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Refraction, Reflection

Signal Degradation
Alejandro Mata
James Hutchins

Refraction is the bending of a wave when it enters a medium

where its speed is different. The refraction of light when it

passes from a fast medium to a slow medium bends the light
ray toward the normal to the boundary between the two media.
Light refracts whenever it travels at an angle into a
substance with a different refractive index (optical density).
This change of direction is caused by a change in speed. For
example, when light travels from air into water, it slows down,
causing it to continue to travel at a different angle or direction.
The index of refraction of a substance is equal to the ratio of
the velocity of light in a vacuum to its speed in that substance.
Its value determines the extent to which light is refracted when
entering or leaving the substance. measure of the bending of a
ray of light when passing from one medium into another.

Reflection of light. Reflection is when light bounces

off an object. If the surface is smooth and shiny, like

glass, water or polished metal, the light will reflect at the
same angle as it hit the surface. This is called specular
Reflection involves a change in direction of waves when
they bounce off a barrier; refraction of waves involves a
change in the direction of waves as they pass from one
medium to another; and diffraction involves a change in
direction of waves as they pass through an opening or
around a barrier in their path.
The law of reflection states that when a ray of light
reflects off a surface, the angle of incidence is equal to
the angle of reflection. First Law of Reflection: The
incident ray, the reflected ray, and the normal all lie on
the same plane. Second Law of Reflection: The angle of
incidence is equal to the angle of reflection.

Signal Degradation
Degradation, is the loss of quality of an electronic signal, which may be categorized as

either "graceful" or "catastrophic", and has the following meanings: The deterioration in
quality, level, or standard of performance of a functional unit.
Multimode fiber is large enough in diameter to allow rays of light to reflect internally (bounce
off the walls of the fiber). Interfaces with multimode optics typically use LEDs as light sources.
However, LEDs are not coherent sources. They spray varying wavelengths of light into the
multimode fiber, which reflects the light at different angles. Light rays travel in jagged lines
through a multimode fiber, causing signal dispersion. When light traveling in the fiber core
radiates into the fiber cladding, higher-order mode loss (HOL) results. Together these factors
limit the transmission distance of multimode fiber compared with single-mode fiber.
Single-mode fiber is so small in diameter that rays of light can reflect internally through one
layer only. Interfaces with single-mode optics use lasers as light sources. Lasers generate a
single wavelength of light, which travels in a straight line through the single-mode fiber.
Compared with multimode fiber, single-mode fiber has higher bandwidth and can carry
signals for longer distances.
Exceeding the maximum transmission distances can result in significant signal loss, which
causes unreliable transmission.