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Fiber Optics: the Super Highway of Information

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Submitted By alphiux
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Fiber Optics: The Super Highway of Information

We live in an information age. Broadband is the foundation of economic growth and telecommunications is making its mark in all parts of the world. It is what enables the internet that drives e-commerce, education and universal access to information. Rapidly increasing communication density in this growing field and the ever increasing information flow is resulting in massive expansion in worldwide networks. The need for quick and reliable transmission and retrieval of ever increasing volumes of information over great distances is getting more and more important every day. This paper explains the history, the fiber optic theory, and the future of worldwide fiber optics networks already in progress. One would normally think that fiber optics is relatively new to this century, but looking back in history, there are many concepts which lead to the creation of fiber optics. The transition to optics concurred with the conversion from analog to digital transmission in the telephone network and with the growing necessity of computer data transmission.
Long before fiber optics was first discovered, many signals were carried through a copper coaxial cable. Invented by Oliver Heaviside in 1880, copper conductors are used for mostly analog signals, such as high frequency radio waves, cable television signals, and power lines (Nahin 1988). He determined by wrapping an insular layer around a transmission line both improves the quality of the signal and improves the physical strength of the cable. Later that year, he patented the first coaxial cable. In the early day of telephones, the general solution to increasing bandwidth was to simply add more copper cabling. The solution to this at the time was multiplexing. These schemes were applied to the long-haul copper transmission as well as terrestrial microwave systems which were...

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