Fiber Optic Cables: What Are They and How Do They Work?
Imagine a world without long-distance communication, where the transmission of data between different countries and across oceans is impossible. Without fiber optic cables, which serve as an important tool to help connect our world, such a reality would exist. To learn more about fiber optic cables in regard to what they are and how they work, continue reading.
What are fiber optic cables?
A fiber optic cable is a type of cable that is capable of transmitting data across substantial distances at the speed of light. It is composed of a bundle of several hundred or even thousands of optical fibers. Such fibers are the width of a single strand of hair and have a core of ultra-pure glass, which is typically silicon dioxide as well as an outside layer of cladding, which is also commonly made of silicon dioxide. However, the outside layer typically has bits of boron or germanium that cause it to have a lower index of reflection than the core.
How fiber optic cables work
Fiber optic cables transmit data by bouncing photons of light repeatedly off their walls and allowing them to travel through their core. The design of the fiber optic cables prevents light from leaking out as it travels over long distances.
When light hits the glass core of a fiber optic cable at an angle of less than 42 degrees, it is reflected back again in a phenomenon known as total internal reflection. This phenomenon and the cladding, which has a lower refractive index, serve to keep the light signals inside the core as it travels down the cable.
Because fibers typically facilitate longer transmission distances, provide a greater bandwidth, and are immune to electrical interference, they are commonly viewed as the ideal transmission medium. As such, they are rapidly replacing older copper cables in a wide variety of different applications.
If you’re interested in connecting your network switches to fiber optic cables, it is imperative to get the right fiber model. There are several different types of fiber optic cables that vary based on ease of installation, cost, fiber protection, and several other factors.
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