Fiber Optic Glossary : C


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  • C Band
    A range of wavelengths from 1530 to 1565 nm. In this region, erbium-doped amplifiers (EDFAs) have highest gain. See EDFA...
  • Cable
    One or more fibers enclosed in protective coverings and strength members.
  • Cable Assembly
    An optical fiber cable that has connectors installed on one or both ends.
  • Cable Bend Radius
    Cable bend radius during installation infers that the cable is experiencing a tensile load. Free bend infers a lower allowable bend...
  • Cable clamp
    A mechanical device attached to the accessory threads at the rear of a plug or receptacle to support the cable...
  • Cable Jacket
    The outermost protective covering applied over the internal cable elements (i.e., core, cladding, buffer, and strength member).
  • Cable Plant
    The cable plant consists of all the optical elements. For example, fiber, connectors, splices, etc. between a transmitter and a...
  • Cable Television
    Communications system that distributes broadcast and non-broadcast signals as well as a multiplicity of satellite signals, original programming and other...
  • Caching
    An access-driven form of replication. Data is replicated and stored locally as it is referenced; only an initial reference to...
  • Campus Bridge
    Brings a new dimension to internetworking, the ability to link LAN segments to 30 kilometers or more via single mode fiber...
  • Carbon Dioxide Laser
    A gas laser in which the energy-state transitions between vibrational and rotational states of CO2 molecules give emission at long...
  • Carrier Envelope Offset
    The offset between the optical phase and the maximum of the wave envelope of an optical pulse.
  • Carrier Frequency
    The electromagnetic wave frequency selected to transmit information. Optical carrier frequency is from the infrared, visible or ultraviolet spectrum areas (1012...
  • Carrier Injection
    The process whereby light is emitted at the junction of N- and P-type semiconductors when an external electric source is...
  • Carrier Sense Multiple Access With Collision Detection
    1. A technique used to control the transmission channel of a local area network to ensure that there is no conflict...
  • Carrier Signal
    A continuous waveform (usually electrical) whose properties are capable of being modualted or impressed with a second information carrying signal. The...
  • Carrier to Noise Ratio
    The ratio, in decibels, of the level of the carrier to that of the noise in a receiver's IF bandwidth...
  • Carrier to Noise Ratio (CNR)
    The ratio, in decibels, of the level of the carrier to that of the noise in a receiver's IF bandwidth...
  • Cascade Amplification
    In a series of amplifiers, amplification by each of the preceding output.
  • Cascade Tube
    An instrument consisting of a high-voltage vacuum tube used to form hard x-rays or high-speed ion beams. By partitioning the...
  • Catastrophic Failure
    A failure in which the device characteristics change suddenly, generally in less than a second.
  • Catastrophic Optical Damage
    Catastrophic optical damage occurs when the semiconductor in the emission region is melted and recrystallized.
  • Category 5e
    Category 5 (CAT5) cable is a popular twisted pair copper cable. It is used for Ethernet cable applications. Category 5e...
  • Cathode
    A negatively charged electrical element providing electrons for an electrical discharge.
  • CATV
    An abbreviation for Community Antenna Television or cable TV.
  • Causality
    The concept of relating effects to causes, or the compatibility of phenomena with this concept.
  • Cavity
    In a laser, the optical resonator formed by two coaxial mirrors, one totally and one partially reflective, positioned so that...
  • Cavity Dumping
    A Q-switch method that can result in extreme pulse shortening.
  • CCIR
    Abbreviation for Consultative Committee on Radio.
  • CCITT
    Abbreviation for Comite Consulatif International de Telegraphic et Telephonic. An international communications standards. Based in Geneva, Switzerland. Concerned with devising and...
  • CCTV
    Abbreviation for closed-circuit television.An arrangement in which programs are directly transmitted to specific users and not broadcast to the...
  • CD
    Abbreviation for compact disk. Often used to describe high-quality audio, CD-quality audio, or short-wavelength lasers; CD laser.
  • CDMA
    Abbreviation for code-division multiple access. A coding scheme in which multiple channels are independently coded for transmission over a single...
  • Cell
    A fixed-length data packet transmitted in certain digital systems such as ATM.
  • Center Wavelength (Laser)
    1. The nominal value central operating wavelength defined by a peak mode measurement where the effective optical power resides. 2. The...
  • Center Wavelength (LED)
    1. The average of the two wavelengths measured at the half amplitude points of the power spectrum. 2. The wavelength of...
  • Central Member
    The center component of a cable. It serves as an antibuckling element to resist temperature-induced stresses. Sometimes serves as a strength...
  • Central Office
    1. The place where communications common carriers terminate customer lines and locate switching equipment that interconnects those lines. 2. The places...
  • Central Office (CO)
    A common carrier switching office in which users' lines terminate. The nerve center of a communications system.
  • Centro Symmetrical Reflective Optics
    An optical technique in which a concave mirror is used to control coupling of light from one fiber optic cable...
  • Ceramic Gain Media
    Laser gain media which have a ceramic microscopic structure.
  • CGA
    Abbreviation for color graphics adapter. A low-resolution color standard for computer monitors.
  • Chalcogenide Glass
    An infrared-transmitting material used in optical fibers for applications in the wavelength region from 2 to 11 µm.
  • Channel
    1. A communications path or the signal sent over a channel. Through multiplexing several channels, voice channels can be transmitted over...
  • Channel Capacity
    Maximum number of channels that a cable system can carry simultaneously.
  • Channel Coding
    Data encoding and error correction techniques used to protect the integrity of data. Typically used in channels with high bit...
  • Channel Density
    The number of channels per unit bandwidth handled by a single optical fiber.
  • Channel Electron Multiplier
    A photoelectric detector consisting of a glass tube internally coated with a low conductance material. Voltage applied along the tube...
  • Channel Impedance
    The parallel resistance and capacitance appearing between the active guard ring junctions in a silicon photodiode.
  • Channel Markers
    A/B markers easily identify the TX and RX connector on each end of a fiber optic cable assembly. These channel...
  • Channel Spacing
    The amount of bandwidth allocated per channel.
  • Channel Substrate Planar Growth
    The creation of a diode laser structure by liquid-phase epitaxy over a grooved substrate.
  • Characteristic Angle
    The angle at which a given mode propagates down an optical fiber.
  • Chelate Laser
    A laser having a rare-earth chelate within a plastic host as the lasing material. The chelate laser is easily pumped...
  • Chemical Laser
    A laser that relies on chemical activity instead of electrical energy to produce the pumping action necessary to form pulses...
  • Chemiluminescence
    Luminescence arising from chemical reactions.
  • Chirp
    In laser diodes, the shift of the laser's center wavelength during single pulse durations due to laser instability.
  • Chirped Pulse
    A pulse in which the wavelength changes during the duration of the pulse.
  • Chirped Pulse Amplification Laser
    A laser whose pulses are expanded, using gratings and optical fibers, before amplification and compressed to increase beam intensity without...
  • Chromatic Bandwidth
    The inverse of the Chromatic Dispersion.
  • Chromatic Dispersion
    The temporal spreading of a pulse in an optical waveguide caused by the wavelength dependence of the velocities of...
  • Chromium Doped Gain Media
    Laser gain media doped with chromium ions.
  • Circuit
    Originally a physical connection that transmits electricity or signals. Now also a communication channel that guarantees a fixed transmission...
  • Circuit Switching
    Making temporary physical or virtual connections between two points, which guarantees a fixed transmission capacity.
  • Circular Birefringence
    The optical phenomenon in which right circularly polarized light transmitted by an active medium travels at a different velocity than...
  • Circular Dichroism
    The optical phenomenon in which planar polarization is converted to elliptical polarization when plane-polarized light traverses an active medium.
  • Circulator
    Passive three-port devices that couple light from Port 1 to 2 and Port 2 to 3 and have high isolation...
  • Cladding
    The low-refractive-index material that surrounds the core of an optical fiber to contain core light while protecting against surface contaminant...
  • Cladding Diameter
    In the cross section of a realizable optical fiber, ideally circular, but in practice assumed to a first approximation to...
  • Cladding Glass
    The glass that is found around the glass core of a fiber, and that has a lower refractive index that...
  • Cladding Mode
    An undesired mode that is confined to the cladding of an optical fiber by virtue of the fact that the...
  • Cladding Mode Stripper
    A mechanism or device, especially a coating with a refractive index equal to or slightly greater that that of an...
  • Cladding Ray
    A ray that is reflected into the core of an optical fiber from the outer surface of the cladding.
  • Classification Duration
    For a laser, the maximum exposure time that the laser design allows.
  • Cleave
    The process of scoring and breaking the optical fiber end in order to terminate a connector. Also known as...
  • Cleaving
    The process of separating an optical fiber by a controlled fracture of the glass, for the purpose of obtaining a fiber...
  • CLEO
    An acronym for Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics.
  • Clock
    1. An electronic component that emits consistent signals, like a metronome, that paces a computer's operations. 2. An oscillator-generated signal that...
  • Clustering
    The tendency of laser-active ions in laser gain media to form clusters in their host medium.
  • Cm
    Abbreviation for centimeter. Approximately 0.4 inches.
  • CMOS
    Abbreviation for complementary metal oxide semiconductor. A family of IC's.Particularly useful for low-speed or low-power applications.
  • CMTS
    Abbreviation for cable modem termination system.
  • CNR
    Abbreviation for Carrier-to-Noise Ratio. The ratio, in decibels, of the level of the carrier to that of the noise in...
  • Coadding
    A method of improving the signal-to-noise ratio of an interferogram by adding another interferogram to it.
  • Coarse Wavelength division Multiplexing (CWDM)
    CWDM allows eight or fewer channels to be stacked in the 1550 nm region of optical fiber, the C-Band.
  • Coated Optics
    Optical elements having refracting or reflecting surfaces that have been coated with one or more layers of dielectric or metallic...
  • Coating
    A material put on a fiber during the drawing process to protect it from the environment.
  • Coax
    An abbreviation for coaxial cable.
  • Coaxial contact
    A contact with two conductive surfaces – a center contact and a surrounding coaxial sleeve.
  • Code
    A specific way of using symbols and rules to represent information.
  • Coder
    Digital information transformed into pulses of electricity, digitized as ones and zeros with no errors.
  • Coherence
    A term describing light as waves which are in phase in both time and space. Monochromaticity and low divergence are two...
  • Coherence Length
    That length over which energy in two separate waves remains constant. With respect to a laser, the greatest distance between...
  • Coherence Time
    A measure of temporal coherence, expressed as the time over which the field correlation decays.
  • Coherent Bundle
    See aligned bundle.
  • Coherent Bundle of Fibers
    Fibers packaged together in a bundle so they retain a fixed arrangement at the two ends and can transmit an...
  • Coherent Communications
    In fiber optics, a communication system where the output of a local laser oscillator is mixed optically with a received...
  • Coherent Light
    This is light of which all parameters are predictable and correlated at any point into time or space, particularly over an...
  • Coherent Radiation
    Radiation composed of wave trains vibrating in phase with each other. Simply expressed: parallel rays of light.
  • Coherent States
    A special kind of pure quantum-mechanical states.

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