About Charles Kao
This interview is part of the Marconi Foundation 30th Anniversary Commemoration. Charles Kao starts this interview by discussing the beginning of his interest in optical communications. He talks about the creative process in making the breakthrough with fiber optics. He talks about the early experimental trials and problems when dealing with optics. He discusses the process to get an adequate transparent material (glass) in order to get the guided material. He talks about the article that he published with George Hockhem in 1966. Then, he talks about the need to get funding for their actual fabrication of the fiber. He briefly mentions his chemistry experiments when he was a child and how he was surrounded by curiosity-driven people. The interview ends with Kao’s brief comments about future changes in society due to significant new technologies.
About the Interview
CHARLES KAO: An Interview Conducted by Robert Colburn, IEEE History Center, 26 February 2004
Interview # 435 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and The Marconi Foundation, New York City
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It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:
Charles Kao, an oral history conducted in 2004 by Robert Colburn, IEEE History Center, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.
Interview: Charles Kao
Interviewer: Robert Colburn
Date: 26 February 2004
Place: New York City