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Mode

 

A mode is the energy distribution in which the light travels down the fiber. A multi-mode fiber can support several modes at once, whilst a single-mode fiber supports only the fundamental mode.  Within a fiber the optical field can propagate with peak intensities at various locations. In a single-mode fiber, only the lowest order mode propagates (see below for an illustration) but in multi-mode fiber, many higher order modes can propagate. 

 

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