The Lost Generation of Fiber Optics

Jeff Hecht

Some engines start the first time; others require several tries. The same thing can happen when new technologies are launched. Fiber-optic imaging was first "invented" in the late 1920s, but a generation was "lost" before the technology was reinvented in the 1950s. Imaging bundles were invented by different people at least five times during the course of those thirty years. The history of fiber optics is a sobering reminder to inventors and scientists alike that a bright idea alone may not be sufficient.

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