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Physics: Fiber Optics Research Paper

1404 words - 6 pages

The Physics of the Fiber Optics & CommunicationThe Communications Industry has ever grown so much. The communications industry is one of the leading forces in the world's economy today. Our lives our filled with sources of communication such as internet, cell phones, telephone, etc. Technology is providing people all over the world with much better ways of communicating than ever before. There becomes an increasing amount of demand to exchange more of everything from messages to movies. This demand for more bandwidth in communications is leading to great changes in our communication industry.So you ask yourself, how can our world be able handle all these form of communications without wires everywhere? The easy answer to this question would be the creation of fiber optics. With the arrival of the fiber-optic network, our world has entered into a new age of communication. Since the earliest times, people have always wanted to send messages to each other over distances using light. This is a branch of physics based on the transmission of light through long strands of transparent material with a high refractive index. If light it admitted at one end of the fiber, it can travel through the fiber extremely fast, with a very low loss, even if the fiber is curved. Optical communications systems have the capability of carrying thousands of telephone calls or television programs simultaneously, which is just one of their superior aspects in comparison to our current systems. Fiber-optic networks are quicker in transmitting data and make it possible to transmit these data further distances.The fundamentals of digital optical communication are straightforward. To send something as simple as a phone message or as complicated as a picture, we digitize it by breaking it up into a series of binary bits, transmit the bits, and decode them at the other end to re-create the message or picture. The ones or zeroes in the bits are encoded by turning some signal on or off. In the past, the signal has been electrical, but increasingly it is composed of light pulses. We use a laser to produce the light, then add information to it with a modulator, transmit it through optical fibers, amplify it if needed, receive it with a photodetector and re-create the message with a demodulator. An optical signal is better than an electrical one, with less attenuation, faster switching, and more signals traveling together. The physics of this optical communication system involves such fundamental concepts as light scattering, superposition of waves, and optical excitations of electrons in semiconductor crystals and in glasses. Rather than reviewing the complex state of today's optical communications maelstrom, we look at four examples of key components: new optical fibers, light sources, optical amplifiers, and optical switches.Now you say to yourself what do these fiber optics even look like, they must be huge to be able to carry that much amount of information at one time. Well...

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