How Fiber Optics Work: Total Internal Reflection
Total internal reflection is what happens when light enters a new medium, or material, at an angle larger than a critical angle. A critical angle is when the incident angle, or the angle at which light hits the new medium, which is less than 90° where some light travels through and some like is reflected.
Total internal reflection explains how fiber optics work. Optical fibers are cables or fibers made of strands of transparent glass that can be thinner than a human hair! They’re used to transfer light from one end of the fiber to the other (which can be thousands of miles away). The light transmissions that occur can carry a huge amount of information and data at near-instantaneous speeds, and are responsible for carrying much of the information on the Internet.
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