Difference between Fiber optic cable and Copper wire

Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber optic cable is used to transfer data by using light. Dr.Narinder Singh Kapani showed that images could be transferred through optical fiber and laid the foundation for high-speed data transfer. The transfer speed is approximately 69 percent of the speed of light, which is 3*10^8 m/s.

The main parts of a fiber optic cable consist of core and cladding, where the refractive index of the core is greater than that of the cladding. It is because Fiber optic cable uses the principle of total internal reflection to transfer the data.

The overall cost of laying the fiber optic cable and its maintenance is high as compared to Copper wire. There are two types of fiber optic cables −

  • Step Index Fiber − In Step Index Fiber, the refractive index of the core is uniform throughout.

  • Graded Index Fiber − In Graded Index Fiber, the refractive index of the core is maximum at the center, and it decreases when moving to the boundary.

This method is used to make the Multimode and Singlemode transmission reach the destination simultaneously.

Copper Wire

The invention of electricity, its generation, and distribution had played a big role in the way the technology has advanced so much in the last century. Copper was mainly used for this. It helped generate electricity by using Faraday's laws of electromagnetic induction, helped to transfer electricity from one place to another with minimal energy loss, etc.

As copper was relatively abundant as compared to other good-conducting metals, its cost of production is low. Also, we won't need much technical expertise to connect different copper coils compared to Fiber optic cables.

Difference between Fiber optic cable and Copper wire

The following table highlights the major differences between Fiber optic cables and Copper wires −

Fiber Optic CableCopper Wire
It is used to transfer data.It is used to transfer electricity.
It can be used to make lamps that do not carry heat.It can be used to create lamps that carry heat as well as light.
The data is transferred by using light.Electricity is transferred in the form of electromagnetic waves.
If touched by bare hands, no harm is caused to organisms.If touched by bare hands when electricity is travelling, living organisms will get an electric shock.
Needed more technical expertise than that of using copper wire to repair it.Needed less technical expertise.
Can’t be used to generate light.It can be used to generate electricity.
Follows the principle of total internal reflection.Follows the principle of conduction.
A single cable is made up of different materials.Copper wire is only made up of copper, excluding the insulation.