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Here's an alphabetical glossary of fiber optic terms. You can search the list using the alphabetical index below.
Absorption: That portion of fiber optic attenuation resulting of conversion of optical power to heat.
Analog: Signals that are continually changing, as opposed to being digitally encoded.
Attenuation Coefficient: Characteristic of the attenuation of an optical fiber per unit length, in dB/km.
Attenuation: The reduction in optical power as it passes along a fiber, usually expressed in decibels (dB). See optical loss.
Attenuator: A device that reduces signal power in a fiber optic link by inducing loss.
Average power: The average over time of a modulated signal.
Back reflection, optical return loss: Light reflected from the cleaved or polished end of a fiber caused by the difference of refractive indices of air and glass. Typically 4% of the incident light. Expressed in dB relative to incident power.
Backscattering: The scattering of light in a fiber back toward the source, used to make OTDR measurements. Bandwidth: The range of signal frequencies or bit rate within which a fiber optic component, link or network will operate.
Bending loss, microbending loss: Loss in fiber caused by stress on the fiber bent around a restrictive radius. Bit-error rate (BER): The fraction of data bits transmitted that are received in error.
Bit: An electrical or optical pulse that carries information.
Buffer: A protective coating applied directly on the fiber.
Cable: One or more fibers enclosed in protective coverings and strength members.
Cable Plant, Fiber Optic: The combination of fiber optic cable sections, connectors and splices forming the optical path between two terminal devices.