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Optical fibres: the next generation

Optical fibres: the next generation
Optical fibres: the next generation
The great success of optical fibres in telecommunications has generated numerous applications in a number of related fields, such as sensing, biophotonics and high-power lasers. The topic remains extraordinarily buoyant and new materials, structure and applications emerge unabated. The talk will review recent developments and explore future possibilities.

Following in the footsteps of Marconi and the revolution of wireless, the internet is perhaps the most important and life-changing invention of the 20th century. It too required the invention of a new global communication medium capable of carrying vast quantities of information across trans-oceanic distances, reliably, cheaply and efficiently. This turned out to be the unpredictable, unlikely and extraordinary role of optical fibres made from the two most common elements of the earth’s crust, silicon and oxygen (silica).

In recognition of the huge impact of his invention, Charles Kao was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2009, while Charles Townes, who provided the laser, was similarly honoured in 1964.

As with all new and disruptive concepts, the optical internet has proven a rich source of innovation, from the optical amplifier that compensates for losses in long spans of fibre, through new forms of digital communications appropriate to light as a carrier, to new materials and lasers. Perhaps even to quantum technologies for the future.

But is the innovation over? The demand for capacity continues unabated, fueled by demand for faster connections and a new age of creativity at home – You Tube, Twitter, Facebook – as well as an insatiable demand for high quality videos. You Tube alone consumes more bandwidth today than the entire internet in year 2000 and projections show that a capacity crunch looms in both the internet optical backbone and the wireless final drop in the next decade or so. Yet we are still on the first hardware iteration of the optical infrastructure, so is there an internet 2.0? And was Charles Kao right in his choice of silica for the transmission medium? Or will the hollow-core fibre that uses vacuum supercede it?
Payne, David
4f592b24-707f-456e-b2c6-8a6f750e296d
Payne, David
4f592b24-707f-456e-b2c6-8a6f750e296d

Payne, David (2017) Optical fibres: the next generation. 6th OASIS International Conference and Exhibition on Optics and Electro-Optics. 27 - 28 Feb 2017.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

The great success of optical fibres in telecommunications has generated numerous applications in a number of related fields, such as sensing, biophotonics and high-power lasers. The topic remains extraordinarily buoyant and new materials, structure and applications emerge unabated. The talk will review recent developments and explore future possibilities.

Following in the footsteps of Marconi and the revolution of wireless, the internet is perhaps the most important and life-changing invention of the 20th century. It too required the invention of a new global communication medium capable of carrying vast quantities of information across trans-oceanic distances, reliably, cheaply and efficiently. This turned out to be the unpredictable, unlikely and extraordinary role of optical fibres made from the two most common elements of the earth’s crust, silicon and oxygen (silica).

In recognition of the huge impact of his invention, Charles Kao was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2009, while Charles Townes, who provided the laser, was similarly honoured in 1964.

As with all new and disruptive concepts, the optical internet has proven a rich source of innovation, from the optical amplifier that compensates for losses in long spans of fibre, through new forms of digital communications appropriate to light as a carrier, to new materials and lasers. Perhaps even to quantum technologies for the future.

But is the innovation over? The demand for capacity continues unabated, fueled by demand for faster connections and a new age of creativity at home – You Tube, Twitter, Facebook – as well as an insatiable demand for high quality videos. You Tube alone consumes more bandwidth today than the entire internet in year 2000 and projections show that a capacity crunch looms in both the internet optical backbone and the wireless final drop in the next decade or so. Yet we are still on the first hardware iteration of the optical infrastructure, so is there an internet 2.0? And was Charles Kao right in his choice of silica for the transmission medium? Or will the hollow-core fibre that uses vacuum supercede it?

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More information

Published date: 28 February 2017
Venue - Dates: 6th OASIS International Conference and Exhibition on Optics and Electro-Optics, 2017-02-27 - 2017-02-28

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 415167
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/415167
PURE UUID: ede55071-8e7c-4f65-a87d-c47d89ce9703

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Date deposited: 02 Nov 2017 17:30
Last modified: 29 Jan 2020 16:10

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