Optical Fibre UPSC NOTE

 What is an optical fibre?

  • Optical fibres are made of thin cylindrical strands of glass. 

  • The diameter of a typical fibre is close to the diameter of a human hair

  • These fibres can carry information, such as text, images, videos, telephone calls.

  • Also carries anything that can be encoded as digital information, across large distances almost at the speed of light.

  • Ultra-thin fibres seem very fragile. 

  • But when manufactured correctly as a long thread surrounded by protectives, they serve the purpose in a durable way. 

  • They are strong, light, and flexible, and ideal to be buried underground, drawn underwater, or bent around a spool

  • Almost 60 years ago, physicist Charles Kao suggested that glass fibres could be a superior medium for telecommunication, replacing the copper wires of the time. 

  • For his ground-breaking achievements concerning fibre optic communication, Dr. Kao received a part of the 2009 Nobel Prize in physics.

  • The refractive index is the property of a medium that determines how fast light can travel in it.

  • When a beam travels in the reverse direction, that is from glass to air, it’s possible that it won’t enter the air

  • Instead, it will be completely reflected back within the glass

  • This phenomenon, known as total internal reflection.

  • This is the basis of guiding light across long distances without a significant loss of optical power

  • A fibre optic communication system consists of three parts,

  1. A transmitter which encodes information into optical signals (in the form of rapidly blinking light pulses of zeros and ones).

  2.  An optical fibre that carries the signal to its destination.

  3. A receiver which reproduces the information from the encoded signal. 

  • Optical waves allow a high data-transmission rate.

  • Fibre cables are insensitive to external perturbations such as lightning and bad weather.

How were fibre optic cables developed?

  • In 1840, Jean-Daniel Colladon at the University of Geneva first demonstrated that light’s propagation can be restricted to a narrow stream of a water jet.

  • Jacques Babinet observed a similar effect in France and extended the idea to bent glass rods.

  • You may have seen such effects in water fountains lit by colourful beams of light

  • Michael Faraday, demonstrated the effect in a water jet at the Royal Society in London in 1854. The effect is also visible in plastic-fibre Christmas trees.

  • We can guide light using total internal reflection with materials that have a higher refractive index than air

  • As Babinet found, a better choice than water is thin glass rods thanks to their availability, durability, and convenience. 

  • In 1954, fibre development made a significant leap forward. 

  • Harold Hopkins and Narinder Singh Kapany at Imperial College London transmitted images using a 75-cm-long bundle of more than 10,000 optical fibres

  • Two years later, Lawrence E. Curtiss at the University of Michigan developed the first glass-clad fibres

  • His idea to coat the bare glass fibres with a cladding material with a low refractive index paved the way for long-distance data transmission. In the same year, Kapany coined the term ‘fibre optics’.

  • In 1960, Theodore Maiman built the first laser an excellent optical source further boosted research in optical communication

  • In 1966, Kao and his colleagues found that the signals were attenuated due to impurities in the glass rather than the light being scattered.


  • In 1971, the American glass-making company Corning Glass Works achieved this value in a finished cable.

  • Nowadays, glass fibres are manufactured using the fibre-drawing technique. 

  • In India, the Fibre Optics Laboratory at the Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, Kolkata, has a facility to manufacture high-quality silica-based optical fibres.

  •  Today’s optical fibres have a typical loss of less than 0.2 dB/km.


What is the future of fibre cables?

  • Fibre optics technology has since been used in telecommunication, medical science, laser technology, and sensing.

  • With a goal to securing communication and promoting quantum science, the Government of India announced a national mission in the Union Budget of 2020

  • The proposed budget for this ‘National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications’ is ₹8,000 crore over a period of five years. 

  • The possibilities of fibre optic networks are growing at an accelerated rate, reaching all the way into our homes. 



Amritsar,1,Art & Culture,1,August 2023,251,Courses,7,Daily Current Affairs,48,December 2023,189,Disaster Management,2,Environment and Ecology,54,February 2024,188,Foundation Course,1,GDP,1,GEMS Club,1,GEMS Plus,1,Geography,67,Govt Schemes,2,GST,1,History,2,Home,3,IAS Booklist,1,Important News,71,Indian Economy,46,Indian History,2,Indian Polity,56,International Organisation,12,International Relations,58,Invasive Plant,1,January 2024,240,July 2023,281,June 2022,6,June 2023,268,May 2022,17,Mentorship,2,November 2023,169,October 2023,203,Places in News,2,Science & Technology,66,September 2023,205,UPSC CSE,111,
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Optical Fibre UPSC NOTE
Optical Fibre UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy Table of Content