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Question

Explain optical fiber and uses of an optical fiber.


Solution

Optical fibers are used to transmit light beams over large distances. The schematic diagram of an optical fiber is given below:

Optical fibers are actually two coaxial layers of transparent media, the inner one having higher optical density than outer. When a beam is passed through the fiber, it keeps getting internally reflected till it reaches the destination as shown in the figure.
Below are some of the uses of optical fiber cables:
Communication - Telephone transmission method uses fiber-optic cables. Optical fibers transmit energy in the form of light pulses. The technology is similar to that of the coaxial cable, except that the optical fibers can handle tens of thousands of conversations simultaneously.
Medical uses - Optical fibers are well suited for medical use. They can be made in extremely thin, flexible strands for insertion into the blood vessels, lungs, and other hollow parts of the body. Optical fibers are used in a number of instruments that enable doctors to view internal body parts without having to perform surgery.
Simple uses - The simplest application of optical fibers is the transmission of light to locations otherwise hard to reach. Also, bundles of several thousand very thin fibers assembled precisely side by side and optically polished at their ends, can be used to transmit images.

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