Art as well as Science is required as to know how the fiber optics are made and how they function for different uses in our day today lives. Fiber optic materials are made of those materials that transmit light. Bundles of very slim fibers of plastic or glass are packed into a tube. One end of such a fiber optic is placed at the light source and the other end functions as the lens of a camera.
Light is channeled through these fibers. Not only light but everything associated with light, images for example, also get transmitted from one end of the fiber optic to the other end. Bends and turns in the fibers pose no hindrance in this transmission.
The core of fiber optic materials is made of glass or plastic and it is highly transparent. This core is covered with a covering known as ‘cladding’. When light enters from one end and travels through the length of the fiber optic, this ‘cladding’ does not allow it to scatter outside the material.
The ‘cladding’ reflects all the light from inside the surface of the fiber optic. So, even if a bundle inside the fiber optic is not straight, the image is not affected. Fiber optics are capable of carrying light and other information over a wide range of distance. The distance may vary from a few centimeters to many hundred kilometers.
Fiber optics are primarily of two types. The single-mode fiber optic and the Multi-mode fiber optics.
Single Mode Fiber Optic
It is suitable for transmissions over long distance that happen at tremendous speed. They are capable of this because their core is very small and they have the property of accepting light only in the direction of the axis of the fibers. Small lasers are used to send light into fibers. The fibers are joined with low-loss connectors so that there is very less distortion of the light signal.
Multi Mode Fiber Optic
In multi-mode fiber optic materials the cores are big and they also can accept light from a variety of angles and can also function with a variety of light sources. The connectors that are used within the material are not very expensive. It is done because these fiber optic materials are not meant for long distance transmission.
Usage of Optical Fiber Technology
There are myriad uses of fiber optic materials in the technology savvy world of today. Communication systems use fiber optic materials in abundance and hence are highly superior to those communication systems that use the traditional copper cables. These systems do not need a lot of amplifiers, witness very less electrical interference and have a huge information- bearing capacity.
The messages are transmitted in numeric codes with the help of lasers. The lasers are flashed on and off at extremely high speed. This numeric code can comprise of different types of files like audio, text, numbers, illustrations etc. Fiber optic materials are also used in industries for many types of applications.