Transmission loss in plastic optical fibers was investigated for axial, small numerical aperture input. The loss coefficient α was determined as a function of wavelength λ by varying sample length and using filters. More extensive information on α(λ) was obtained by use of a monochromator with transmission at a particular λ standardized by independent measurement. Measurement in white light of scattered intensity as a function of position along a fiber yielded α and an estimate of scattering power. Analyses of the scattering data and the variation of α with λ suggest that scattering is the principal loss mechanism.
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