Fibre optics manufacturing

Fibre optics manufacturing

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Credit: PATRICK LANDMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fibre optics manufacturing. Treated glass rod being used to produce optical fibres. The rod is suspended in a 30-metre-high drawing tower, where the tip of the rod is heated and drawn out to form the thin wire of an optical fibre. Careful control of the tension allows the width of the resultant fibre to be precisely maintained. The initial rod (2 metres long and several centimetres wide) will be used to produce 300 kilometres of optical fibres. 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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