Fiber optics, or optical fiber, refers to the medium and the technology associated with the transmission of information as light pulses along a glass or plastic strand or fiber. Fiber-optic lines are strands of optically pure glass as thin as a human hair that carry digital information over long distances. They are also used in medical imaging and mechanical engineering inspection. They are arranged in bundles called optical cables and used to transmit light signals over long distances. Fiber-optic cables carry information between two places using entirely optical (light-based) technology.
Fiber optics transmit data in the form of light particles -- or photons -- that pulse through a fiber optic cable. The glass fiber core and the cladding each have a different refractive index that bends incoming light at a certain angle. When light signals are sent through the fiber optic cable, they reflect off the core and cladding in a series of zig-zag bounces, adhering to a process called total internal reflection.
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