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"Polarized Light in So-called 'Singlemode' Fiber
Not As Simple As You May Think"

Dr. Gregory W. Schinn
EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering, Vanier

Presentation in Ottawa, January 20, 1998

Abstract: Its name notwithstanding, the singlemode optical fiber used today in telecommunications systems is not truly singlemode, inasmuch as it supports the propagation of two, orthogonal polarization modes. These modes propagate at different group velocities along the length of an optical fiber, causing spreading and distortion of the exiting optical signals. We discuss the implications of this polarization mode dispersion, place it in the context of other dispersion mechanisms, and provide rough estimates of its importance in various systems. We also review the physical mechanisms responsible for altering the state of polarization of polarized light propagating in a fiber, explain why polarization maintaining fiber is not really polarization maintaining, as well as point out an interesting link with quantum mechanics.

Speaker's Biography: Gregory W. Schinn is the Scientific Director and Head of the Research Group at EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering in Quebec City. Before arriving at EXFO nearly two years ago, Dr. Schinn spent almost six years at MPB Technologies, where he led the development team for that companys line of fiber lasers and optical amplifiers. These amplifiers and lasers are now being used in a wide variety of telecommunications and scientific applications. Dr. Schinn obtained his B.A.Sc. degree in Engineering Science (Physics option) at the University of Toronto in 1980, followed by a M.A.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering, also at U. of T. He obtained a Ph.D. (Physics) from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1988, specializing in laser and atomic spectroscopy. His postdoctoral work, in atomic spectroscopy, was carried out at the University of Virginia from 1988 - 1990.

EXFO Electro-Optic Engineering Inc

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(Created: March 15, 1998)
Last update / 2003-02-03 / la dernière mise à jour