Optical fiber has a variety of other applications. Fiber-optic stress and strain sensors are in common use on structures, bridges, and in monitoring industrial processes. Researchers have developed fiber-optic lasers that are tunable throughout the visible and fiber-optic amplifiers that will further increase capacity in the communications network. Fiber-optic endoscopes allow doctors to perform non-invasive internal examinations, and fiber-optic chemical sensors allow researchers to monitor pollution levels remotely.
Fiber-optic technology is continually improving and growing more and more an invisible part of our daily lives. In 1854, when John Tyndall demonstrated light guided in a curved path by a parabolic stream of water, he could never have guessed at the ramifications of his discovery. By the same token, we can only guess what applications will be found for optical fiber in the future.
Sterling, D. Technician's Guide to Fiber Optics (AMP). Albany, NY: Delmar Publishers Inc., 1987.
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