A Brief History of Optical Communication

We live in the information age where access to the internet is considered a fundamental human right. Exercising this right does largely rely on the technological advances made in optical communication. Using light to send information has a long history: from ancient Greece, through Claude Chappe’s semaphore towers and Alexander Graham Bell’s photophone, to fiber optical networks and future satellite internet constellations currently developed by tech giants.
Let’s dive a little bit deeper into the technologies that were used to spread information with the help of light throughout history.
Semaphores and Heliographs
Reconstruction of a hydraulic telegraph at Thessaloniki Technology Museum. Credit: Gts-tg,

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