A fiber is normally considered to be to a small (approximately 0.025mm - 1.0 mm), optically conductive structure, often consisting of nothing more than a cylindrical core glass of a high refractive index surrounded by a tubular cladding glass with a lower index. The boundary interface between the core and the clad acts as a mirror to photons hitting it up to a certain angle determined by the refractive indices of the core/clad combination. The complete envelopment of the cylindrical core by the cladding -- the fused, intimate contact of the two --effectively confines and conducts these photons by reflection along the fiber's length, similar to nearly frictionless, spherical bullets traveling down the interior of a smooth tube by undergoing a series of grazing ricochets.




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