How Do Fiber Optics Work?


Quick Answer

Fiber optics are thin strands of high-quality glass that carry data over long distances in infrared signals. Each strand is as thick as a human hair and is secured by a thermostatic coating. These fibers are then put together in a single cable that is flexible enough to be installed anywhere without breaking.

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Full Answer

Fiber optics are made by heating preform blanks - portions of a special glass - at a temperature of 3,000 to 4,000 degrees. To ensure a uniform diameter of a single strand, the fiber is monitored by a laser micrometer when being pulled. Optical fibers must be highly reflective in order to relay data over long distances. They are passed through ultraviolet ovens and coating cups to create a mirror effect within the fibers.

Telephone calls and computer data can be turned into infrared signals or light signals and relayed through optical fibers. The fiber optical cable must be connected to two main components of the optic system to transmit data. One component is the optical transmitter, which converts analog and electrical signals into light signals. The other part is the optical receiver, which receives the light signal and turns it into the original form.

This allows easy and effective communication over long distances, as fiber optics carry more information than ordinary cables. They also help to preserve the quality of information over long distances.

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