The Ultimate in Communication
If it is the ultimate in communication we are seeking, we already have it, in one sense at least. Indeed, we attained it over a century and a quarter ago.
In 1844, the first telegraph line was put up between Baltimore and Washington, and across the wires winged the first message, "What hath God wrought?" At that moment, information was transferred at the speed of light, 186,282 miles per second, over a sizable distance.
This speed of information transfer has not been exceeded since and, physicists are quite certain, can never be exceeded. What we have done since has been to add refinements.
The telegraph sent messages in code, but the telephone, invented in 1876, transmitted actual words. Both telegraph and telephone extended themselves in space over uncounted thousands of miles of wire and cable. Radio, however, in the 1890s, transmitted information on electromagnetic waves alone, doing away with the necessity of wires (hence, the "wireless" as it is much more appropriately called in Great Britain).
Radio transmitted only code at first, but by 1906 it was transmitting words and music. Television, going commercial in 1947, added visual information, so that we got images as well as sound; and ten years later, color was added to the images.
Now television rules the world, transmitting sound and full-color image at the speed of light.
What can we possibly add to that?
To answer that question, we have to understand some of the shortcomings of ordinary television. The electromagnetic wave bands used for ordinary commercial television have room for relatively few channels. Then, too, the