Fiber-optic books and services by Jeff Hecht


Understanding Fiber Optics (Prentice Hall)

Widely used as an introductory textbook, for corporate training, and as a self-study guide, this book gives the reader an intuitive understanding of fiber optics. It covers the whole field, emphasizing communication applications, explaining concepts rather than deriving equations. It includes many illustrations and problems.

The fourth edition expands the coverage of optical networking and wavelength-division multiplexing and tries to keep up with the fast-moving field. Check the table of contents to see what the fourth edition contains, or order direct from

For teachers:

Prentice Hall can supply an instructor's guide for teachers at educational institutions. A new version for the fourth edition should be available over the summer. If you have any trouble obtaining a copy or are involved in corporate training please e-mail me directly.

Suggestions wanted:

Whether you are a teacher, a student, or a self-study reader, I would be delighted to hear your suggestions for improvements. Please e-mail me.

Video Course on Fiber Optics

I have prepared a pair of 5-hour video courses based on Understanding Fiber Optics, which is being distributed by SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering. For details, please see the SPIE Web site.

City of Light: The Story of Fiber Optics (Oxford, 1999)

History can be fascinating and educational. I can't promise that reading about the history of fiber optics will bring a horde of venture capitalists to your door bearing money, but you will learn what made the technology so successful -- as well as hearing some fun stories. City of Light, part of the Sloan Technology Series, was published in Spring 1999 by Oxford University Press. It tells how the technology developed from early demonstrations of light guiding in flowing jets of water, through instruments that allow physicians to look inside the stomach without surgery, to the communication fibers that provide the backbone of today's global telecommunication network. There are tales of bright ideas, hard work, disappointment, and triumph. The cast ranges from the college undergraduate who made a key breakthrough to eminent professors of physics and independent-minded entrepreneurs.


In the 25 years I have been involved with fiber optics, I have developed expertise in the technology, its applications, development trends, and history. Fiber-optic communication started on a small scale, with a handful of people around the world pursuing a dream. Today it's the backbone of the global telecommunications network. If you want to learn more about the field and where it's going, I will be glad to discuss how I can help you. Please e-mail me.

I specialize in technology, not company performance or stock ratings. I believe fiber to the home is the future of broadband communications, but I do not have a crystal ball to tell you when it will come to your home, or what companies will make a zillion dollars in that business. I don't offer stock tips.

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