Abstract

The information rate which can be carried by an optical wave is critically examined in view of the dual nature of the electromagnetic waves. Examples are given to illustrate the attainable information capacity over a wave range from 10−2 to 103μ for (a) constant antenna gain and (b) constant diameter of the collimator. Finally, the reduction in information capacity due to the finite travel time of the electromagnetic energy in interstellar communication channels is analyzed.

© 1963 Optical Society of America

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