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Handbook of Fiber Optic Data Communication, 4th Edition by Casimer DeCusatis

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Appendix E

Fiber Optic Fundamentals and Laser Safety

A complete description of electromagnetic wave propagation in an optical fiber can be derived from Maxwell’s equations [16]. Since such a treatment is quite complex, instead we will briefly summarize some of the fundamentals of light propagation in single-mode and multimode fibers. For our purposes, it is sufficient to use a scalar wave approximation for single-mode fibers and a ray approximation (assuming the diameter of the light beam is far greater than the wavelength) for multimode fibers. The electric field associated with a harmonically time-varying wave propagating in the z direction with a propagation constant b can be expressed in phasor notation as

where the real part of the right-hand ...

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