Legends of Silicon Valley: Narinder Singh Kapany

A pioneer in Fibre Optics.

In the early 1950s, a young Indian from Punjab, Narinder Singh Kapany, then a graduate student in the Physics Department at Imperial College in London, developed a bundle of fibres suitable for low-loss optical transmission. This key advance lead to a flowering of an entire new field of technology known as “fibre optics,” a term first coined by Kapany himself.

Dr. Kapany later moved to Silicon Valley in California where he turned into a productive entrepreneur and served on the faculty at the area’s universities. In 2009, Charles Kao shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in optical fibres. The Swedish Academy acknowledged Dr. Kapany’s contribution but sadly did not include him in the list of awardees. See this for more on that.

Now 85 years old, Narinder Singh Kapany is active at the Sikh Foundation in Palo Alto.

Narinder Singh Kapany

Narinder Singh Kapany
5D Mark III, 85L II

At work

At work
5D Mark III, 24-105L

  • Nav Singh - November 8, 2015 - 7:26 pm

    Wow this is so interesting, do you have an site that has more information like so?

    Are you located in the US?


  • jaskiran - September 22, 2015 - 8:51 pm

    The Indians are always discriminated by the Sweedish society. Count from JC Bose to Satya Bose, Gandhi and now Kapany. The list goes on and on, while giving prize to people like Obama for no reason. The Nobel prize shouldn’t be the motivation, as said, Karmanya wadhe ka rasthe.ReplyCancel

  • A Singh - April 5, 2015 - 11:59 pm

    Parrikar Ji,

    Thanks for posting this great blog. I sometimes feel, that we Indians don’t know our worth.ReplyCancel

  • […] Imagen: Parricar […]ReplyCancel

  • Anil Desai - June 20, 2012 - 10:23 am

    It is good to see the face of a man who has made 90% of my current surgical operative practice possible. Thanks Rajanbab.

    anil desaiReplyCancel

  • Thomas Pindelski - June 20, 2012 - 9:44 am

    Coincidentally, when the dentist was using a diode laser connected with a single, insanely thin fibre optic strand on my gum the other day, I found myself wondering what genius came up with this technology!

    Fine portraiture.ReplyCancel

  • Rujvelt - June 20, 2012 - 4:09 am

    Proud to know that Narinder Singh Kapany has created fibre optics term. Thanks and congrats to Mr.KapanyReplyCancel

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