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Historical Introduction

  • W. B. Allan
Chapter
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Part of the Optical Physics and Engineering book series (OPEG)

Abstract

The field of fibre optics concerns itself with the guidance of light by multiple reflections along channels formed from glass or plastic. The reflection process which is invariably employed is that of total internal reflection at a dielectric interface, and the first recorded observation of this principle was by John Tyndall1 in 1854, who, in a lecture to the Royal Institution in London, “... permitted water to spout from a tube, the light on reaching the limiting surface of air and water was totally reflected and seemed to be washed downwards by the descending liquid ...”. In this case, the dielectric interface was formed between water and air, the air being the material of lower refractive index.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Company Ltd 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. B. Allan
    • 1
  1. 1.Ministry of DefenceSevenoaks, KentUK

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