On March 3, 1917, Einstein postulated how light can result from stimulating excited atoms. As proven by Gordon Gould 60 years later, this “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation” would give way to the invention of the Laser and optical amplifier, which are the two foundational elements of the optical communications networks which transport much of the global Internet traffic.
Gould would go on to start the fiber optic communications company Optelecom. His protege and head of Optelecom’s Light Optics Division, Dr. David Huber, began working on a new technology called Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing.
“I first met Huber in the early ’90s at Optelecom, where he demonstrated his light-based communication system,” said Kevin Kimberlin, Chairman of Spencer Trask & Co. “Impressed, I offered to help him develop the system. Together, we founded a new company called Ciena, which was the first to commercialize high capacity optical networking systems based on the optical amplifier,” Kimberlin explained. This was the beginning of the internet as we know and use it today.
According to author Jeff Hecht and The New York Times, Wavelength Division Multiplexing was the foundation for today’s global communications networks and dramatically increased bandwidth on fiber optic networks (boosting capacity as much as 1600% when first deployed on Sprint’s Network).
About Spencer Trask & Company
Spencer Trask & Co. is a privately held advanced technology development company. The firm works with entrepreneurs, CEOs and corporate partners to start and grow high impact ventures. Spencer Trask & Co. has been instrumental in the formative stage of companies that pioneered many technological and scientific advancements in the field of genomics, the transformation of healthcare, the Internet and open innovation.