Not all optical fibers are alike. Several different types, made for different applications, guide light in different ways. This chapter describes the basic concepts behind standard fibers, concentrating on fiber design and light guiding. It is closely linked to the chapters that follow. Chapter 5 describes the important properties of optical fibers. Chapter 6 covers fiber materials, structures, and manufacturing, which play a vital role in determining fiber properties. Chapter 7 covers specialty fibers used in amplifiers, wavelength selection, and applications other than merely guiding light.
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