Fiber optics refers to the field of applied science and engineering which is related to the design and application of optical fibers. The first ‘fiber optics’ was invented by Narinder Singh Kapany in 1956.
Narinder Singh Kapany is an Indian- born Sikh physicist. He is widely recognised as the “Father of Fiber Optics”. He was named and considered among one of the seven ‘Unsung Heroes’ in the ‘Businessmen of the Century’ issue by Fortune. Kapany is a prominent entrepreneur, research scholar, philanthropist and art collector. He is a former IOFS officer. He is an expert in the practices of innovation and the management of technology and technology transfer.
Inventor of fiber optics
The man who invented the fiber optics, Narinder Singh Kapany was Chairman of the Board, President, and Director of Research for twelve years at Optics Technology Inc., which he had founded in 1960. The company went public after 1967. In 1973, he founded Kaptron Inc. and he sold the company to AMP Incorporated in 1990. Then he became and remained an AMP fellow for the next nine years, where he served as Chief Technologist for Global Communications Business. Of late he has set up K2 Optronics.
Kapany has taught and supervised research activity of postgraduate students in India and abroad. As a research scholar, he has published more than 100 scientific papers and four books on opto- electronics and entrepreneurship. His article on fiber optics in Scientific American in 1960 recognised the term "fiber optics”.
Fiber optics or also known as optical fiber is the medium and the technology associated with the transmission of information when light pulses along a glass or plastic strand or fiber. A fiber optic cable may comprise several different glass fibers. There is a layer of glass that surrounds the glass fiber core, it is called cladding. A buffer tube covers the cladding. It is more like a jacket layer which is designed to act as the final protective layer for every individual strand.
In this modern-age, science has advanced to such a degree that more and more new inventions are taking place almost every day. These progressive and innovative inventions have reshaped and revolutionized our world drastically. Kapany has brought about a major development with the introduction of fiber optics. The fiber-optic communication has created a special place among these new inventions. In this rapidly globalising world, it has fundamentally facilitated and steered the fiber- optic communication working which has brought about a revolutionary change today.
With the introduction of fiber optics, there has been a radical shift in the traditional industry to an information-empowered society. The man behind this cutting-edge technology Dr. Narinder Singh Kapany is one of the most notable personalities of today. He has transformed and modernised the way information is communicated and transmitted in every sphere of life.
It is because of Kapany’s ground breaking work that the world is enjoying high speed communication systems and radical medical procedures such as endoscopy, spectroscopy, laser surgeries to name a few.