Optical guided waves
Hall, Dennis G. The Institute of Optics, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York.
- Total internal reflection
- Rays or waves
- Optical waveguides
- Additional Readings
Optical-frequency electromagnetic waves confined within an optical waveguide, a structure designed to carry such waves from one place to another somewhat as a pipe carries water. (The terms optical and light are used here in broadest sense to include visible and near-infrared electromagnetic radiation.) The demonstrations of the first semiconductor laser and the first low-loss glass optical fiber initiated a technological revolution. Because of the high data rates that can be achieved, the transmission of information in the form of optical guided waves confined within an optical-fiber waveguide has become the preferred method for the telecommunications industry. That the semiconductor laser, the source that produces the optical signals, also employs an optical waveguide makes clear the pivotal role played by optical guided waves in modern communications technology.
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