freemexy: Fiber Optics and Its Importance
Fiber Optics and Its Importance
The idea that information travels in different ways is not a recent one. Whenever we speak into the telephone line, a wired cable carries the signals from our voice into the wall socket. From there, traveling through an extensive network of wires, the information reaches the other end.
Similarly, cellphones work in a different way as well, in that they send and receive wireless radio waves. The technology is known as wireless because it does not have any cables attached to it.Outdoor optical fiber cable
Another contender for information transfer comes in the form of Fiber Optics. The fiber in fiber optic refers to the cable through which the information is transferred, while the optic part deals with the method through which the information is transferred, which is an optical beam of light that travels down the cable, which is usually either glass or plastic.
The history behind Fiber Optics is interesting since it was originally introduced to support endoscope examinations in the 1950s. Using Fiber Optics, the doctors could see inside the human body without having to cut or open it, making it a huge breakthrough of the time. In the 1960s, engineers figured out that the same technology can be used to transmit telephone signals at the speed of light (which is normally 186,000 miles or 300,000 km per second inside a vacuum, but it slows down to two-thirds the speed in a fiber optic cable).
Before moving on the importance of Fiber Optics, we feel that it is important to provide you the entire picture about Fiber Optics, beginning with the anatomy.A typical fiber optic cable consists of thin strands of glass or plastic, also known as optical fibers. The cable can consist of as few as two strands or even two hundred, depending on the cable. Each strand is tenth the size of a human hair. Pretty insignificant, right? Wrong. Because a single strand is capable of transferring almost 25,000 telephone calls which make an entire fiber optic strong enough to carry several million calls.
The fiber optic works by carrying information from one place to another using entirely optical (light-based) technology. To demonstrate how the light travels through the cable, you would need an example. Let us suppose that you wanted to send information from your PC to a friend’s house. You could join up your computer to a laser, which would help to convert electrical information from your computer into a series of light pulses that travels through the fiber optic cable. The laser will travel down the stream of the cable and emerge at the other end. Your friend would need to have a photoelectric cell (light detector) to convert the laser impulse back into the electrical information so that it could be understood by the computer. The whole apparatus is like a really neat, or advanced version of the kind of telephone you can make from two cans and a length of string!