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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs.

Strathprints serves world leading Open Access research by the University of Strathclyde, including research by the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), where research centres such as the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), the Cancer Research UK Formulation Unit, SeaBioTech and the Centre for Biophotonics are based.

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Single-mode propagation in optical waveguides and fibres: a critical review of its treatment in physics textbooks

Ruddock, Ivan S. (2009) Single-mode propagation in optical waveguides and fibres: a critical review of its treatment in physics textbooks. European Journal of Physics, 30 (2). pp. 303-309. ISSN 0143-0807

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Abstract

The derivation and description of the modes in optical waveguides and fibres are reviewed. The version frequently found in undergraduate textbooks is shown to be incorrect and misleading due to the assumption of an axial ray of light corresponding to the lowest order mode. It is pointed out that even the lowest order must still be represented in an elementary treatment by a ray reflecting between opposite core and cladding boundaries.