The Father of Fibre Optics
Narinder Singh Kapany (born 31 October 1926) is an Indian-born American physicist known for his work in fibre optics. He is also known as “Father of Fiber Optics”. The term fibre optics was coined by Singh Kapany in 1956.Kapany was born to a Sikh family in Moga, Punjab, and studied at Agra University.
Born in India and educated in England, Dr. Narinder Singh Kapany has lived in the United States for forty-five years. A graduate of Agra University in India, he completed advanced studies in optics at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, and received his Ph.D. from the University of London in 1955.His dedication and commitment to his research and fellow man has helped shape the very nature of our world today. Without his efforts, the world would have been dull with shades of black, gray and white; instead we see it in a myriad of colors and waves.
As a scientist, Dr. Kapany is widely acknowledged as the father of fiber-optics. His research and inventions have encompassed fiber-optics communications,lasers, biomedical instrumentation, solar energy and pollution monitoring. He has over one hundred patents, and was a member of the National Inventors Council. He has received many awards including ‘The Excellence 2000 Award’ from the USA Pan-Asian American Chamber of Commerce in 1998. He is a Fellow of numerous scientific societies including the British Royal Academy of Engineering, the Optical Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
In his early studies, he was told by a professor that light can only travel in a straight line. He thought to himself, “No, that doesn’t sound right” and took it as a challenge to prove his professor wrong. After obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Agra, he says “there wasn’t enough to learn in India at that time so I left for Imperial College in London.” Transitioning from university in India to London was not a difficult feat for him, as he says “I was young and ready to conquer the world!”
As an author and lecturer, Kapany has published over 100 scientific papers and four books on opto-electronics and entrepreneurship
Further notable undertakings include many philanthropic contributions to the areas of education and art. In 1967, he created ‘The Sikh Foundation,’ a non-profit and non-political charitable organization dedicated to promoting the culture, heritage and future of Sikhism. “I wanted to provide a platform for our children and other Americans to learn and find out what Sikhism is about.”as an art collector, Kapany has specialised in Sikh art. He provided paintings and other objects on loan for the “Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms” exhibition, which was held at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum beginning in March 1999.
His famous quote has always been “The important thing is tobe a man of the world,that’s what I have tried to be, and to a small extent succeeded, but I like to do things for people.”
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