City of light : the story of fiber optics

Jeff Hecht

Fiber optic technology is revolutionizing telecommunications and thus our lives. Networks of opitcal fibers have spread around the world, opening the door to the possibility of a new information age, and spurring telephone and cable television companies into a billion-dollar race for control over the next generation of services and equipment. The story of this technology is fascinating complex, and largely untold. Hecht tells this story, from its beginning in 19th-century attempts to guide light, for purposes of illuminating the insides of the human body, to today's mysterious, ubiquitous communications technologies. We hear the crucial conversation in 1951 that led to the realization that optical fibers might conduct light if coated with a layer of transparent material. Hecht also describes the medical technologies developed in the 1960's, which allowed doctors to see inside patients' stomachs and better understand gastric disorders. And we learn of the race to develop fiber-optic technology that could control the laser, the brilliant concentrated beam that captured the imagination of the physics community. This history is meticulously detailed from beginning to end, allowing for explorations of experiments that now seem strange and even humorous, but nonetheless illuminate the origins of the technology. We get the whole story, including the huge range of contributing characters, accidents, and revolutionary ideas. The book is infused with the spirit of fascination and fun, and the reader will enjoy the story for its own sake, as well for the historical picture it provides of a technology on which we all depend.

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  • 1. Introduction: Building a City of Light
  • 2. Guiding Light and Luminous Fountains
  • 3. Fibers of Glass
  • 4. The Quest for Remote Viewing: Television and the Legacy of Sword Swallowers
  • 5. A Critical Insight: The Birth of the Clad Optical Fiber
  • 6. 99 Percent Perspiration: The Birth of an Industry
  • 7. A Vision of the Futue: Communicating with Light
  • 8. The Laser Stimulates the Emission of New Ideas
  • 9. "The Only Thing Left is Optical Fibers"
  • 10. Trying to Sell a Dream
  • 11. Breakthrough: The Clearest Glass in the World
  • 12. Recipes for Grains of Salt: The Semiconductor Laser
  • 13. A Demonstration for the Queen
  • 14. Three Generations in Five Years
  • 15. Submarine Cables: "The Ocean Floor Will Be Covered with Glass"
  • 16. The Last Mile: An Elusive Vision
  • 17. Reflections on the City of Light
  • Appendix A: Dramatis Personae: Cast of Characters
  • Appendix B: A Fiber-Optic Technology

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書名 City of light : the story of fiber optics
著作者等 Hecht, Jeff
シリーズ名 Sloan technology series
出版元 Oxford University Press
刊行年月 1999
ページ数 xii, 316 p., [12] p. of plates
大きさ 25 cm
ISBN 0195108183
NCID BA45307826
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言語 英語
出版国 アメリカ合衆国