Multimode fiber: the Fact File

Introduction to optical fiber

Published April 2021

optical_fiber

When was optical fiber first conceived? Was it when Snell’s Law was formulated, leading to the concept of refractive indexes? Or when Bell invented the photophone? While these concepts helped advance fiber optics, many would point to Dr. Charles Kao’s pivotal research, presented in 1966 to the Institute of Electrical Engineers, as the defining moment in fiber optics—for which Dr. Kao was awarded a well-deserved Nobel Prize.

Along with advances in optoelectronics, fiber technology has quietly enabled much of what we take for granted today, such as the internet, high-speed video and even mobile networks—all of which rely heavily on fiber backbones to ensure high quality of service. Fiber technology enables significantly lower cost, higher capacity bandwidth at much greater distances than other media such as coaxial, microwave and satellite.

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