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Wireless Optical Telecommunications by Olivier Bouchet

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Chapter 2

History of Optical Telecommunications

I have heard a ray of the sun laugh and cough and sing”1884, Alexander Graham Bell,Inventor of the photophone and probably the phone,Patent 235.496 from 12/14/1880

2.1. Some definitions

2.1.1. Communicate

The verb “communicate” appeared in the French language around 1370. It was derived from the Latin communicare meaning “to share, import”. The idea became enriched as a result of the meaning of the Latin cum (with) and municus (burden).

With this idea of sharing, the word first got a sense of participation in something. It lost the right to be in mutual relationship, in communion with someone. From the 16th Century, the word experienced a new extension in its meaning “transmit” (communicate news, spread disease, share a sense). It is also used in physics, “communicate the heat”.

2.1.2. Telecommunication

The definition of the word “telecommunication” adopted during the 1947 International Radiotelegraphic Conference held at Atlantic City (USA) is:

any transmission, emission or reception of signs, signals, writings, images, sounds or information of any nature by wire, radioelectricity, optics or other electromagnetic systems.

The means of transmission must be of the electromagnetic type, which gives a very wide scope, since, as Maxwell showed, electromagnetic waves include electricity and optics.

2.1.3. Optical telecommunication

This involves any transmission, emission, or reception of visual signs and optical signals on guided ...

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