This article gives an entry point into an intriguing new research area in optical waveguides—transverse Anderson localizing (TAL) optical fibers. TAL fibers promise the high capacity of traditional multi-mode fibers, but with the novel benefit of spatially localized propagation of each mode down the length of the fiber. Mafi and coauthors are experts in this field and in this paper provide: an introduction to the use of TAL in optical fibers, a historical overview of research in this young field, and a discussion of the potential applications of TAL fibers. The restricted spatial extent of each mode makes TAL fibers an exciting development in fields as diverse as imaging and optical communications. This paper gives the interested reader an easily digested introduction to TAL optical fibers and facilitates further independent research with an extensive reference list.
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