Fibre optics manufacturing

Fibre optics manufacturing

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Credit: PATRICK LANDMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fibre optics manufacturing. Worker watching with protective glasses as a hollow tube of glass is treated to produce optical fibres. The tube is being rotated on a lathe, and injected with silicon or germanium tetrachloride gases. A hydrogen flame (centre right) brings the temperature to 2173 degrees Celsius, causing a silicon or germanium oxide deposit (very pure glass) to form on the inside of the tube. The tube will later be stretched out to produce the finished optical fibre. Optical fibres are thin glass wires, and consist of a glass core and an outer glass cladding. Total internal reflection of light at the core/cladding boundary allows data to be transmitted over long distances with little information loss. Photographed in France.

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