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What are Fibrescopes?

11/8/2013 7:56:17 AM | by Anonymous


A fibrescope is basically a fibre optic cable that allows light to flow through in a unique away. The difference between fibrescopes and normal optic fibre cables is that fibre scopes have a viewing lens on one end of the fibrescopes to allow people to see through it. Because the fibrescope is so small, it is often connected to an eyepiece so that it can be easily viewed. This small fibre optic cable is used to view areas with tight spaces where it might be impossible to see with other tools.

The fibrescope was invented by Narinder Kapany and Brian O’Brien during the 1950s. Brian worked at the American optical company whereas Narinder worked at the imperial college of science and technology, London. They came together and with their combine knowledge on fibre optic technology, they invented a fibre scope to look into tight areas. The earliest fibrescopes where individually coated to ensure that the light passing though each cable did not leak out. The image that was projected was enlarged through a wide angle lens on the eyepiece for the user to view. These fibrescopes were used to view the internal components of jet engines and nuclear reactors safely as they did not have to be disassembled.

After the invention of fibrescopes, Dr. Basil Hirschowitz used the technology to invent something called the endoscope. Dr. Basil showed how these fibrescopes can be used to view internal organs through the insertion of these fibrescopes through the throat. Dr. Basil was so confident about this; he tested it out on himself. Ever since then, fibrescopes have been widely used in the medical industry.

Fibre optic cables are made out of a glass called silica. Silica is used as it is very transparent which allows the light to pass through it efficiently. As the light wave pass through the fibre optic cables, the silica glass ensure that there is no loss of light. Loss of light means that the image viewed on the eyepiece will not be very clear as there is less light entering the viewer’s eye. These strands of fibre optic cables are only the size of a human hair. Thus, a bunch of individual optical cables are used to form a larger image in the fibrescope.

These cables use a wide angle lens on the eyepiece at the viewing end of the cable. The wide angle lens is used to capture light for better viewing as the fibre optic cables are extremely small. The viewing end of the cable can either be connected to an eye piece or a computer and monitor screen. As there are more than one fibre optic cables, the image is usually distorted but not to the extent where the image shown is inaccurate.


As fibre optic cables do not produce their own light, they rely on an external source of light in order for the fibrescope to work. There are some scopes that have special fibers that transmit light. This allows for the fibre scope to be used in low light areas that require illumination.

Ever since the invention of fibrescopes, they have been used for many applications. One of the applications is to use fibrescopes to secretly view an area. For example, a fibrescope can be used by law enforcement agencies to assess a hostage situation. Fibrescopes have also been very useful for locksmiths as these fibrescopes can be inserted into the locks so that the locksmith can see what is going on, making it easier to open a lock.

With the advancement of technology, fibrescopes have led to inventions such as endoscopes. Endoscopes have been very useful in checking a particular area of the body. This prevents the need for small incisions and improves the overall efficiency of the assessment. As the technology continues to grow, it will save many more lives and prove to be more useful.


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