History A Race to Imaging Revolution: Pioneers in Fiber Optics Kimberly A. Maciolek and Sara L. Best ntil the 20th century, visualization beyond tor- mated the resources of much of Europe, and the Cold War tuous anatomic and mechanical contours posed that followed. A pioneer in precision instruments, Abraham Usigniﬁcant hurdles for physicians and military en- van Heel (1899-1966, Fig. 1) was a leading Dutch author- gineers alike. Image transmission through glass ﬁbers capable ity on optics. He is credited with reawakening Holland’s of bending around these curves was proposed in 1926. dormant optical tradition and restoring its former gran- However, early ﬁber optic endeavors were plagued by poor deur as a state-of-the-art industry. After completing his image ﬁdelity and limited geographic distribution, gaining Ph.D. in 1925 at Leiden University in the Netherlands, little traction for practical use. The end of World War II van Heel took a position at the Technological University coincided with profound innovation in ﬁber optics by 2 of Delft and would stay on as faculty there for the rest of independent researchers, Dutch physicist Abraham van Heel his career. and English physicist Harold Hopkins. A mutual col- Van Heel promoted collaboration within and beyond
Urology – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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