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What is Optical Fiber? Structure, Working and Applications

What is Optical Fiber? Structure, Working and Applications


Light travels along straight lines. But by exploiting total internal reflection, the light can also be sent virtually along the lightning path. 

For example, it is possible to send light rays from one place to another through optical fibers made of bent glass, quartz, plastic, or fiber, by repeated total internal reflection.

What is Optical Fiber? Structure, Working and Applications

Just as water can be sent from one place to another with the help of pipes, light rays can also be sent from one place to another with the help of fibers. For this reason, the fiber is commonly known as light pipe.

Structure and Working of Optical Fiber

Optical fibers are long and very narrow tube-like. Their diameter is about 10 × 10⁻⁶m. The inner part of this tube is called the core. This core carries light from one place to another.

The core is coated with a material having a lower refractive index than the core. This coating

is called Cladding. When a beam of light is incident on one end of a fiber, the light beam enters the fiber through that end.

What is Optical Fiber? Structure, Working and Applications

Then, the light beam is fully reflected from the interface of the core and cladding to remain in the cladding and exits the other end of the fiber. Since the light is completely reflected inside the fiber, the intensity of the light is reduced.

A large object cannot be reflected by a single fiber. In that case, a bundle of fiber or cable of fiber is used. A single wire can have about 1000 fibers. The reflection of an object is focused at one end of the fiber bundle.

Uses of Optical Fibers

Currently, optical fibers are used in various ways in the medical field and communication systems.

(i) Cameras made of fiber bundles are used to see the parts of the human body that cannot be seen directly. It is used to see the inside of blood vessels, lungs, and other hollow body organs without surgery.


(ii) Diagnosis often requires a collection of samples from internal parts of the human body. Optical fibers are used in this work. 

Also, this fiber is used to perform surgery on the inner part of the body. As a result, the outer part of the body does not need to be enlarged in many cases.

(iii) These fibers are used to send high-powered laser beams inside the body for treatment.

(iv) Fiber is used to send signals from a place to a long distance. This signal is mainly a digital signal. The signal carries information that is used in telephone, TV, fax, computer, etc. equipment. Also, it is possible to send different digital signals through the same fiber at the same time.

Advantages of Using Optical Fiber

Low Signal Loss: Optical fibers maintain signal integrity over long distances, minimizing signal loss significantly.

High Bandwidth: These fibers can transmit a vast amount of data simultaneously, accommodating the increasing demands of modern digital communication.

Electromagnetic Resilience: Fiber optics are very resilient to electromagnetic interference, ensuring stable signal transmission even in electrically noisy environments.

Lightweight and Flexible: Optical fibers are lightweight and highly flexible, making them suitable for various installations and applications.

Secure Communication: Fiber optic signals are challenging to intercept, enhancing the security of data transmission.


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