The Effects of Noise on a Communication System

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Communication is the process of sharing ideas, information and messages with others in a particular time and place. It includes writing and talking, as well as nonverbal communication (such as facial expressions, body language, or gestures), visual communication (the use of images or pictures, such as paintings, photography, video, or film), and electronic communication (telephone calls, electronic mail, digital television, or satellite broadcasts). Communication is a vital part of personal life and is also important in business, education, and any other situation where people encounter each other.

Noise, in physics, is an acoustic, electrical, or electronic signal consisting of a random mixture of wavelengths. It is also a subjective term, referring to any unwanted sound. Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopaedia 2002

Throughout this essay I will illustrate the early model which Shannon and Weaver created during the middle of the Twentieth Century and investigate some of the advantages and disadvantages of this model. The essay will then move on to view how noise plays a critical aspect within this model and how this affects the model.

When you communicate using the aid of technology, for example, with a telephone, a process occurs. The phone turns the sound waves into electrical impulses and those electrical impulses are turned back into sound waves by the phone at the other end of the line. This has been demonstrated by two engineer scientists named Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver. In 1949 they produced a general model of communication, known simply as the Shannon – Weaver Model. The two scientists were principally intrigued by communication technology and produced a simplified model, which is now used world wide to help describe and understand the communication process.

“This (The Shannon-Weaver Model) is widely accepted as one of the main seeds out of which Communication Studies has grown” John Fiske. Introduction to Communication Studies...
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