How the fibre communications revolution began

Bernard Fairchild

Bernard Fairchild measuring thin-film optical waveguide properties

Bernard Fairchild investigating the optical transmission properties of a tight bend in a thin-film waveguide. Note the glass prisms used to couple the light in and out of the film.

2016: Half a Century of Optical Fibre Communications

2016 was the 50th anniversary of the publication that started it all.

Optical Fibre has transformed our world yet is now almost completely ignored.

The reasons?:

  • It is largely hidden (beneath our streets and oceans).
  • No surviving commercial organisation has an interest in promoting the STL history.
  • Few remember just how poor global communications used to be.

Useful Links

For anyone who enjoyed STL

STL Quarter Century Club

For the full story of optical communication see

"City of Light - The Story of Fiber Optics" by Jeff Hecht

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