Optical Fibers for Communication

A new transmission medium is about to emerge as a competitor to copper media in many communications applications. It is the optical fiber, 100 μm or so in diameter and made principally of silica, one of the most abundant materials on earth. When suitably engineered, optical-fiber cables may be used in a variety of applications where twisted copper- wire pairs, coaxial cables, and metallic waveguides are now used for the transmission of information; these applications range from short data links and equipment interconnections within a building to long telecommunications trunk circuits connecting switching offices within a city or between cities.

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