Richard BlahutTalk Title: The Lightwave Channel: Particles or Waves?


Within information theory, a wave channel and a particle channel are treated as two distinct examples of channels. Within physics, an electromagnetic wave has a granular structure which only becomes evident at low signal levels. Quantum theory reconciles the physics. However, we will show that the Poisson transform reconciles the matter at the level of the information theory, showing that the channel capacity of the classical additive Gaussian noise channel is emergent from the capacity of an appropriately defined particle channel.


received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. in Physics from the Stevens Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University. He is the Henry Magnuski Professor Emeritus and a former chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He taught at Cornell, where he was a Courtesy Professor of Electrical Engineering from 1973 to 1994. He has also been a Consulting Professor at the South China University of Technology and has taught at Princeton University, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the NATO Advanced Study Institute. He received IEEE Claude E. Shannon Award in 2005, IEEE Third Millennium Medal in 2000, TBP Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty Award in 2000, IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal in 1998, National Academy of Engineering in 1990, Japanese Society for the Propagation of Science Fellowship in 1982, IEEE Fellow in 1981, Fellow of IBM Corporation in 1980, IBM Corporate Recognition Award in 1979, IBM Outstanding Innovation Award in 1978, IBM Outstanding Contribution Award in 1968 and 1976, and IEEE Information Theory Group Outstanding Paper Award in 1974.