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Investigating Attenuation In Optical Fibres Essay

2875 words - 12 pages

PlanAimMy aim is to investigate the factors which affect the attenuation of infrared radiation in an optical fibre modelled by transparent jelly. I will determine how the length and width of the jelly affect how the radiation is attenuated. The loss of the intensity of the infrared radiation is represented by the amount of voltage across the infrared detector. If the intensity of the radiation is high, then the voltage across the infrared detector will also be high.Apparatus (before pilot experiments)Infrared transmitter and detectorRuler / vernier callipersKnifeMultimeter (Wires x 2Bunsen burnerPlastic containerTripod and gauzeGlass rodClear gelatine powder2 x 250cm3 beakersMatchesPower packPilot experimentsI carried out a series of pilot experiments in order to determine the range of lengths and widths that I will be investigating. I also needed to find the correct proportions of the gelatine powder and water to use for the jelly to be firm and consistent.Modifications made during pilot experimentsI found that using 400cm3 of water and 1 sachet of gelatine left the jelly to runny to be used in the experiment. I therefore used 500ml of water and 2 ½ sachets of gelatine (44.25g).I found that there was a potential difference across the infrared detector even when the infrared emitter was switched off. The IR radiation being picked up is from the immediate environment of the detector. Whilst carrying out my experiment it would pose a huge problem to allow any background radiation to reach the IR detector.When I vary the dimensions of the jelly, I could obtain anomalous results. For example, if the length of the jelly were shortened, the voltage across the infrared detector should increase to a certain value. However, if there is a change in the environment (e.g. it is sunnier), this would increase the amount of background IR radiation, and the voltage would be greater than it should be.In order to work out the intensity of radiation reaching the detector from the emitter, it is not adequate enough to take away the value of the voltage caused by background radiation. This is because the infrared radiation in the room will be constantly fluctuating, due to fluctuations in the temperature, or due to the amount of body heat emitted. Therefore, one of the problems I face is to create a constant environment for the experiment, where changes in the environment will not affect the voltage across the infrared detector. One way I have devised is to set up the jelly and the IR detector and emitter, and cover them in a long cardboard box. The voltmeter will be outside the box so that the voltage can be read. The cardboard box will help shield against temperature fluctuations etc.Apparatus (modified)Infrared emitter and detectorVernier calliperKnifeMultimeterWires x 2Plastic containerGlass rodClear gelatine powder (106.2g)2 x 250cm3 beakers12V power packHot water kettleModificationsWithout the box the background radiation voltage fluctuated around 121.3...

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