Optical fibre musical instruments: making sense of the senseless

  • Isabelle Christiane Fotsing-Djouwe
  • Mathieu Gagné
  • Jean-Jacques Laurin
  • Raman Kashyap


This paper demonstrates how the light transmitted through a stretched optical fibre may be used to detect its modes of vibration. In particular, replacing strings of a musical instrument with optical fibre allows the fabrication of a simple acoustic instrument with a single laser source and single detector. The detected signal contains rich harmonics of the vibrating fibre. This device may be used as a vibration, temperature or strain sensor, or simply as a musical instrument. Coating the optical fibre with novel materials such as PZLT may well allow a modification of vibration properties to enhance, suppress certain harmonics or lead to the development of simple electric field sensors.



Canada Research Chairs program of the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada is acknowledged by RK for research support and Hannah Kashyap is acknowledged for inspiration.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabelle Christiane Fotsing-Djouwe
    • 1
  • Mathieu Gagné
    • 2
  • Jean-Jacques Laurin
    • 1
  • Raman Kashyap
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Electrical EngineeringEcole Polytechnique de Montreal, School of Engineering of the University of MontrealMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of Applied PhysicsEcole Polytechnique de Montreal, School of Engineering of the University of MontrealMontrealCanada

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