Attenuation refers to any reduction in the strength of a signal. Attenuation occurs with digital or analog signals. Attenuation is the end result of signals being transmitted extended distances. Attenuation is usually expressed in units called decibels (dBs). The cable type will determine at what point along the length of the cable signal degradation occurs. Repeaters can be inserted along the length of the cable to boost the signal strength which increases the maximum attainable range of data transmitted though the cable.
Attenuation Effects on Data Transmitted through Cable
The majority of attenuation in Coax cable comes from resistive losses in the cable's metallic conductors. Temperature also has effects the resistivity of the conducting surface. Resistivity is a "bulk property of material describing how well that material inhibits current flow. This is slightly different from resistance, which is not a physical property. If one considers current flowing through a unit cube of material (say, a solid metal cube that measures 1 meter on each side), resistivity is defined as the voltage measured across the unit cube length (V/m) divided by the current flowing through the unit cube's cross sectional area (I/m2). This results in units of Ohm m2/m or Ohm-m." [University of British Columbia Geophysical Inversion Facility]
Temperature affects the movement of electrons in the material. When a signal voltage is passed through a wire the electrons collides with the atoms in the material. If more atoms are allowed collide with electrons, the greater the frictional resistance, which affects the cable ability to conduct (allow data to pass through the cable). Temperature causes the atoms with in the material to move. Increasing the temperature causes the atoms to "jiggle" which causes frequent collations with electrons. The opposite is true when the temperature is lowered....