small logo SETI Songs Aplenty

Shannon's Law
lyrics © 2011 by Dr. H. Paul Shuch
sung to the tune of "The Irish Washerwoman" (traditional)

Oh, the number of bits in a unit of time
Will determine the maximum frequency range
Of an analog signal in digital form,
Shannon’s Law will allow you to quantify this.

For the signal to noise, when expressed as a ratio
Clearly depends on the digital sampling
Rate, which increases the transmitted bandwidth.
Claude Shannon determined this at MIT.

The numerical theory that Shannon perfected
Soon found application at Bell Laboratories
In digital circuits for modern computing,
And playing of chess, and cryptology too.

Informational theory may seem quite arcane,
But it has implications outside of computing,
Like winning at blackjack by counting of cards,
As perfected in Vegas by Shannon himself.

But I’m certain that Shannon’s Law’s best application
Is digital coding of rich information
For microwave messaging into the cosmos.
So Shannon’s a father of SETI as well.

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