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4.3 Optical networking

DWDM improves the utilisation of optical fibre for point-to-point links, but a further step in exploiting the potential of optical fibre comes from optical networking in which routeing or switching is done optically.

Optical networking is in its infancy, but the concept of the optical layer based upon wavelength channels is emerging. The optical layer effectively sits below the SDH layer in the network, and provides wavelength channels from one location to another.

An analogy can
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2.4.3 Polarization mode distortion

Because light is an electromagnetic wave, it has a ‘state of polarization’, which, for light in single-mode fibre, is at right angles to the path of the fibre. If you've not encountered electromagnetic waves before, all you need to appreciate is that as light travels down the fibre the electromagnetic field has an orientation across the fibre (Author(s): The Open University

2.4.2 Dispersion in single-mode fibre

Because there is only one mode in single-mode fibre, there is no multimode distortion but pulses are spread by dispersion.

Dispersion is the effect of different frequencies propagating at different speeds, and there are various mechanisms in optical fibre which mean that in general a fibre is dispersive. Given that dispersion takes place, a transmitted pulse will be spread because different frequency components in the pulse will take different lengths of time to propagate
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Module team

Rosalind Armson, author

Joyce Fortune, case study author

Ray Ison, author

Martin Reynolds, course chair

Laurence Newman, course manager

Mike Aiken, critical reader

Mandy Anton, graphic designer

Simon Bell, critical reader

Victor Bignell, critical reader

Chris Blackmore, critical reader

Jake Chapman, critical reader

Tony Duggan, project controller (Technology)

Pip Harris, compositor

Mike Haynes, critical
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Acknowledgements

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce
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6.5 Appreciating some implications for practice

I think for most people, the National Health Service would be experienced as a complex situation. If so this would be a good example of perceived complexity. Remember though, if you engaged with it as if it were a difficulty you would not describe the situation as one of perceived complexity. I could not call it a complex system unless I had tried to make sense of it using systems thinking and found, or formulated, a system of interest within it. This means I would have to have a stake in the
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3.2 Making sense of the metaphor

The metaphor of the juggler keeping the four balls in the air is a powerful way for me to think about what I do when I try to be effective in my practice. It matches with my experience: it takes concentration and skill to do it well. But metaphors conceal features of experience, as well as calling them to attention. The juggler metaphor conceals that the four elements of effective practice often seem to be related. I cannot juggle them as if they were independent of each other. I can imagine
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5.5 Rhetorical devices

I talked a bit about Ned's motivations, but I am not quite sure about what he is trying to do to be persuasive. He has this interest in aesthetics, but in giving a detailed explanation of a military technology he is working on, he, from time to time, uses an analogy. One analogy he uses is the ‘flocking of starlings’, which illustrates rather the principle of operation of the technology and suggests that it is a kind of an existence proof. It implies this technology might actually work. B
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • discuss what ethics is and what constitutes an ethical issue;

  • identify and discuss ethical issues that arise in the media, in routine conversations and, in particular, in your own everyday professional practice;

  • discuss the role of emotions in ethical deliberations;

  • discuss how negotiation might resolve apparent ethical differences;

  • identify and discuss the ethical issues p
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6.10 Action plans

  • 22. Does the action plan make the proposal concrete in terms of realistic time scales and budgets and identification of relevant milestones?

A reasonably detailed action plan has four distinct functions in your proposal:


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6.7 Cost-benefit analysis

  • 17. Does the case clearly and unequivocally demonstrate that benefits outweigh costs?

In some contexts ‘cost-benefit analysis’ implies some specific formal method of assessing costs in relation to expected benefits. For example, i
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3.2 Business operations: function or process?

Traditionally, an enterprise's activities are organised according to a structure based on the well-known business functions: marketing, purchasing, finance, human resources, research and development (R&D), operations, and so on. The exact function title varies from organisation to organisation, but each function has its own more or less well-defined sphere of activity. It carries out its various tasks and passes on information or artefacts to other functions for them to work on. For example,
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7.3.3 Plasmas

More control can be achieved in vapour deposition if a plasma is generated. A plasma is simply a gas where a proportion of the molecules have been ionised. The ions remain in an uneasy equilibrium with the electrons they have released, prevented from recombining only because the electrons are hot and fast-moving, and so are difficult to trap.

Plasmas are widely used in materials processing, with pressure ranging from 10−3 mbar to 1 mbar and typically up to 1% of the molecul
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3.6.1 Stiffness

Just how compliant does an AFM cantilever have to be to enable it to follow the undulations in a surface on an atomic scale? How can we find out? It turns out that this is easier than at first it seems.

A simple assumption we can make is that the compliance of the cantilever should be appreciably greater than that of a typical bond that holds atoms to one another. Here's one way in which a rough estimate of the stiffness (the force required to cause a given deflection) of the bonds in a
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Introduction

This unit examines how small features can be etched and cut out of solid materials at a very small scale.

This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course Engineering small worlds: micro and nano technologies (T356).


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3.1.3 Micro lenses

A smart way to compensate for surrendering area to data transfer is to build in microscopic lenses at each pixel: the processing sequence that is used to manufacture the MOS devices already involves transparent polymeric material and, calling again on the ingenuity of the designers of microelectronics, significant enhancement to optical efficiency can be won.


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1.3 The capacity of an MOS structure to store charge

Figure 1 shows a schematic section through an MOS structure and sets up a colour scheme that distinguishes the different layers. In this case the M-layer is provided by heavily doped polysilicon and the semiconductor base material is p-type silicon.


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7.1 The engineer and society

Section 2 outlined some of the needs for engineering. Society relies on engineers to create solutions to the problems involved in meeting those needs.

This is a good time to pause and point out that inevitably, in return for all this fun and power, engineers have a responsibility to society. The people who employ our services, directly or indirectly, have to have an assurance that we are working within certain social, safety and ethical boundaries. Particularly given the increasing tren
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4.5.1 Mathematical models

Computers in the last few decades have, in many cases, made mathematical modelling a lot easier. Models that used to require hours of manual cranking through long equations can now be created on a screen using specialist software. Processes can be recreated – modelled – in the time it takes to press a few buttons.

For example, when designing a pipe network to carry a gas or fluid, such as in the village water supply problem, you might wish to know how the flow would be distributed w
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5.5 Evidence of Henry Law

Henry Law's report is brief and to the point, and includes a substantial appendix giving detailed calculations of the effects of wind pressure on the structure (not included in Paper 1). Further information on his inspection of the remains – the two standing piers, the twelve wrecked piers the high girders and the train within – was given during his testimony before the enquiry.

Law was able to examine the extant remains in considerable detail, and noticed numerous defects in the br
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