Narinder Singh Kapany: The unheralded "Father of Fiber Optics"

Narinder Singh Kapany, the unheralded "Father of Fiber Optics," is known for his work on fiber optics, which are pulsating with light-speed data.

ANI | Updated: 05-06-2023 16:41 IST | Created: 05-06-2023 16:41 IST
Narinder Singh Kapany: The unheralded "Father of Fiber Optics"
Physicist Narinder Singh Kapany (Image Credit: Twitter/@SinghLions). Image Credit: ANI
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In this progressive world, our lives have completely become dependent on the internet. But ever wonder what made these interactions seamless and smooth: it's all because of fibre optics, which are pulsating with light-speed data and the man behind this technology is Narinder Singh Kapany, Khalsa Vox reported. Narinder Singh Kapany, the unheralded "Father of Fiber Optics," was born in India. Kapany fell in love with Physics while growing up and to pursue that, he studied at Agra University and Imperial College London.

While exploring solutions for transmitting light through a flexible medium - a necessity in the field of endoscopy - Kapany discovered a unique method using the principle of total internal reflection. This principle is what allows light to be transmitted through fiber optics. In simple terms, when light hits a medium like glass at an angle greater than a specific "critical" angle, instead of refracting or bending out of the medium, it reflects back into it. This phenomenon results in multiple consecutive reflections down the length of the medium, allowing the light to travel even if the medium is bent or curved.

Harnessing this principle, Kapany designed the "Fiberscope," a flexible device lined with multiple optical fibres, each transmitting light to its end like a solitary pixel. But while working on his invention, Kapany found many problems which were later solved by physicist Charles K. Kao, who afterwards won the Nobel Prize for this discovery, according to Khalsa Vox. In Kapnay's work, the light signal at the end of the fibre optic tube was not as precise as it should be when done from over a long distance. The reason for this inconsistency was later discovered by physicist Charles K. Kao, who attributed it to impurities within the glass fibre that absorbed and scattered the light and hence he received the Nobel Prize.

A visionary in his field, Kapany also proved himself a successful entrepreneur. In 1960, he founded Optics Technology Inc., serving as its Chairman, President, and Director of Research for over a decade. His efforts did not go entirely unrecognized. Fortune hailed him as one of the seven "Unsung Heroes of the 20th century", a nod to his Nobel Prize-worthy contribution. Narinder Singh Kapany passed away on December 4, 2020, and was posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian honour, in 2021. Although his name might not be as well-known as other technological pioneers, his revolutionary work continues to light our path, literally, in the Information Age. As we enjoy the rapid exchange of ideas and information made possible by the speed of light, let us remember and honour this unsung hero of modern technology, reported Khalsa Vox. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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