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Photons and fibres: the new world of communications

Photons and fibres: the new world of communications
Photons and fibres: the new world of communications
Introduction:

It gives me very great pleasure to present this Royal Academy of Engineering address on Information Technology to the British Association for the Advancement of Science. I also gave a lecture on information Technology - although the subject was not referred to in that way at the time - when the BA meeting was last held in Southampton, in August 1964. In that lecture I speculated on the possible use of glass fibres and laser light as replacements for copper wire and electric currents in the telephone network. This was a very speculative idea at the time and I was rather taken to task by the Director of Research of the then Post Office Research station (now British Telecom Research Laboratories) who was in the audience. He asked some detailed practical questions which at that very formative stage of "blue sky" thinking it was not possible to answer.

In my address today, 28 years later, I shall describe how developments in optical fibre communication, whilst slow initially, have become spectacular. The objective of replacing copper cables in the telephone network, and elsewhere, by optical glass fibres is well under way and now anyone making other than a local call is likely to be speaking through a glass fibre and using laser light, whether the call is to the next town, or to the continent, USA, Japan, Australia and so on. A remarkable revolution is well underway. This is very satisfying to me, particularly as I was told on several occasions in the early days that the idea was unrealistic and misguided.
Gambling, W.A.
70d15b3d-eaf7-44ed-9120-7ae47ba68324
Gambling, W.A.
70d15b3d-eaf7-44ed-9120-7ae47ba68324

Gambling, W.A. (1992) Photons and fibres: the new world of communications. Royal Academy of Engineering Lecture delivered at the Science Festival 1992 organised by the British Association for the Advancement of Science, United Kingdom. 01 Jan 1992. 17 pp .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

Introduction:

It gives me very great pleasure to present this Royal Academy of Engineering address on Information Technology to the British Association for the Advancement of Science. I also gave a lecture on information Technology - although the subject was not referred to in that way at the time - when the BA meeting was last held in Southampton, in August 1964. In that lecture I speculated on the possible use of glass fibres and laser light as replacements for copper wire and electric currents in the telephone network. This was a very speculative idea at the time and I was rather taken to task by the Director of Research of the then Post Office Research station (now British Telecom Research Laboratories) who was in the audience. He asked some detailed practical questions which at that very formative stage of "blue sky" thinking it was not possible to answer.

In my address today, 28 years later, I shall describe how developments in optical fibre communication, whilst slow initially, have become spectacular. The objective of replacing copper cables in the telephone network, and elsewhere, by optical glass fibres is well under way and now anyone making other than a local call is likely to be speaking through a glass fibre and using laser light, whether the call is to the next town, or to the continent, USA, Japan, Australia and so on. A remarkable revolution is well underway. This is very satisfying to me, particularly as I was told on several occasions in the early days that the idea was unrealistic and misguided.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 1992
Venue - Dates: Royal Academy of Engineering Lecture delivered at the Science Festival 1992 organised by the British Association for the Advancement of Science, United Kingdom, 1992-01-01 - 1992-01-01
Organisations: Optoelectronics Research Centre

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 393691
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/393691
PURE UUID: 3112aaeb-bcdd-4767-9e52-79d1b5f3c918

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Date deposited: 30 Jun 2016 13:49
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 19:06

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