Would you believe us if we told you that the concept of fiber optics traces back to the 1790’s? It’s true–what we see today as modern technology is actually centuries old. The scientific history of fiber optics is what led us to the fiber optic cables we use today. Before you really start to look into fiber optics as a technological solution, perhaps you should spend some time reading up on where the concept originated, and how it’s evolved over time. Read on for more!
The Early Days
The French Chappe brothers invented the optical telegraph in the 1790’s. This was essentially a system of communicating between towers; operators would use light as a way to spell out messages. This was the first real step forward regarding fiber optic science. Then, British physicist, John Tyndall, proved that light could be bent through water streams. His findings were what changed how we view fiber optics as a scientific field of study. Since we discovered this, inventors for the next century or so attempted to use this physical property for many purpose. Fiber optic science was used to propose home lighting through glass tubes, and even early telephone designs were done with fiber optics. Thus, the fiber optic industry was kickstarted.
How Fiber Optics Evolved
After the initial surge in interest, fiber optic technology only grew. Soon, it was discovered that fiber optic cables could transmit light, and subsequently, data, with much less interference than a copper cable. Through the 1950’s and beyond, fiber optic technology went into developing lasers, and even the material that comprises neon signs. All this culminated, finally, in 1979 when a fiber optic system was used to transmit telephone signals in Long Beach, California. Since then, the technology has only grown; from telephone lines to internet transmission, fiber optics quietly provide us with nearly all of our technology. And what’s more, the technology will only continue to grow over time! It’s exciting to imagine where fiber optic science will take us next.
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