WILL & DENI MCINTYRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY WILL & DENI MCINTYRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A bunch of fibre optic filaments. Each filament is less than 1mm in diameter, and is made from a special glass which is flexible and has a high refractive index. Each filament is then coated with a protective layer with a low refractive index. A light beam entering the end of the fibre is completely internally reflected at the cylindrical surface of the core. The light may thus travel along the entire cable with little or no absorption. Fibre optic cables are used in a variety of medical and engineering imaging systems, and for relaying information such as telephone conversations in the form of coded laser signals over great distances.
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