Figure 1-3: Examples of sources and users generating/desiring "data"
It is absolutely impossible in the real world for the User to obtain the Information without the chanceof error. These may be caused by a variety of deleterious effects that shall be discussed in the sequel. This means that the User wanting to learn the Information- the binary sequence- must be content inlearning it to within a given fidelity. The fidelity measure usually employed is the Bit Error Rate(BER). This is just the probability that a specific generated binary digit at the Source, a bit, isreceived in error, opposite to what it is, at the User.There are some real questions as to how appropriate this fidelity measure is in certain applications.Nonetheless, it is so widely employed in practice, at this point, that further discussion is notwarranted.The question then arises as to how to send the binary data stream from Source to User. ATransmission Medium is employed to transport the Information from Source to User. What is aTransmission Medium?A Transmission Medium is some physical entity. As shown in Figure 1-4 it is located between theSource and the User and it is accessible to both. The Transmission Medium has a set of propertiesdescribed by physical parameters. The set of properties exists in a quiescent state. However, at leastone of these properties can be stressed or disturbed at the Source end. This is accomplished bysomehow imparting energy in order to stress the property. This disturbance does not stay still, butaffects the parts of the Transmission Medium around it. This disturbance then travels from theSource end to the User end. Consequently, energy imparted in creating the disturbance is therebytransferred from the Source end to the User end. Finally, this disturbance or stressed property, can besensed at the User end. It can be measured.
Figure 1-4: Source, transmission medium, user
This propagation of a disturbance by the Transmission Medium is illustrated in Figure 1-5.What are examples of transmission media? As with types of Information there are many.
Figure 1-5: Disturbance traveling in transmission medium
The Transmission Medium could be air with the stressed property being the air pressure sound