In May, Steve James gave a lecture to Key-Stage 3 students at Northampton Academy as part of the Nucleus series of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) lectures.
Professor James talked about how optical fibres are produced, and how methods have changed to become more efficient. He demonstrated optical fibres and explained the history of optical fibres, which goes back a lot further than most people would expect. He also explained some of the uses of optical fibres, that go beyond the use in communications that we are most familiar with; including how optical fibres can be used as sensors for chemicals, gases, pressure and force. Some of the uses of optical fibres being studied and developed include testing rail components, the stress on aircraft wings and environmental sensors.
This led to some excellent questions from the students and expanded their interest in this field.