Fiber Optic Trivia

Fiber optic communications has been around so long that we don’t think much about how it got started and developed into the powerful communications systems of today. Let’s test your knowledge of fiber optics history (and give you some trivia to impress your colleagues with).

1. Charles Kao won a Nobel Prize for his 1966 concept of how low-loss, single-mode fiber could be used for communication. What company was he working for when he developed this idea?

Correct Answer: ITT Standard Telecommunications Laboratories

2. The gist of Kao’s concept was ______ the fiber’s glass core to reduce the attenuation.

Correct Answer: Removing impurities in

3. The practical manufacturing process for glass optical fiber was developed at Corning, using a process to purify sand used in the glass-making process.

Correct Answer: False

4. The lasers needed for transmitters in a fiber optic link were developed by ______ and ______ around the same time.

Correct Answer: AT&T Bell Labs
Correct Answer: Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute, Leningrad

5. The first field trials of optical fiber communications systems occurred in the same year in the United States by AT&T and GTE and in the United Kingdom by the British Post Office. What year was that?

Correct Answer: 1977

6. The first commercial fiber optic backbones were installed in the early 1980s using ______ fiber optic system technology.

Correct Answer: Multimode with 850 nm transmission

7. Fiber optics for long-distance telecom boomed following the development of ______ in the mid-1980s.

Correct Answer: All of the above

8. The first sporting event that used fiber optics to carry broadcast TV signals was in 1980 at the ______ .

Correct Answer: Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y.

9. In 1984, Raytheon developed the FOG-M, a fiber-optic guided missile that was controlled over an optical fiber payed out from a bobbin of fiber in the missile.

Correct Answer: True

10. While it took more than 75 years to install a transatlantic copper cable for telecom, the first fiber optic cable across the Atlantic Ocean—TAT-8—was laid in ______, just a few years following cables on land.

Correct Answer: 1988