Learning how fiber optics work
To those of us who are perhaps less familiar with the practical applications of communicating with light, it can seem almost like magic how fiber optics work. Pictures, videos, emails, phone calls and more, traveling through glass fibers as thin as human hair, all at the speed of light. Fiber optics technology is a marvel of human ingenuity, not to mention physics and design, and with it comes high-capacity digital communications for a modern age.
Historically, copper was used to wire homes to telecommunications networks, mostly for the use of telephones. In many ways, copper was suited for voice signal. However, with the advent of the Internet, copper’s time had come. As with all major technological shifts though, especially when there’s infrastructure involved, the change doesn’t happen overnight. Fiber is the infrastructure that will meet our massive and growing digital needs.
If you’re curious about how fiber optics work on a smaller scale (with big implications), read on. This post will cover how optically pure glass strands are used to transmit information as light as compared with copper, that transmits information as electrical signals.