Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. A fiber-optic cable is made up of incredibly thin strands of glass or plastic known as optical fibers; one cable can have as few as two strands or as many as several hundred. Fiber cables carry huge amounts of data, and the average speed that you’ll see at your house is around 1 Gbps (often called “gigabit internet”). Fiber optic cables support much of the world's internet, cable television, … Fiber optic cables can be beneficial due to their lighter weight and smaller size. Test your physics acumen with this quiz. Fiber Optic Ribbon A coherent optical fiber bundle in which the configuration is flat rather than round, giving an output in a line. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Fiber optic cables use small glass fibers to transmit data using pulses of light. In 1966, electrical engineers Charles Kao and George Hockham, working in England, suggested using fibers for telecommunication, and within two decades silica glass fibers were being produced with sufficient purity that infrared light signals could travel through them for 100 km (60 miles) or more without having to be boosted by repeaters. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Fibre-optic communication systems that transmit signals more than a few kilometres also use semiconductor laser beams. Metal wires are preferred for transmission in optical fiber communication as signals travel with fewer damages. Fiber-optic communication is a method of transmitting information from one place to another by sending pulses of infrared light through an optical fiber. Many thin…, …of reflecting prism and in fibre optics, in which long fibres of high-index glass clad with a thin layer of lower index glass are assembled side-by-side in precise order. The company that has the largest fiber network in the US is AT&T with approximately 1.2 Million Fiber Route Miles. It uses fiber-optic technology to reach the fastest speeds available today, as fast as 10000 Mbps (1Gpbs). Fiber optic cabling sometimes referred to as optical fiber, which is completely different from cat6 and other types of structured cabling systems. Fiber optics are thin glass or plastic fibers used to transmit data via light. Optical fiber technology can carry much more data than conventional copper wires and is less prone to electromagnetic interference, simply because data … Fiber optics (optical fibers) are long, thin strands of very pure glass about the diameter of a human hair. Fiber optic Internet is the future of broadband. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. Optical fiber is playing a crucial role in network build-outs and digitalization in Germany. Similarly, fiber optics is frequently used in broadcasting and electronics to provide better connections and performance. Who was the first scientist to conduct a controlled nuclear chain reaction experiment? The concept behind fiber-optics is fairly simple. The degree of attenuation over distance varies according to the wavelength of the light and to the composition of the fiber. Fiber … [2] The hair-thin fibres used in fibre optics. Optical telecommunication is usually conducted with infrared light in the wavelength ranges of 0.8–0.9 μm or 1.3–1.6 μm—wavelengths that are efficiently generated by light-emitting diodes or semiconductor lasers and that suffer least attenuation in glass fibers. The light is a form of carrier wave that is modulated to carry information. In telecommunications, fiber optic technology has virtually replaced copper wire in long-distance telephone lines, and it is used to link computers within local area networks. Powered by fiber optic technology, fiber Internet is blowing its competitors out of the water. Fiber optic cables are strands of glass or plastic that transmit light. HDMI fiber optic cable advantages. Light ray passing through an optical fibre. The light source, which usually is a laser. A typical glass optical fiber has a diameter of 125 micrometres (μm), or 0.125 mm (0.005 inch). Fibre optic cable is an advanced type of network cable, offering significantly improved performance in terms of bandwidth and data carrying than traditional metal conductor versions. They're designed for long-distance, high-performance data networking, and telecommunications. In the fusion splicing, the two fibers are thermally joined together. Broadband is essential to the modern world we live in. Optical cables are used to transfer digital data signals in the form of light up to distances of hundreds of miles with higher throughput rates than those achievable via electrical communication cables. Fiber trunk cables form most o… Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. It sets an excellent example for businesses which are looking forward to optimize their system performance with higher bandwidth. The laser is turned on and off quickly by a driving circuit. These strands are used to transmit light from one end of the fiber to another and, when stranded together in a large number, they make optical cables. Fiber optics, or optical fibers, are long, thin strands of carefully drawn glass about the diameter of a human hair. Fiber optics. Optical fiber is the technology associated with data transmission using light pulses travelling along with a long fiber which is usually made of plastic or glass. The core, or inner transmitting cylinder, may have a diameter as small as 10 μm. Compared to wired cables, fiber optic cables provide higher bandwidth and transmit data over longer distances. Omissions? When glass fibers of core/cladding design were introduced in the early 1950s, the presence of impurities restricted their employment to the short lengths sufficient for endoscopy. Computer networking is a common fiber optics use case, due to optical fiber's ability to transmit data and provide high bandwidth. In 2009 Kao was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work. electromagnetic impulses) for sending information. Cat 5 cable with RJ45 plug. A fiber-optic router is a router that uses fiber-optic cable to transport a data signal. Fiber-optic Internet is the transmission of Internet data by light signals that travel on a fiber encased in a cable. Fiber optics are long and thin strands of glass. This technology has become the backbone of…, Glass fibres constitute an effective means of guiding and transmitting light. The light travels much like electricity would through a copper wire, but the advantage is that fiber cables can carry multiple signals at once. The optical signals are sent at infrared wavelengths of 1.3 to 1.6 micrometres, where glass fibres are most transparent. Fiber optics is also the basis of the fiberscopes used in examining internal parts of the body (endoscopy) or inspecting the interiors of manufactured structural products. Some kind of transmission medium goes under a colloquial name of fiber-optics. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. They’re incredibly small, so they’re often bundled into larger cables called “fiber optic trunk cables,” each containing multiple fiber lines. In telecommunications , fiber optic technology has virtually replaced copper wire in long-distance telephone lines, and … A fiber optic cable is a network cable that contains strands of glass fibers inside an insulated casing. The glass is pure, and they are no thicker than a human hair. Fiber optic cable is the fastest mode of broadband technology available today. If you look closely at a single optical fiber, you will see that it has the following parts: It is this technology that provides homes and businesses … Fiber Optic Modems Fiber optic modems are used in fiber optic networks for sending and receiving data. A few kilometres also use semiconductor laser beams Wacky, Copyright © 2021 HowStuffWorks a! 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