Machine learning & AI

Using artificial intelligence to enhance complex systems

EPFL researchers have invented a way of automatically working out what data needs to be put into a complex system—such as a fiber optic network—in order to get the desired result. Their solution could prove especially ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

New technique may enable all-optical data-center networks

A new technique that synchronizes the clocks of computers in under a billionth of a second can eliminate one of the hurdles for the deployment of all-optical networks, potentially leading to more efficient data centers, according ...

Internet

The modern world is fast becoming a wireless, infrared world

Optics-based technologies such as optical fibers have strongly influenced the age of wired communication. Now they look set to revolutionize wireless communications as well and solve key issues with traditional radio-based ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

Smart textiles made possible by flexible transmission lines

EPFL researchers have developed electronic fibers that, when embedded in textiles, can be used to collect data about our bodies by measuring fabric deformation. Their technology employs flexible transmission lines and offers ...

Robotics

Nerve-like 'optical lace' gives robots a human touch

A new synthetic material that creates a linked sensory network similar to a biological nervous system could enable soft robots to sense how they interact with their environment and adjust their actions accordingly.

Engineering

Fiber-optic vibration sensors could prevent train accidents

Researchers have developed new sensors for measuring acceleration and vibration on trains. The technology could be integrated with artificial intelligence to prevent railway accidents and catastrophic train derailments.

Engineering

Researchers use 3-D printer to print glass

For the first time, researchers have successfully 3-D printed chalcogenide glass, a unique material used to make optical components that operate at mid-infrared wavelengths. The ability to 3-D print this glass could make ...

Telecom

Optical fiber transmits one terabit per second

Nokia Bell Labs, Deutsche Telekom T-Labs and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have achieved unprecedented transmission capacity and spectral efficiency in an optical communications field trial with a new modulation ...

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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.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA