fiber optics cable

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Fiber Optics Cable

Copper was once hailed as the ultimate solution to cabling needs until the invention of fiber optics. Almost all gadget and modern equipment are connected using coaxial copper wire. With the advent of fiber optics technology, coaxial copper cable has finally found a competitor.

Fiber optics cable has been around for many years. It has provided a better way of data transmission compared to the old coaxial copper cable counterpart. There are advantages in using fiber optics cable. It is lighter than the metal-based cables. It can transmit data over a longer range as compared to the metal cable. Fiber optics cable can also transmit data even when the cable is twisted slightly. Fiber optic cable can be submerged in water, because it does not carry electric energy unlike the copper cable that carry electric current, thus making it impossible to be submerged in water.

The disadvantage of using fiber optic cable is that it is difficult to splice, this makes harder to connect the cables, unlike the metal cable that splicing is very easy and connecting is easer too. Fiber optics cable tends to be more expensive as compared to the coaxial copper cable.

A fiber optic cable is composed of hairlike thin strands of glass fiber, however there is also fiber optics made from plastic material. Each strand is composed of a core, cladding and buffer coating. The core is the inside passage of light waves containing data. The light that passes through the core travels in a zigzag like manner. This is because light refracts from one angle to the other, or what is commonly known as the total internal refraction.

The middle layer of the fiber is the cladding. It wraps around the core while protecting the light from escaping. The cladding is incapable of absorbing the light, which helps contain the light only in the core. However there are instances wherein light absorbed is lesser than expected. This is due to the impurities of the glass used in the making of the fiber optics. In order to minimize the amount of light escaping from the core, a dopant is used, a kind of elemental substance, that can amplify the amount of light as it traverses to the whole length of the fiber optics. The last layer of the fiber optics is the buffer coating, which protects the cladding and the core.

Fiber optic cable is widely used in the telecommunications industry. Gradually this cabling material is slowly putting the use of coaxial copper cable to rest.

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