"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
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.
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)
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