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Optical fibres: the best electromagnetic waveguides ever

Optical fibres: the best electromagnetic waveguides ever
Optical fibres: the best electromagnetic waveguides ever
The publication by Kao and Hockham in 1965 of what has become accepted as the first serious analysis of the prospects for optical fibre communications had on its first page “Solving the Maxwell equations under the boundary conditions imposed by the physical structure….”, followed by the famous expressions for the optical modes in a cylindrical geometry and the observation that the lowest order HE11 mode in a fibre had no cut-off. Since that time, mode control in optical fibres has been key to optical fibre development, be it limiting the modal diffusion (coupling) in multimode fibres, to minimising bend or microbend losses, or to controlling the ‘modality’ and modal instability in high-power lasers operating at kilowatt levels.

The progress of optical fibres is charted over the decades through understanding the guidance conditions set out by Maxwell, or their ‘weakly-guiding’ simplifications. Particular examples are at the two extremes of fibre performance, the 0.146 dB/km of today’s ULL (ultra-low loss) fibres and the remarkable kWatt power handling ability of large core fibres. The prospects for new air core fibres with very different guidance mechanisms than that analysed by Kao and Hockham will be examined and some predictions for the future will be made.
Payne, David
4f592b24-707f-456e-b2c6-8a6f750e296d
Payne, David
4f592b24-707f-456e-b2c6-8a6f750e296d

Payne, David (2015) Optical fibres: the best electromagnetic waveguides ever. Royal Society Discussion meeting on Maxwell, London, UK. 16 - 17 Nov 2015.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

The publication by Kao and Hockham in 1965 of what has become accepted as the first serious analysis of the prospects for optical fibre communications had on its first page “Solving the Maxwell equations under the boundary conditions imposed by the physical structure….”, followed by the famous expressions for the optical modes in a cylindrical geometry and the observation that the lowest order HE11 mode in a fibre had no cut-off. Since that time, mode control in optical fibres has been key to optical fibre development, be it limiting the modal diffusion (coupling) in multimode fibres, to minimising bend or microbend losses, or to controlling the ‘modality’ and modal instability in high-power lasers operating at kilowatt levels.

The progress of optical fibres is charted over the decades through understanding the guidance conditions set out by Maxwell, or their ‘weakly-guiding’ simplifications. Particular examples are at the two extremes of fibre performance, the 0.146 dB/km of today’s ULL (ultra-low loss) fibres and the remarkable kWatt power handling ability of large core fibres. The prospects for new air core fibres with very different guidance mechanisms than that analysed by Kao and Hockham will be examined and some predictions for the future will be made.

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More information

Published date: 16 November 2015
Additional Information: Keynote talk
Venue - Dates: Royal Society Discussion meeting on Maxwell, London, UK, 2015-11-16 - 2015-11-17

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 415180
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/415180
PURE UUID: 420856ce-c0fb-4a11-b12a-4a65674753ac

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 Nov 2017 17:30
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 19:18

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