Fiber Optic Terms and Definitions

Fiber Optics NOUN (used with a singular verb):

The branch of optics that deals with the transmission of light through transparent fibers, as in the form of pulses for the transmission of data or communications, or through fiber bundles for the transmission of images.

Fiber Optics in Science

Technology based on the use of hair-thin, transparent fibers to transmit light or infrared signals. The fibers are flexible and consist of a core of optically transparent glass or plastic, surrounded by a glass or plastic cladding that reflects the light signals back into the core. Light signals can be modulated to carry almost any other sort of signal, including sounds, electrical signals, and computer data, and a single fiber can carry hundreds of such signals simultaneously, literally at the speed of light. Signals that have weakened after travelling very long distances in the fibers can be optically pumped with lasers, amplifying them without the need to convert them into electrical signals.

Optical fibers are relatively inexpensive to manufacture and install when compared with wire cables, and they require very little power and are easily laid out underground. Optical fibers are also used to transmit images focused on one end to the other end through circuitous paths, as in bronchoscopes and colonoscopes used in medical examinations.

Return loss

In telecommunications, return loss is the loss of power in the signal returned/reflected by a discontinuity in a transmission line or optical fiber. This discontinuity can be a mismatch with the terminating load or with a device inserted in the line. It is usually expressed as a ratio in decibels (dB);

where RL(dB) is the return loss in dB, Pi is the incident power and Pr is the reflected power./

Return loss is related to both standing wave ratio (SWR) and reflection coefficient (Γ). Increasing return loss corresponds to lower SWR. Return loss is a measure of how well devices or lines are matched. A match is good if the return loss is high. A high return loss is desirable and results in a lower insertion loss.

Return loss is used in modern practice in preference to SWR because it has better resolution for small values of reflected wave.

Photonics NOUN [foh-ton-iks] /foʊˈtɒn ɪks/

(used with a singular verb)

1. the study and technology of the use of light for the transmission of information.

Photonics in Science Expand: [fō-tŏn’ĭks]

The scientific study or application of electromagnetic energy whose basic unit is the photon, incorporating optics, laser technology, electrical engineering, materials science, and information storage and processing.

Connector or Connecter NOUN [kuh-nek-ter] /kəˈnɛk tər/

  1. a person or thing that connects.
  2. any of various devices for connecting one object to another.
  3. (formerly) a person who couples railroad cars

Attenuator NOUN [uh-ten-yoo-ey-ter] /əˈtɛn yuˌeɪ tər/

In electronics, a device for decreasing the amplitude of an electronic signal

What is a Cat 5 cable?

Category 5 cable, commonly referred to as Cat 5, is a twisted pair cable for carrying signals. This type of cable is used in structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet.

Short for Category 5 Enhanced, Cat-5e network cabling is used as a cabling infrastructure for 10BASE-T (Ethernet), full duplex 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet) and 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet, or GbE) networks. The Cat 5e standard provides performance of up to 100 MHz and can be used up to a maximum length of 100 meters

What is Cat 6 Cable?

Category 6 cable, commonly referred to as Cat 6, is a standardized twisted pair cable for Ethernet and other network physical layers that is backward compatible with the Category 5/5e and Category 3 cable standards.

What is the difference between a CAT5e and cat6 Ethernet cable?
Cat6A is the newest iteration and utilizes an exceptionally thick plastic casing that helps further reduce crosstalk. The biggest distinguishing difference between Cat6 and Cat6A cables is that Cat6A can maintain 10 Gigabit speeds for the full 328 feet of Ethernet cable

What is a Ethernet Cable?

Answer: Ethernet is a network protocol used to make a network. Though, when most people refer to an ethernet cable what they mean is a Cat 5 or Cat 6 cable (standard network cables) with an RJ45 connector on the end. These are used to connect things like a pc’s / laptop’s / xbox 360’s / ps3’s and many other things to a network to gain access to the internet or other shared resources like printers or applications.

An Ethernet cable, also called a category 5 (Cat 5) cable, carries the broadband signals between your modem, router, computer, and other wired Internet-capable devices. Ethernet cables are capable of accommodating the speeds associated with all levels of Internet service.