Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
n. (used with sing. verb)
1. The science or technology of light transmission through very fine, flexible glass or plastic fibers.
2. A cable or network of cables containing optical fibers.
fi′ber-op′tic, fi′ber·op′tic (fī′bər-ŏp′tĭk) adj.
the technology of sending computer data, video and voice signals, etc., through laser-generated light carried in bundles of ultrapure, transparent fiber (optical fiber) whose refraction properties allow the light to be transmitted around curves.
The technology based on the use of fine glass or plastic fibers that are capable of transmitting light around curves. Fiber optics is used in medicine and for long-distance telephone and computer lines.
Did You Know? In an optical fiber, a beam of light travels within a thin strand of glass or plastic. The light stays within the strand, even if the strand is curved or twisted. That's because the materials the optical fiber is made of—and the way in which the light is aimed into the fiber—are chosen so that when the light beam reaches the strand's outer edge it reflects back into the strand, rather than escaping through the wall. Generally, when a beam of light traveling in one material strikes the boundary of another, some light travels through the boundary and some is reflected back into the original material. But if the speed of light in the material the beam starts out in (the glass) is lower than the speed of light in the other material (the air or insulating material surrounding the fiber), and if the light strikes the boundary of the other material at a shallow enough angle, then all of the light is reflected and none escapes.
The use and study of light transmission through fine, flexible glass and plastic tubes.