Fiber optics is the science of transmitting data, voice, and images by the passage of light through thin, transparent fibers. Fiber optics (optical fibers) are long, thin strands of very pure glass about the diameter of a human hair.

They are arranged in bundles called optical cables that carry information between two places using entirely optical (light-based) technology.

This experiment demonstrates how these tiny strands of glass transmit light!

The Experiment

The LED key chain provides you with a high intensity light (photon) source to send a signal down the fiber optic cable. The cable in this kit is actually a plastic cable made from polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA), more commonly known as Plexiglas or Lucite. This particular cable is commonly used for architectural lighting and for this experiment will make it much easier for you to see the light transmitted.

Place the LED lens tightly against the end of the cable where the fibers are flush with the black protective coating. Turn on your LED light source and observe the other end of the cable where the fiber strands are exposed. You will notice that the light is transmitted out the ends of the fibers, but if you look from the side you will observe little or no light.

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