optical fiber

Fiber optic strands

optical fibre – a flexible, transparent fibre made of glass (silica) or plastic, slightly thicker than a human hair. It functions as a waveguide, or “ light pipe”, to transmit light between the two ends of the fibre.

  • The field of applied science and engineering concerned with the design and application of optical fibers is known as fibre optics.

Optical fibers are widely used in fibre-optic communications, which permits transmission over longer distances and at higher bandwidths (data rates) than other forms of communication. Fibers are used instead of metal wires because signals travel along them with less loss and are also immune to electromagnetic interference.

Fibers are also used for illumination, and are wrapped in bundles so that they may be used to carry images, thus allowing viewing in confined spaces. Specially designed fibers are used for a variety of other applications, including sensors and fibre lasers.

  • Oxide glass: alumina 90% + germanium oxide (GeO2) 10%. Extremely clear glass, used for fiber-optic wave guides in communication networks. Light loses only 5% of its intensity through 1 km of glass fibre.


  • alternating current – At frequencies greater than 200 GHz, waveguide dimensions become impractically small, and the ohmic losses in the waveguide walls become large. Instead, fibre optics, which are a form of dielectric waveguides, can be used. For such frequencies, the concepts of voltages and currents are no longer used.

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