Enjoying The Internet? You Have This Michigan Native To Thank
For some younger people, it feels like the internet has been around forever.
I'm a millennial, and while I remember the "pre-internet" days, I've spent most of my life connected to the world around me. At first it was AOL dial up, but now I've got high speed fiber pumping the world into my home faster than the speed of light.
While it feels like this magic access to the world has always been there, it's really thanks to one Michigan man why we get to log online and lol at memes.
Who is Donald B. Keck, and why should we be thanking him?
This Lansing-born physicist and Michigan State University alumnus is the reason why you're reading this article. He's credited to being the inventor of Fiber Optics.
After growing up and later graduating in Michigan, Keck went on to work at Corning’s Optical WaveGuide Project team in 1968. Once he arrived, they started working on the early version of the fiber optics we use today.
At first he started with a version made with heat-treated silica. But later, they upgraded their design to include titanium oxide glass, then finally fused silica doped with germanium.
What are fiber optic cables?
Fiber-optic cables transmit data via fast-traveling pulses of light, a method that vastly improved the speed in which we can communicate compared to old school metal wires that we used before.
They aren't just for communication, they help with medical equipment. Really proving that this pure Michigan invention is life saving in more ways than one.