Friday, March 6, 2009

Photonics

It is a hi-tech subject that evolved as a result of the fusion of optical technology with electronics. It is the use of light to obtain, convey or process information. It is the science of mastering the techniques involved in the emission, detection, transmission and modulation of light. This sub-discipline of physics deals with the study of photons, the elementary particle of light. It also deals with the instruments required such as laser guns, optical fibers, optometric instruments etc.

In Photonic system, information signals are conveyed as pulses of light and these optical signals are transmitted through optical fibres. Optical fibres are strands of special glass around 10 micron (100┬Ám) in diameter (i.e about the thickness of a human hair) which can carry thousands of times more information than electrical wires. Photonic devices that are used to convert electrical signals into optical signal and back again where necessary, can be made up from a variety of materials including semi conductors and even optical fibres.

In recent years, Photonics has become a fundamental technology in worldwide telecommunication, computing, security and many other applications because of its advantage to work more effectively and with much greater speed. The growing numbers of practical applications of Photonics make it an important field both for research and commercial development.

The technology of Photonics is used for imaging, health care and medicine, defense, optics and electronics. It has a strong reputation of solving research problems through advanced spectroscopy, lasers, microscopy, and fiber optic imaging. Photonics is also put to use in biotechnology, microbiology, medicinal sciences, surgery and life sciences. 

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