City of light: the story of fiber optics by Jeff Hecht

By Jeff Hecht

City of Light tells the tale of fiber optics, tracing its transformation from 19th-century parlor trick into the basis of our worldwide communications community. Written for a vast viewers by means of a journalist who has coated the sector for two decades, the e-book is a full of life account of either the folks and the guidelines at the back of this innovative technology.
The simple proposal underlying fiber optics was once first explored within the 1840s while researchers used jets of water to lead mild in laboratory demonstrations. the belief stuck the general public eye a long time later while it used to be used to create wonderful illuminated fountains at the various nice Victorian exhibitions. the fashionable model of fiber optics—using versatile glass fibers to transmit light—was stumbled on independently 5 occasions in the course of the first 1/2 the century, and considered one of its first key purposes was once the endoscope, which for the 1st time allowed physicians to appear contained in the physique with out surgical procedure. Endoscopes grew to become useful in 1956 while a school undergraduate found tips on how to make strong glass fibers with a tumbler cladding.
With the discovery of the laser, researchers grew attracted to optical communications. whereas Bell Labs and others attempted to ship laser beams throughout the surroundings or hole gentle pipes, a small staff at general Telecommunication Laboratories checked out guiding mild by way of obvious fibers. Led by means of Charles okay. Kao, they proposed the assumption of fiber-optic communications and confirmed that opposite to what many researchers notion glass might be made transparent sufficient to transmit gentle over nice distances. Following those rules, Corning Glass Works constructed the 1st low-loss glass fibers in 1970.
From this aspect fiber-optic communications built speedily. the 1st experimental telephone hyperlinks have been verified on dwell cell site visitors in 1977 and inside of part a dozen years long-distance businesses have been laying fiber cables for his or her nationwide spine platforms. In 1988, the 1st transatlantic fiber-optic cable attached Europe with North the US, and now fiber optics are the main aspect in international communications.
The tale keeps this day as fiber optics unfold during the conversation grid that connects houses and places of work, developing large info pipelines and changing copper wires. The booklet concludes with a glance at the various fascinating strength advancements of this know-how.

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They waxed enthusiastic over the 1870s discovery that light made selenium conduct electricity better; the more light, the more readily the material carried current. A single selenium cell could monitor changes in a beam of light. 3 He thought electrical signals from the selenium cells could reproduce an image by controlling brightness of an array of incandescent bulbs. Such a system would be simple to build today, but it was beyond 1880 technology. Selenium cells and incandescent bulbs were new; assembling them in arrays would have been difficult.

If a bundle of fibers is to reproduce an image, the fibers must be arranged in the same pattern on both ends. If the fibers are not aligned, light collected from one spot on the picture ends up somewhere else on the display end, scrambling the image. The fibers also must be small, because the light passing through them is homogenized. Look through a single long thin, bent rod or fiber that covers a printed letter and you see not the black-and-white pattern of the letter, but a gray spot that mixes the black and white.

Bechmann, chief water engineer for Paris, to 18 CITY OF LIGHT the British exhibitions, and he returned to design fountains that stood outside the main entrance, shown in figure 2-2. As in Britain, changing filters colored the light electric arcs cast on the waters. Flood lamps lit the fountains from above. Mirrors and lenses aimed light up jets that spouted vertically, much like earlier fountains. However, Bechmann designed nozzles for horizontal jets with lenses in their middle, so the light emerged in the middle of a hollow cylinder of flowing water, shown in figure 2-3.

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