How fiber-optics works

Fiber Optic Cable - A fiber-optic cable consist of highly thin rods of glass or plastic known as optical fibers; a cable can have at least two rods or as much as hundreds or more. Each rod is smaller than a tenth of thickness of human hair and can carry around 25,000 telephone calls, so one fiber-optic cable can comfortably carry million of calls or more.

Fiber-optic cables move data between two or more places making use of only optical (light-based) technology. If you want to send information from your  pc to a friend's pc across the street using fiber optic cable. You can connect your pc to a laser, which will convert information from your computer into a number of light pulses. After moving along the cable, the light beams will emerge at the other end. Your friend will require a photoelectric cell (light-detecting component) that converts the pulses of light back into electrical pulses his or her computer could read. So the whole setup would be like a cool, hi-tech version of a mini telephone network.


How fiber-optics works

Light moves along a fiber-optic cable by bouncing continuously off the walls. Each particle of light bounces down along the cable like a bobsleigh moving down the ice run. You may think that a beam of light, moving in a clear glass pipe, would just leak out of the edges. But if light strikes glass at a really small angle (smaller than 42 degrees), it is bounced back in again—as if the glass was a mirror. This process is known as total internal reflection,  which is one of the reasons that makes the light stay within the cable.

The other reason that makes the light stay in the cable is its structure, made up of two different sections. The main section of the cable—in the centre—is known as the core and that's the part light moves through. Wrapped around the outer side of the core is different layer of glass known as the cladding. The cladding's role is to make the light signals stay within the core. It can perform this role because it is made of a type of glass different from that of the core.


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How fiber-optics works
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