What is Communication: Definition and 323 Discussions

Communication (from Latin communicare, meaning "to share") is the act of developing meaning among entities or groups through the use of sufficiently mutually understood signs, symbols, and semiotic conventions.
In Claude Shannon's and Warren Weaver's influential model, human communication was imagined to function like a telephone or telegraph. Accordingly, they conceptualized communication as involving discrete steps:

The formation of communicative motivation or reason.
Message composition (further internal or technical elaboration on what exactly to express).
Message encoding (for example, into digital data, written text, speech, pictures, gestures and so on).
Transmission of the encoded message as a sequence of signals using a specific channel or medium.
Noise sources such as natural forces and in some cases human activity (both intentional and accidental) begin influencing the quality of signals propagating from the sender to one or more receivers.
Reception of signals and reassembling of the encoded message from a sequence of received signals.
Decoding of the reassembled encoded message.
Interpretation and making sense of the presumed original message.These elements are now understood to be substantially overlapping and recursive activities rather than steps in a sequence. For example, communicative actions can commence before a communicator formulates a conscious attempt to do so, as in the case of phatics; likewise, communicators modify their intentions and formulations of a message in response to real-time feedback (e.g., a change in facial expression). Practices of decoding and interpretation are culturally enacted, not just by individuals (genre conventions, for instance, trigger anticipatory expectations for how a message is to be received), and receivers of any message operationalize their own frames of reference in interpretation.The scientific study of communication can be divided into:

Information theory which studies the quantification, storage, and communication of information in general;
Communication studies which concerns human communication;
Biosemiotics which examines communication in and between living organisms in general.
Biocommunication which exemplifies sign-mediated interactions in and between organisms of all domains of life, including viruses.The channel of communication can be visual, auditory, tactile/haptic (e.g. Braille or other physical means), olfactory, electromagnetic, or biochemical. Human communication is unique for its extensive use of abstract language. Development of civilization has been closely linked with progress in telecommunication.

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  1. phinds

    46 year old Voyager 1 once again sending real data

    After 5 months of sending a repeating loop of meaningless bits, the 46 year old Voyager 1 is back to sending actual data. https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/22/world/voyager-1-communication-issue-cause-fix-scn/index.html The NASA engineering team fixed it
  2. J

    B How Do Variables Like Diameter, Focal Length, and Distance Impact the Efficiency of Whisper Dishes?

    We're trying to build working models of "whisper dishes" -- two large parabolic dishes placed at a distance and pointed at each other, allowing two people to communicate by whispering at the focal point of one dish and listening at the focal point of the other (or vice versa). At a fairly...
  3. F

    Is an API Always Necessary for Server-Client Communication?

    It is clear that a server and a client are programs communicative iwth each other using one or more protocols (HTTP, TCP, etc.) I conceptually understand what an API is: it is like an intermediary between two programs that makes integration easy. For example, we build app A and want to connect...
  4. pallab

    Frequency stabilized solid state lasers for coherent optical communication

    I am looking for the thesis Frequency stabilized solid-state lasers for coherent optical Communications by Day, Timothy. I am working with laser stabilization so can anyone share this thesis? I am trying to understand the basic of this topic. This thesis is suggested by others but failed to get...
  5. Grelbr42

    Importance of communication and how to improve it

    So the generic question here is, how to improve communication? Recently I started a review task for a coworker's analysis. One of the items in the report for the analysis is a graph with a linear fit of some data. And the linear fit has uncertainty reported in the fitting parameters. So I ask...
  6. P

    How Can I Maximize My Radio's Power for Moonbounce Communication?

    Hi! I am an amateur radio operator. How many watts should my radio's power be to bounce signals off the Moon?
  7. I

    Effect of time dilation on Earth/space communication?

    Let's say there is an audio oscillator on earth sending a 440 Hz audio tone over radio to a spacecraft. There is also an audio oscillator on the spacecraft sending a 440 Hz audio tone over radio to earth. Time is slower in the high gravity of earth than the weak gravity in space. Is the 440...
  8. O

    Engineering Maximum modulation factor of a two tone signal

    I'm stuck on this because v is a 2 tone signal, so it's not as simple as Am/Ac. The teacher said I will need to differentiate it and equate it to zero, which I thought made sense. Differentiating v gives me: [- mwsin(wt) - mwsin(2w*t)], so there's still unknown variables. I don't know how I'm...
  9. N

    I In Bell's Theorem, communication

    If correct, as non-physicist, I wonder why the vast jump to "spooky action" is seen as more plausible as some new type of particle faster than the speed of light. Consider the time long before the discovery of radio communication, how weird it must have been to theorize about that. The speed of...
  10. D

    B Communication Options With Future Deep Space Probes?

    I was wondering if humans send spacecraft far enough into space in the future (for example Alpha Centauri or other star systems further away), is there any particular distance where it might make more sense to communicate between star systems by making a star blink with some sort of shutter...
  11. person123

    Device For Driver Communication Between Vehicles

    I'm putting this here because the ideas just a result of hours in traffic, but I'm curious what people would say about it. It would be a device for drivers to communicate with each other to decide who should go first when it's ambiguous (e.g. merging, changing lanes in front of someone...
  12. PeterDonis

    A Interpretations of the No Communication Theorem

    Moderator's note: Spin-off from previous thread due to topic change. Not in the sense in which it is used in the no communication theorem. That sense is basically the information theoretic sense, which in no way requires humans to process or even be aware of the information.
  13. A

    How Does Frequency Affect C/N in Dish Antennas?

    Summary:: I am stuck on a problem on dish antenna C/N and it's relation to frequency. Please see below for thought process. Problem Statement: , Link budget formula in dB form: Pr = Pt + Gt + Gr + 20*log10(lambda/(4*pi*distance)) - Losses [dB] C/N = Pr - Pn [dB], where Pn = 10*log10(k*T*B)...
  14. DennisN

    Brian Cox and Jim Al-Khalili about science communication (incl. video)

    I just saw a great discussion with Brian Cox and Jim Al-Khalili, which covered a number of topics including science communication and the role and importance of popularizations, e.g. documentaries, books etc, including criticisms and praise of such. They also touch a number of other topics...
  15. G

    What are the factors influencing Error Vector Magnitude (EVM)?

    Error Vector Magnitude is widely used in the telecommunication industry to assess the performance of the users. In the given formula, Sr(n) is the received symbol and St(n) is the ideal symbol. N is the total number of symbols received. I have a Multi-User MIMO system simulation where there are...
  16. Arman777

    Importance of "A Mathematical Theory of Communication"

    I am not sure this is the right section to ask this question, but here it goes. So, I was studying Stat. Physics and I came across this paper, A Mathematical Theory of Communication. What it's so important about this paper?
  17. N

    B Mars Landing, How instantaneous communication was possible

    If someone understood it, then kindly explain..?
  18. V

    Orbital shutter as a beacon for interstellar communication

    Summary:: Hypotetical structure in the style of Dyson ring In the style of Dyson's proposal of an orbital superstructure, I wonder if in the specialized literature wasn't suggested that an evolved civilization could make a kind of orbital shutter, in order to delivery optical signals...
  19. P

    B Quantum Entanglement Communication Radio

    Hello, first from all, I am completely new and uneducated in physics. But from nothing I have had idea how to make this invention. And I have quite strong need to share it. My mind found out how we can communicate with no delay through out our universe. Seems quite fancy, isn't it? Yes, quantum...
  20. scottdave

    Claude Shannon "The Bit Player" movie free screening

    This weekend (June 26-28) the IEEE Information Theory Society is showing a free screening of The Bit Player - a movie about Claude Shannon (the "father" of information theory) The website below has the link and password for Vimeo...
  21. Joppy

    MHB Communication in mathematics and physics

    I suspect many here are published within their fields. What is your general advice for writing academic papers in mathematics, physics or any other "hard" science discipline?Were there any resources that helped you?What have you found to be the most successful aspects of your approach to...
  22. E

    Optical wireless communication ideas

    Hello PF! I have developed a recent interest into electro-optics used in communication systems. Specifically speaking, I am mostly interested into Optical wireless communications and their applications, for terrestrial to satellite communication. I am considering to do a research project for my...
  23. SongDog

    B Exploiting radiocarbon dating for FTL communication

    [Mentors' note: This thread was split from https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/can-we-carbon-date-a-gas.981218/] Empirical test: If one wished to implement a controlled experiment of this sort, start with separating stocks of pure C12 and pure C14 with a mass spectrometer. Use the C12 to...
  24. G

    Implications of communication through quantum entanglement

    I am building an SF universe. While it is very similar to ours, but casual FTL exists. I don't think Lorentz transformations shouldn't work at all, but rather extra dimensions can somehow circumvent them. One kind of FTL is direct communication through entanglement. There can be two version of...
  25. BoMbY

    B Why is it assumed communication through entanglement would be FTL?

    As far as I can tell nobody actually knows how quantum entanglement really works, and yet everyone assumes that quantum states are teleported faster than light. But what if there isn't any actual teleportation, because both sides still share the same position? Maybe in a dimension we cannot...
  26. K

    I Communication with Rindler Observer: Is It Possible?

    Is it possible that some light signals will never reach the Rindler observer? Just to be clear, by Rindler observer I mean an observer undergoing constant acceleration (as measured in his own rest frame).
  27. F

    I Velocity u > c? Faster Than Light Comm?

    On my website (unnamed since I have been previously reprimanded for "promoting" the site!) I got a question, pretty straightforward, the essence of which is: Two long wires are not parallel and make an angle θ with each other; they cross at one point and one wire is moving with velocity v...
  28. Alex Torres

    B FTL Communication: Closing Bell Test Loopholes for Quantum Integrity

    Have followed the work of Anton Zeilinger for some time, noticed it's mostly centered in a quest to close Bell test loopholes for the sake of quantum communication integrity but how about if by relaxing this he could overcome the need of the classical channel for communication...take for...
  29. S

    Two basic questions about satellite communication

    Hi, 1. Is it correct that gateway stations (or teleports?) must be used for spot beam satellite systems? That means, two user terminals cannot communicate directly with each other. 2. Are satellite beacons widely used? Senmeis
  30. S

    Ka vs. Ku communication satellites

    Hi, I’ve heard Ku communication satellites have a broader coverage while Ka satellites only support spot beams. Is it correct? Senmeis
  31. TerranIV

    I The Possibility of Faster-Than-Light Communication?

    If we were to discover a way to lower the electric and magnetic constants of free space, would this allow faster than light communications? This would probably only be useful for some sort of hyper-fast computers in the future, but I don't see of a physical reason why this wouldn't be feasible...
  32. B

    B Delayed choice quantum communication - "Berlin riddle"

    At 12.00h a specific event is being expected in Berlin, whether the wall ist teared down, or not. The sender is in Berlin and wants to send the information about the event to the recipient on the moon. Both sides know about the possibly upcoming event. As the light takes 1 second to the moon...
  33. alan123hk

    B Gravitational waves for data communication?

    When and how can the gravitational wave be used for data communication, which the speed be much faster than the current technology by means of electromagnetic wave like 5G, 6G..etc wireless systems ?
  34. M

    B Layman question about faster than light communication

    Okay, first of all so I'm in no way educated in the concepts and especially the notation of quantum physics; my knowledge is confined to a very simple superficial understanding. However, if someone could educate me about why faster than light communication is impossible in the scenario I'm...
  35. Shaw-krow

    Long distance broadcast, internet data packets across town?

    I got something i want to do for fun and help out a...person i know but i never finished high school so that's my degree level. i was wondering if there is a way under $100 to possibly use my internet or posibly 2 peoples internet connections on the other side of the town i live in, split up the...
  36. M

    Radiofrequency communication through tissue

    Hello, I am a Biologist currently working on a Biocommunication related project. To explain the project, I am going to use a Piezo sensor attached to the bone and it can detect bone cracks using EMI. I would first energize Piezo sensor with certain frquencies and it generates Ultrasonic waves...
  37. Alex Torres

    I FTL communication via delayed choice measurement

    <Moderator's note: 2 threads merged as it is an identical topic.> Given Kim's version of DCQE, let's say Bob in on Earth looking at d0, Alice is on Mars holding the prism that deflects the idler coming from (a) to d3 or (b) to d4. After the experiment run ends Bob should get clump at d0 without...
  38. sherzadakhan

    Visible light communication modulation schemes?

    visible light contains a range of frequencies i.e not of single frequency, then how visible light is used as a carrier in Visible light communication. Further more is it possible to modulate light (in tera HZ frequency range). what modulation scheme is possible and how it is implemented in VLC...
  39. G

    B FTL train + FTL communication thought experiment

    Please move this if it belongs to other subforums. So i thought about some other stuff and then somehow this idea appeared to me, now according to physics it is impossible to communicate information faster than the speed of light through vacuum which is "c". So for any two bodies moving in...
  40. K

    B Exactly why FTLC is impossible with entangled photons?

    It’s written almost all physics books and courses that entangled photons can’t be used for faster than light communication. The question about used entangled photons to communicate faster than light has been discussed before, but I didn’t get exactly why faster than light communication with...
  41. alan123hk

    B Gravitational Wave Communication System

    Would it be possible to transmit information through gravitational waves? It must be a giant leap for mankind if we can utilize gravitational waves for communication since the electromagnetic spectrum for communication is a scarce resource and not much space is left. I imagine that the...
  42. C

    B Why doesn't this FTL communication scheme work?

    If Alice and Bob had a large number of particles entangled together (with state of either 0 or 1), could Alice send information by breaking the entanglement of particles with state of 1 (by flipping the state for example) so that Bob measures 50% of particles to be in the state opposite of 0...
  43. CMW328i

    Noise Modelling - Digital communication systems

    Hi all, Teacher here looking for some guidance. I'm teaching a class that I took myself a few years back, and I'm looking at my solution to a problem but I have a random value in my answer (which I know to be correct) but I can't for the life of me remember where this value came from! Can anyone...
  44. T

    I Quantum entanglement, wave-function collapse

    I have 2 questions i would really like to find an answer to: if we have a quantum pair, we can determine whether 2 quanta are entangled or not assuming that we have access to the information of both of them. so if we have a quantum "trio" instead of a quantum pair, does the information about 2...
  45. thegreengineer

    PIC16F877A I2C communication problem

    Good evening people, I was planing to make a programmable clock using a PIC16F877A microcontroller, a LM016 LCD display and a DS3232 RTC module. The DS3231 RTC module communicates with the PIC via I2C bus. At first I built some subroutines for controlling I2C communication: the commands have...
  46. pairofstrings

    Establish connection between web app and stand-alone app

    Homework Statement Transfer data from stand-alone application written in C/++/# to web application written in C#.NET. Transfer data from web application written in C#.NET to stand-alone application written in C/++/#. Homework Equations The stand-alone application runs on my PC and the web...
  47. jedishrfu

    Neil De Grasse Explains His Communication Tips

    https://www.inc.com/brian-hart/astrophysicist-neil-degrasse-tyson-explains-the-mo.html a quote from the article:
  48. F

    I How does quantum entanglement communication work?

    Specifically do we know how the two parties (photons) involved communicate ? how does the state information transferred. Is it transferred by some waves similar to radio waves ? I somehow still can not believe that its real.
  49. T

    I Quantum communication question

    Can somebody explain what is a quantum channel through which quantum objects communicate? I recently heard that one can communicate without sending particles. https://phys.org/news/2017-05-counterfactual-quantum.html
  50. engnrshyckh

    I want to calculate mark space ratio: f=25000Hz,T=4us

    <Moderator's note: Moved from a technical forum and therefore no template, which would have helped a lot in this case ...> i know that mark time is duration in which a pulse is present and space time is a duration is which pulse is not present. my attempt to ques is: f= 25000Hz...>...