Father Of Fibre Optics

The person who is behind the massive evolution of fibres or publicly acknowledged as Dr Narinder Singh Kapany is a physicist who is of Indian and American descent. He has also contributed his talent to several other professions such as being a philanthropist, a businessman, entrepreneur, and a sculptor, which reveals to the world his dedication of being a helping hand.

Early Life

- Advertisement -

His birth land was Punjab, a state of India, into a Sikh family in the year 1926. Growing up he developed a strong interest in physics when his lecturer mentioned about the fact that light travels in a straight line. This triggered him to go on a second thought of how it is impossible for light to travel in a straight line.

Photo: NRI Achievers Bureau

Kapany finished his higher studies from Agra University and proceeded to Imperial College of London to progress in the study of optics where he attained his PhD in the year 1955. He then pursued on his career of revolution and analysis in the University of Rochester and subsequently in Illinois Institute of Technology.

The beginning of fibre optics

Kapany began his exploration in the direction of fibre optics in Imperial College and at that time he was working with the respected Harold Hopkins who is an English physicist. He manifested his successful research in 1954 at the sector of Physics when he exhibited that light could go about in bent glass fibres.

That verification opened the road for optical fibre communication which is being exploited nowadays. He has posted over a hundred scientific papers in diverse international science gazettes which led the term “fibre optics” in to a common ground and used in informal conversations.

Utility of fibre optics

Fibre optics has clearly taken over a huge difficulty in communication industry by enabling the information to be conveyed over great distances at higher bandwidths. It has large-scale use in communications, sensors, transference of power and also its endless donation to medical devices. Amazing creation of devices such as gastroscope, endoscope and bronchoscope are also in existence because of fibre optics which made it to a great awareness and therapy of multiple diseases at an obtainable rate.

Kapany has proven to the world that light can indeed travel in a bent track and has therefore contributed the world one of the most positive and promising creation in present-day optics.

Transforming technology, business, art and culture

He established Optics Technology Inc. in 1960 where he was the president, Chairman of Board and Director of Research for twelve years. After a short term when the company came into a public eye in 1967, he furthermore established the Kaptron Inc. in 1973 and was in charge of it until it was taken over by AMP Incorporated in 1990.

A Physicist Who Twisted Light: Meet The Father Of Fibre Optics, The Logical Indian

He also performed his duties as an outstanding academic apart from his vigorous involvement in his countless business ventures. He also did his part as a Regents Professor at the University of California, Berkeley and at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He also performed as a Visiting Scholar in the Physics Department and as a role of an adviser Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University.

Kapany is a passionate advocator of arts and culture. He was a main creator at the Sikh Foundation, which organize programs in publishing, academia and arts and also has been a dedicative chairman for 30 years. He is an art fanatic who has a great concentration and interest in Sikh art.

Awards and recognition

Dr Narinder Singh Kapany’s cutting-edge work on fibre optics achieved him several awards and titles. He was awarded with the Excellence 2000 from the USA Pan-Asian American Chamber of Commerce. He is also a companion of the British Royal Academy of Engineering, the Optical Society of America, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Moreover, he was also the receiver of the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman granted by the Indian Government.

Dr Narinder Singh Kapany’s exceptional contribution to the world of science and technology would definitely be of honor and remembrance throughout a lifetime.  The former Vice President of the United States quotes, “High-capacity fibre optic networks will be the information superhighways of tomorrow”. As the advancement of technology take place from time to time and the world grows constantly there would still be more room of improvement and alterations in Dr Kapany’s work in the future.


Information retrieved from Logical Indian and NRI Achievers Bureau.

Contributing Editor: Aminath Eezan Waseem

- Advertisement -