GTTI English Version Versione Italiana

RIUNIONE ANNUALE 2017 - Udine, 21-23 Giugno 2017

Intervento Mario Martinelli, Politecnico di Milano


40 anni di comunicazioni ottiche: fotoni e bit, una origine comune
40 years of optical communications: photons and bits, a common origin


Sommario

40 anni fa, nel 1977, venivano installati (prima negli Stati Uniti ma subito dopo anche in Europa ed in Giappone) i primi collegamenti a fibra ottica in reti di telefonia pubblica. Nascono così ufficialmente le comunicazioni ottiche la cui evoluzione tecnologica ha permesso la costruzione della intera infrastruttura Internet ed è quindi alla base della “quarta” rivoluzione industriale, il nostro presente. Ma “bit e fotoni”, l’essenza delle comunicazioni ottiche, non condividono solo una applicazione né sono una fortuita coincidenza tecnologica. Bit e fotoni condividono radici comuni che si estendono nella profondità della termodinamica dell’800, il secolo che ha visto la nascita del concetto di entropia ed il trionfo della termodinamica della “prima” rivoluzione industriale. Attraverso un percorso non ovvio e non banale, che vede in campo Planck, Szilard, Darwin e Fowler, Hartley, Shannon e Jaynes, si può dimostrare che i concetti di “bit e fotoni” sono fortemente intrecciati e tessono un filo rosso che attraversa tutto il pensiero scientifico del ‘900, stabilendo una continuità fra la prima e la quarta rivoluzione industriale.

Summary

40 years ago, in 1977, the first fiber optic links in public telephone network were installed (first in the United States but soon after in Europe and Japan) and the “optical communications” was officially born. The technological evolution of this first installation enabled the construction of the entire Internet infrastructure and is the basis of the today "fourth" industrial revolution. But "bit and photons", the essence of optical communications, do not share only one application or are a fortuitous technological coincidence. “Bits and photons” share common roots that extend into the depths of 1800's thermodynamics, the century that saw the birth of the concept of entropy and the triumph of thermodynamics, the basis of the "first" industrial revolution. Through a non-obvious and un-usual path, with protagonists as Planck, Szilard, Darwin and Fowler, Hartley, Shannon and Jaynes, it can be shown that the concepts of "bit and photons" are strongly interwoven and weave a red thread through the scientific thinking of the twentieth century, establishing a continuity between the first and the fourth industrial revolution.

Short Bio
Prof. Martinelli

Prof. Mario Martinelli is Full Professor in Optical Communications at Politecnico di Milano, OSA Fellow and ordinary member of the Accademia Virgiliana. He received the Laurea Degree in Nuclear-Electronics Engineering from Politecnico di Milano in 1976. In 1997 he joined the Quantum Electronics Division of CISE Laboratories in Segrate (Milano). Since 1980 he started new research activities regarding the optical fibers which led him to the position of Director of the Coherent Optics Sect. In 1981 he was Visiting Researcher at the London University College (UK). In 1992, he was appointed Professor of Optical Communications by Politecnico di Milano, where he activated the first Italian related course. In 1995 he participated to the foundation of CoreCom, a Research Consortium between Politecnico di Milano and Pirelli Cables and Systems established to develop advanced researches in Optical Processing and Photonic Switching. He remains the CoreCom Director from the foundation until the expiration of the Consortium, that occurred in the 2008. In the 2009 he founded PoliCom, the new lab full owned by Politecnico di Milano that recovered the CoreCom mission. In the 2004 the Optical Society of America elected him Fellow of the Society for the contributes given in the domain of the optical communications, of the optical fiber sensors and the discovery of the Faraday Mirror effect. In the 2014 founded the spin-off Cohaerentia. In the 2015 he was elected Ordinary Member of the Accademia Virgiliana. He is author of more than 180 scientific papers on the most important Journals and of more than 200 communications presented at International Congresses. He is also assignor of more than 45 International Patents. He is Vice-President of the Italian Association for Telecommunications AICT and Vice-President of CORIFI, the Italian Technology Platform for Photonics.

Con il contributo di:

Huawei

Microlease

National Instruments

U-blox

Università degli Studi di Udine