The evolution of low loss optical fibres.
Physics and Chemistry of Glasses, 21, .
The possibility of guiding light by a dielectric cylinder has been known for many years and was demonstrated, for example, by the classic experiment of Tyndall using a water jet. However the effect was no more than a scientific curiosity and was not applied with any serious intent until 1951 when Hopkins & Kapany and also van Heel attempted image transmission in short coherent fibre bundles. Nevertheless real progress was not made until the idea of surrounding the light guiding core by a protective cladding was introduced in 1958. Two types of application then emerged, namely the short coherent bundle about 1 cm long in fibre optic faceplates, for example, and the incoherent flexible fibre bundle for use simply as a light conductor over distances of about 1m.
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