Historical Introduction

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


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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    J. Tyndall, Proc, Roy. Instn. 1, 446 (1854)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. L. Baird, Brit. Appl. 20,969/27, Brit. Patent 285,738 (1927)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    C. W. Hansell, US Patent 1,751,584(1930)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    H. Lamm, Z. Instrumentenk. 50, 579 (1930)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    A. C. S. van Heel, Nature 173, 39 (1954)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    H. H. Hopkins and N. S. Kapany, Nature 173, 39 (1954)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    B. I. Hirschowitz, L. E. Curtiss, C. W. Peters and H. M. Pollard, Gastroenterology 35, 50(1958)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    N. S. Kapany, J. Opt. Soc. Am 49, 779 (1959)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    A. C. Revi, Glass Industry 38, 328 (1957)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    E. Snitzer, J. Appl. Phys. 32, 36 (1961)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    T. Uchida, M. Furukawa, I. Kitano, K. Kojzumi and H. Matsumara, Paper presented at the IEEE/Opt. Soc. Am. Joint Conf. Laser Eng. Appl., May 1969, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  12. 1.
    Ballantine, J. and W. Allan. Fibre Optics, Science J. 1, 73–9 (1965).Google Scholar
  13. 2.
    Coleman, K. R., Practical Aspects of Fibre Optics, Instn. Elect. Engrs. Conf. Rep. Ser., No. 5, 363(1963).Google Scholar
  14. 3.
    Cope, J. D., and H. E. Brown, Fibre Optics Applications and Fabrication Techniques, S.P.I.E. Journal 6, 6–8 (1967).Google Scholar
  15. 4.
    Courtney-Pratt, J. S., Some Unconventional Methods of High Speed Photography, In: Intern. Congr. High Speed Phot. Proc. 5th, Washington D.C., 1960. 1962, p. 197–226.Google Scholar
  16. 5.
    Drougard, R., and R. J. Potter, Fibre Optics, In: Advanced Optical Techniques, (A. C. S. van Heel, Ed.) Amsterdam, North Holland Publishing Co., 1967, pp. 399–433.Google Scholar
  17. 6.
    Fuller W. D., Optoelectronics-New Technology for Product Designers, In: IEEE-Product Eng. & Production Group Conf., Proc. 8th, 1964, p. 38–46.Google Scholar
  18. 7.
    Gallagher, T. J., Fibre Optics — A New Tool for Industry, IEEE Trans. Industr. Electronics, IE 10, 57–61 (1963).Google Scholar
  19. 8.
    Hansell, C. W., Picture Transmission, U.S. Patent 1,751,584 (1930).Google Scholar
  20. 9.
    Harvard University, Graduate School of Business Management, Fibre Optics, Management Reports 1964.Google Scholar
  21. 10.
    Hicks, J. W., and P. Kiritsy, Fiber Optics, Glass Industry, 43, 193–6 (1967).Google Scholar
  22. 11.
    Hopkins, R. E., and R. J. Potter, Fiber Optics, In: Symposium on Cinefluorography, Proc. 1st, University of Rochester, 1958, p. 228–43.Google Scholar
  23. 12.
    Kapany, N. S., Electro-Optical Systems Using Fibre Optics, Optica Acta 7, 201–17 (1960).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 13.
    Kapany, N. S., Fiber Optics, Sci. American 203, 72–81 (Nov. 1960).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 14.
    Kapany, N. S., Fiber Optics and the Laser, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 122 615–37, (1965).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 15.
    Kapany, N. S., Role of FiberOptics in Photography, Japan. J. Appl.Phys. 4, Suppl. 1, 312–22(1965).Google Scholar
  27. 16.
    Kapany, N. S., Role of Fibre Optics in Ultra-High-Speed Photography, J. Soc. Motion Picture and Television Engrs. 71, 75–81 (1962).Google Scholar
  28. 17.
    Krolak, L. J., W. P. Siegmund, and R. G. Neuhauser, Fibre Optics A New Tool In Electronics, J. Soc. Motion Picture and Television Engrs. 69, 705–10 (1960).Google Scholar
  29. 18.
    Krolak, L. J., Fiber Optics and Its Use in Electro-Optical Devices, In: Light and Heat Sensing (H. J. Merrill, Ed.) 6th AGARD Avionics Panel Meeting, Paris, 1962. London, Pergamon Press, 1963, p. 297–310.Google Scholar
  30. 19.
    Novotny, G. V., Fiber Optics for Electronics Engineers, In: Optoelectronic Devices and Circuits (S. Weber, Ed.) New York, McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1964, p. 9–14.Google Scholar
  31. 20.
    O’Brien, B., Physics in the Optical Industry, Physics Today 13, 52–6 (Jan., 1960).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 21.
    Progress Report on Fiber Optics Technology, Ilium. Eng., 60, 24–7 (1965).Google Scholar
  33. 22.
    Siegmund, W. P., Fiber Optics, In: Applied Optics and Optical Engineering, Vol. 4, (R. Kingslake, Ed.) New York, Academic Press, 1967, p. 1–29.Google Scholar
  34. 23.
    Siegmund. W. P., Fiber Optics, Glass Industry, 41, 502–4 (1961).Google Scholar
  35. 24.
    Siegmund W. P., Fiber Optics — Principles, Properties and Design Considerations, In: Light and Heat Sensing (H. J. Merrill, Ed) 6th AGARD Avionics Panel Meeting, Paris, 1962. London, Pergamon Press, 1963, p. 265–96.Google Scholar
  36. 25.
    Siegmund W. P., Unconventional Fiber Optics, In: Image Intensifier Symposium, Proc., 2nd. For Belvoir, Va., 1961, p. 159–66.Google Scholar
  37. 26.
    Snitzer, E., Some Properties of Fiber Optics and Lasers, In: Optical Processing of Information (D. K. Pollack et al., Eds.) Baltimore, Spartan Books, 1963, p. 61–73.Google Scholar
  38. 27.
    Tiedeken, R., New Optical Design Units and Their Possible Applications in Photo, Cine and Television Engineering, Bild un Ton. 20, 2–7 (1967).Google Scholar
  39. 28.
    Veinberg, V. B., Fiber Optics in the USSR, Optiko-Mekh. Prom., No. 11,48–51 (1967).Google Scholar
  40. 29.
    Veinberg, V. B., Use of Fiber Optics in Photography, Zh. Nauch. Priklad. Fot Kine. 5, 370–6(1960).Google Scholar
  41. 30.
    Weichel-Moore, E. J., and R. J. Potter, Fibre Optical Properties of Ulexite, Nature 200, 1163–5(1963).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 31.
    Young, A. F. B., and J. G. C. Steel, High-Speed and Ultra- High- Speed Photography in Electrical Engineering, J. Phot. Sci. 5, 112–20 (1957).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Company Ltd 1973

Authors and Affiliations

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

Personalised recommendations