Exploring Light Transmission with Lasers & Optical Fibers

In summary, the conversation discusses the use of a laser beam with optical fiber and why it is not possible with a white light source. The reason is that we need lights with a single wavelength, and different types of fibers such as single mode, multimode, and light guides have different restrictions on the waveband. The technical issues of coupling light into a fiber are also mentioned, and a coherent source is preferred for high-speed digital transfer. Finally, it is easier to couple light into a fiber with efficiency using a laser source compared to other types of sources.
  • #1
chickenlittle
3
0
Why is it that we are able to use a laser beam with optical fiber but not with a white light source?
 
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  • #2
We need lights with monowavelength
 
  • #3
I'm not sure what you mean- I couple a halogen light and a Mercury arc lamp into a fiber on my microscope.

There are many kinds of fibers- single mode, multimode, light guides, bandgap, polarization-maintaining, etc. etc. etc.

A single-mode fiber is what most people associate with "optical fiber", and single-mode means a single transverse mode, which restricts the waveband. Multimode fibers can support a much broader waveband range, light guides (what I use with the halogen bulb/arc lamp) are not much more than "light pipes", and photonic bandgap fiber is really cool.

There's some technical issues with how to couple the light into a fiber, but it's sort of possible to couple nearly any source to any fiber- what light actually propogates down the fiber will depend on the fiber.
 
  • #4
Thank you pixel01 and Andy Resnick. I understand better now :)
 
  • #5
Welcome to PF, Chickenlittle.
I have to assume here that you're referring to information transmission. Any kind of light will propogate through an optical fibre, as you can easily see by looking at a fibre optic lamp. A modulated source is needed for any sort of information transfer. You can transmit Morse code just by turning a light bulb on and off. For the complexity of high-speed digital transfer, a coherent source is more readily controllable and more accurate.
 
  • #6
It is also much easier to couple light into a fibre (with efficiency) using a laser source that it is with using other types of sources.

Claude.
 

Related to Exploring Light Transmission with Lasers & Optical Fibers

1. What is light transmission?

Light transmission refers to the process of light traveling through a medium, such as air or a material, without being absorbed or scattered. In the context of lasers and optical fibers, it specifically refers to the transfer of light energy through these technologies.

2. How do lasers work?

Lasers work by producing a concentrated beam of light through the process of stimulated emission. This involves exciting atoms or molecules in a material to a higher energy state, causing them to emit photons in a specific wavelength. These photons then bounce back and forth between two mirrors before being released as a highly focused and coherent beam of light.

3. What are optical fibers?

Optical fibers are thin, flexible strands of glass or plastic that are used to transmit light signals over long distances. They work by guiding light through total internal reflection, where the light bounces off the walls of the fiber instead of escaping, allowing it to travel long distances without significant loss of energy.

4. What are the applications of exploring light transmission with lasers and optical fibers?

Exploring light transmission with lasers and optical fibers has numerous practical applications, including telecommunications, medicine, manufacturing, and research. Lasers are used for precise cutting and welding, as well as in surgeries and medical procedures. Optical fibers are used for high-speed internet connections, medical imaging, and sensing technologies.

5. Are there any potential dangers associated with lasers and optical fibers?

Yes, there are potential dangers associated with lasers and optical fibers. High-powered lasers can cause eye injuries and skin burns if not used properly. Additionally, fibers with damaged or broken ends can release small fragments of glass or plastic, which can be harmful if ingested or inhaled. It is important to handle and use these technologies with caution and follow safety protocols.

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