In 1970, Peter Schultz and his two colleagues forever changed the way the world communicates when they created low-loss fiber optic cable, eventually knocking out copper wire as the primary method of telecommunication. Schultz and fellow Corning, Inc. researchers Robert Maurer and Donald Keck discovered that, by adding titanium to fused silica glass, they could strengthen the cable’s properties, later adding germanium into the mix to cut down on the amount of light lost during transmission. The cable could transmit significantly more information for much longer distances than existing technology at the time, and Corning became the first company to market and sell the technology.
A graduate of Rutgers University, Schultz moved on from Corning in 2001, launching his own consulting business and running a number of other companies. But he will always be best remembered for his work as part of the Corning team, which laid the groundwork for the modern era of information technology.
By Lauren Clason