Fiber-optic publications aid communications professionals

For those accustomed to working with electrical and electronic equipment, the world of fiber optics may appear somewhat mysterious. If you know enough about electrons but want to find out more about photons, here are three books that may help.

For those accustomed to working with electrical and electronic equipment, the world of fiber optics may appear somewhat mysterious. If you know enough about electrons but want to find out more about photons, here are three books that may help.

An Introduction to Fiber Optics is a short book (173 pages) that nevertheless quickly gets into the nitty-gritty of optical fiber. Following an introductory chapter, this hardcover, published in 1997, discusses the physics of light and its propagation, the different types of optical fibers and light sources, and other fiber-optic equipment, such as detectors, splicers, and connectors. The book also covers fiber-optic communications and concludes with a chapter on testing. Well-illustrated with charts, tables, and line drawings, the book also has appendices and a glossary. Chapter reviews and bibliographies end each chapter. Authored by R. Allen Shotwell of Ivy Tech State College, the volume is intended to be a textbook covering theoretical as well as practical information. Some knowledge of mathematics will help you understand it more fully. For more information, contact Prentice-Hall Inc. (Upper Saddle River, NJ), tel: (201) 592-2863, fax: (201) 592-2259.

Those with a good understanding of electronics might want to consult another volume from academic publisher Prentice-Hall, Fiber Optics, Second Edition (1993). By Robert J. Hoss and Edward A. Lacy, this 290-page hardcover focuses on lightwave communications, covering the fundamentals of fiber optics, light sources and transmitters, optical fibers, splices, connectors, couplers, detectors, and receivers. A section on system design and architecture is followed by a chapter on installation and testing. With a glossary, index, and chapter-end references, the textbook is illustrated with line drawings, photos, graphs, tables, and schematics. Again, some knowledge of mathematics will be helpful, as will a basic understanding of electronics. For more information, contact Prentice-Hall.

Academic publisher McGraw-Hill (New York) has published a textbook on installing optical fiber. Fiber Optic Installations: A Practical Guide (1996), by Bob Chomycz, professional engineer, is a 234-page hardcover with glossary, appendices, and index. Following brief introductory chapters on the basics, the book examines optical fiber, fiber cable, patch cords, and connectors. Of a more practical bent than the other books looked at here, it also deals with procurement, safety, handling, and installation. There are chapters on testing using power meters and optical time-domain reflectometers. Splicing and termination, indoor and outdoor installations, and acceptance testing are also covered. Following chapters on active fiber-optic equipment and system integration is a section about maintenance, repair, record-keeping, personnel, troubleshooting, and design fundamentals. Illustrated with line drawings and photos, the book assumes a knowledge of calculus. For more information, contact McGraw-Hill, 11 West 19th St., New York, NY 10011, tel: (800) 262-4729.

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