Related topics: light · physical review letters

Hydrogen alarm for remote hydrogen leak detection

Hydrogen is considered as one of the promising alternative energy sources. Nevertheless, its application as an energy carrier is complicated due to its highly explosive nature when mixed with oxygen. These dangerous situations ...

NEID exoplanet instrument sees first light

The new NEID instrument, now installed at the 3.5-meter WIYN telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Southern Arizona, USA, has made its first observations. The NSF-NASA funded instrument is designed to measure the ...

Underwater telecom cables make superb seismic network

Fiber-optic cables that constitute a global undersea telecommunications network could one day help scientists study offshore earthquakes and the geologic structures hidden deep beneath the ocean surface.

Researchers use 3-D printing to make glass optical fiber preform

Researchers have developed a way to use 3-D printing to create a preform that can be drawn into silica glass optical fibers, which form the backbone of the global telecommunications network. This new fabrication method could ...

Researchers create first three-photon color-entangled W state

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have constructed a quantum-mechanical state in which the colors of three photons are entangled with each other. The state is a special combination, called a W ...

Making and controlling crystals of light

Optical microresonators convert laser light into ultrashort pulses travelling around the resonator's circumference. These pulses, called "dissipative Kerr solitons," can propagate in the microresonator maintaining their shape.

Entanglement sent over 50 km of optical fiber

The quantum internet promises absolutely tap-proof communication and powerful distributed sensor networks for new science and technology. However, because quantum information cannot be copied, it is not possible to send this ...

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Optical fiber

An optical fiber (or fibre) is a glass or plastic fiber that carries light along its length. Fiber optics is the overlap of applied science and engineering concerned with the design and application of optical fibers. Optical fibers are widely used in fiber-optic communications, which permits transmission over longer distances and at higher bandwidths (data rates) than other forms of communications. Fibers are used instead of metal wires because signals travel along them with less loss, and they are also immune to electromagnetic interference. Fibers are also used for illumination, and are wrapped in bundles so they can be used to carry images, thus allowing viewing in tight spaces. Specially designed fibers are used for a variety of other applications, including sensors and fiber lasers.

Light is kept in the core of the optical fiber by total internal reflection. This causes the fiber to act as a waveguide. Fibers which support many propagation paths or transverse modes are called multi-mode fibers (MMF), while those which can only support a single mode are called single-mode fibers (SMF). Multi-mode fibers generally have a larger core diameter, and are used for short-distance communication links and for applications where high power must be transmitted. Single-mode fibers are used for most communication links longer than 550 metres (1,800 ft).

Joining lengths of optical fiber is more complex than joining electrical wire or cable. The ends of the fibers must be carefully cleaved, and then spliced together either mechanically or by fusing them together with an electric arc. Special connectors are used to make removable connections.

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