Unformatted text preview: mm from the surface (if we disregard for a moment that the prism would be instantly vaporized). This corresponds to one photon every 10^2506 seconds or one photon in 10^2499 years. Considering that the age of the universe is only about 10^10 years, we would still have to wait for 10^2489 “universe-ages” until we would see a single photon at 1 mm from the surface! Even our outrageous astronomical number crunching didn’t help to get a grip on this number, since it didn’t bring down the value of the exponent much at all: 10^2489 is still unimaginably large. This fast decay of the evanescent wave is the reason why a relatively thin cladding layer is enough to completely block the evanescent field from leaking energy out of optical fibers....
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- Fall '09
- Observable universe, awfully small number