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Fiber Optics Tutorials

Posted on 2014-10-03 as a part of the Photonics Spotlight (available as e-mail newsletter!)

Permanent link: https://www.rp-photonics.com/spotlight_2014_10_03.html

Author: , RP Photonics Consulting GmbH

Abstract: The RP Photonics website contains comprehensive physics-based tutorials on passive fiber optics and fiber amplifiers.

Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta

Today I would simply like to make you aware of some interesting resources on the RP Photonics website. Outside the encyclopedia, we have two comprehensive physics-based tutorials on fiber optics:

  • One is on passive fiber optics. It explains in depth how light is guided in optical fibers and what exactly fiber modes are. The characteristics of single-mode and multimode fibers are discussed. Various other issues such as the handling of fiber ends and joints, propagation losses, polarization issues, chromatic dispersion and nonlinearities in the context of ultrashort pulse (or signal) propagation are also treated carefully.
  • The other one treats fiber amplifiers. It explains how rare earth ions in fibers interact with light, how the optical gain and pump absorption can be calculated and how self consistent solution for the steady-state are found. Also, it discusses amplified spontaneous emission (ASE), issues related to forward and backward pumping, double-clad fibers, the amplification of short and ultrashort pulses and noise issues.

Sure, there are already plenty of fiber optics tutorials available on the Internet. However, I believe we go substantially further than most of these, discussing the underlying physics and depth and with care.

If you agree that these are useful high-quality materials, you are welcome to tell others, for example by linking to these tutorials on your website. If you are preparing a fiber optics course for students at a university, you may find a lot of inspiration from these tutorials.


This article is a posting of the Photonics Spotlight, authored by Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta. You may link to this page and cite it, because its location is permanent. See also the RP Photonics Encyclopedia.

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