What are Fiber Optics?

Fiber optic is a thin, flexible glass cable used to transfer light.
What are fiber optics used for?
Including but not limited to the transfer of data (for things like viewing this web post)  at the speed of light.
Data can also include voice (telephone) and video (cable television).
Light is sent at one end and at the other end the light is read.
Fiber-optic media is one of the core components of most networks, used often between building segments, between different floors, between buildings, and long distances between cities, states and countries.
Fiber optics are used for the backbone of most wireless networks including cellular telephones. The backbone of the Internet is fiber-optic cabling.
Fiber optics were first used and still used for a scope to look down a persons throat.
Fiber optics can also be used as lighting.  Light is traveled without electrical wiring. Any light source can be used including the sun, LED or laser.
Advantages of Fiber optics:

  • Speed.
  • Distance
  • No radio, electrical, or magnetic interference
  • No wire tapping into the actual cabling
  • No transfer of electrical surges: reduces chance of damage from a lightning strike
  • Multiple uses which allows less (telephone, cable) lines to go into a building.

Dangers of Fiber-optic Cabling:

  • During the installation of fiber-optic cabling, utility lines may be broke. Years ago, in St. Cloud MN  this caused a gas line break which caused an explosion taking out a city block. Fiber optics that need to be dug should only be done by utility professionals. Call before you dig in MN 811 web http://www.gopherstateonecall.org/
  • Touching the glass of a fiber optic cable can cause very bad slivers or cuts.
  • Fiber optics can can cause blind spots from the light that travels from them.
  • Dangers from the equipment used with the cabling.
  • Certain cable coating can be dangerous when melted.


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