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Optical Communications

  1. Herwig Kogelnik

Published Online: 15 JUL 2004

DOI: 10.1002/3527600434.eap284.pub2

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

Encyclopedia of Applied Physics

How to Cite

Kogelnik, H. 2004. Optical Communications. Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. .

Author Information

  1. Bell Labs, Holmdel New Jersey, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2004


This article discusses the fundamentals of optical fiber transmission technology and its basic building blocks. It aims to explain the principal characteristics of optical fibers, such as chromatic dispersion, of optical-fiber amplifiers, including the noise they generate, and of semiconductor lasers. Also included is a discussion of optical receivers and their sensitivities, of nonlinear phenomena in optical-fibers, of solitons, and of various transmission network architectures such as passive optical networks (PONs).


  • photonics;
  • lasers;
  • optical fibers;
  • optical-fiber communications;
  • light-wave telecom;
  • broadband transmission;
  • information transport