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Why Fibre Optic Leads Are Good To Use Over Copper Cables

Jun 12, 2008
What are fibre optic leads and what is their purpose? The first hint should indicate that it is a cable used for electrical purposes. However, understandably not everyone will know what these are used for but will most certainly conjure up an image of a cheap fibre optic lamp! Its main importance and attraction is its purpose for guiding light from one end of the cable to the other - with the light source being an LED or laser.

Fibre optic leads used to be expensive and used by people looking for a faster connection. These days, they can be found in retail shops and are cheaper to purchase, though they still hold the same quality in function. In comparison, the copper cables still cost less in the same length and installing special fibre optic connectors remain and expensive process. However, they will provide a higher transmission rate than any other cable because they are made up of glass fibre.

The combination of which makes for a strong transmitting process that can travel down a long range and length. These are by far the most effective form of transmitting data information and are more useful in data centres and large corporations for a speedy data transmission. In terms of making for a good electrical wiring, copper cables are good for simple devices and usages. Fibre optic cables make for a better communication connector.

The main part of the fibre optic leads is light. This is what makes it unique to any other cable, because of its strong capability to transmit this at a fast pace. Furthermore, normal metal wiring are susceptible to electromagnetic interference, whereas fibre optic leads is immune to this and therefore experience much less in losing transmitted information. The light signals are transmitted down the lead through a process called internal reflection; this is why they are so much more efficient in transmitting data.

Optical communication was invented by Claude Chappe in the 1790s, which was based on sending message through human operation. This is the earliest recorded development towards a telephone system. This was soon superseded by the electronic telegraph during the mid-19th century, by the optical telephone known as the photophone. As the decades went by these were used in large ships for signalling, however, this was soon shelved for something more advanced.

However sophisticated the fibre optic leads maybe, they are not a new invention and have been around for over 150 years, since the idea was first demonstrated in the 1840s. Swiss Physicist Daniel Collodon and French Physicist Jacques Babinet conducted these; both had shown that light could travel through water using a fountain display. This sparked a growing number of establishments using this method for better uses of their instrument, thus giving us the wire that we see today.
About the Author
Anna Stenning is an expert on fibre optic leads having worked in a company that sells these.
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