Understanding Fiber Optics, 5th ed.

by Jeff Hecht



Click Here for my Free PDF Fiber-Optic Glossary from the book


Electronic PDF copies of the 5th edition of Understanding Fiber Optics (published in 2006) are now available from PAYHIP.COM for $9.95. I have reduced the price dramatically to make it affordable and broadly accessible to students and interested readers. This is an experiment, and if you help it succeed, I will retain this approach for the next edition.

If you prefer paper, a print-on demand paperback is available for $39.00 from Amazon and from other sources online including Createspace. It's a hefty 800-page book at a much lower price than the original.

Technical problems in file translation make it impractical to produce an e-reader version of this edition. However, I am working on major revisions for the forthcoming sixth edition, which will be available in e-reader format.

I welcome your comments on this edition, and any suggestions for the upcoming sixth edition. Please send your comments and questions to me at [my_first_name]AT[this domain name] or [my_last_name].[my_first_name]AT gmail.

-- Thanks, Jeff Hecht, August 5, 2015


Widely used as an introductory textbook,for corporate training, and as a self-study guide, Understanding Fiber Optics is written to give the reader an intuitive understanding of fiber-optic technology and its applications, particularly in communications. Now in its fifth edition, published in 2006. More than 100,000 copies have been sold since the first edition appeared in 1987. Each edition has been a careful revision and expansion of coverage.

It opens with three chapters that introduce the reader to fiber optics as a whole, the optical technology behind fiber optics, and the field of telecommunications. Following chapters explain optical fibers and their properties, specialty fibers, cables, light sources, transmitters, receivers, and other important components. Two chapters cover measurements, testing, and troubleshooting. A series of chapters covers system concepts and standards, system design, and telecommunication systems ranging from the global telecommunications network to your local phone network. The final two chapters cover fiber-optic sensors and imaging bundles. Throughout, I concentrate on explaining concepts rather than deriving equations.

The book includes many line drawings that explain basic concepts and equipment. Each chapter has both a multiple-choice quiz and a series of open-ended "Questions to Think About" for readers to test their knowledge. I also include appendices with tables of useful information, formulas, and references. A glossary explains terms and decrypts acronyms. A 16-page index makes it easy to find subjects inside the book, to make it a good reference as well as a good tutorial and textbook. I fuss about these things so students and teachers won't have to waste their time looking for the missing pieces.

Available in PDF form from PAYHIP.com for $9.95.

Available in Print from Amazon.com for $39.00

Table of Contents
1. Introduction to Fiber Optics
2. Fundamentals of Fiber-Optic Components
3. Fundamentals of Communications
4. Types of Optical Fibers
5. Properties of Optical Fibers
6. Fiber Materials, Structure, and Manufacture
7. Specialty Fibers
8. Cabling
9. Light Sources
10. Transmitters
11. Receivers
12. Amplification, Regeneration and Wavelength Conversion
13. Connectors and Splices
14: Couplers and Other Passive Components:
15: Wavelength-Division Multiplexing Optics
16: Optical Switches, Modulators, and Other Active Components
17. Fiber-Optic Measurements
18: Troubleshooting and Test Equipment
19: System and Optical Networking Concepts
20. Fiber System Standards
21: Single-Channel System Design
22: Optical Networking System Design
23: Global Telecommunication Applications
24: Regional and Metro Telecommunications
25: Local Telephone or "Access" Networks
26. Internet Access and Local-Area Networks
27. Video Transmission
28: Mobile Fiber-Optic Communications
29. Fiber-optic Sensors
30. Imaging and Illuminating Fiber Optics

A: Important Constants, Units, Conversion Factors, and Equations
B: Decibels and Equivalent Power Ratios
C. Standard Time-Division Multiplexing Rates
D. ITU Frequencies and Wavelengths for L- and C-bands
E. Laser and Fiber Safety
F. Fiber-Optic Resources

For teachers:

Prentice Hall can supply an instructor's guide for teachers at educational institutions. If you have any trouble obtaining a copy or are involved in corporate training please e-mail me at [my first name][AT]jeffhecht.com.

Suggestions wanted:

Whether you are a teacher, a student, or a self-study reader, I would be delighted to hear your suggestions for improvements. Please e-mail me [my first name][AT]jeffhecht.com.


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I welcome your comments, suggestions and complaints. Please e-mail me at [my first name][AT][this_domain]