Waseda Frontline Research Vol.
This paper is mind-blowing! In this single paper, Shannon introduced this new fundamental theory. He raised the right questions, which no one else even thought of asking. This would have been enough to make this contribution earthshaking. But amazingly enough, Shannon also provided most of the right answers with class and elegance.
In comparison, it took decades for a dozen of top physicists to define the basics of quantum theory. Meanwhile, Shannon constructed something equivalent, all by himself, in a single paper.
He should be right up there, near Darwin and Einstein, among the few greatest scientists mankind has ever had the chance to have. Back then, the telephone network was quickly developing, both in North America and Europe. The two networks then got connected. As the message travelled through the Atlantic Ocean, it got weakened and weakened.
Eventually, it was so weak that it was unreadable. Imagine the message was the logo of Science4All. The following figure displays what happened: Why not amplifying the message along the way? This was what was proposed by engineers.
However, this led them to face the actual problem of communication. The unpredictable perturbation of the message! This perturbation is called noise.
This noise is precisely what prevents a message from getting through. Thus, even though the noise is small, as you amplify the message over and over, the noise eventually gets bigger than the message. And if the noise is bigger than the message, then the message cannot be read.
This is displayed below: At that time, it seemed to be impossible to get rid of the noise. There really seemed to be this fundamental limit to communication over long distances.
No matter when or how you amplify the message, the noise will still be much bigger than the message once it arrives in Europe.
But then came Claude Shannon… What did Shannon do? Among these wonders was an amazingly simple solution to communication. This idea comes from the observation that all messages can be converted into binary digits, better known as bits.
Bits are not to be confused for bytes. A byte equals 8 bits.View Juha Vuorio’s profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community. Juha has 14 jobs listed on their profile. See the complete profile on LinkedIn and discover Juha’s connections and jobs at similar timberdesignmag.com: Council Member at City of Oulu.
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