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Chemistry LibreTexts

Signal Transmission


  • Lasers are used in communications to encode digital signals for transmission along an optical fiber in a manner similar to electrical transmission of binary data on a metal wire.
  • Laser signal transmission is central to modern telephone, ethernet and digital TV communications.
  • Lasers provide the power necessary to transmit signals long distances around the globe.
  • The narrow bandwidth attainable by lasers allows for signal transmission through optical fiber using multiple wavelengths. Each wavelength provides a channel for data transmission, and narrow laser bandwidths allow for a greater number of channels by enabling channels to be packed closely on a fiber.
  • Diode lasersd,e are key to communication systems, as they can be designed to transmit at narrow bandwidth and at photon energies that span a range of wavelengths within the optical fiber transmission windowa,b,c.

Telecommunications References

  1. H.J.R. Dutton, Understanding Optical Communications, IBM Report SG24-5230-00, 1998,
  4. D. Sands, Diode Lasers, lOP Publishing, 2005.