In modern life, the digital technologies are adopted by humans in every mode of information exchange and communication technologies. It has been difficult to refrain the use of these technologies now, in todays’s time. We, human beings have become totally dependent on the Information and Communication Technologies because it has made our daily tasks easier.
ICT is used as the short form of “Information and Communication Technology”. ICT is the mode of ways or form of technology to store, process, analyse, transmit, receive and exchange of information by the means of links or the mediums. So, ICT includes technologies like, radio, television, mobile phones; computer and network; hardware and software; satellite system, etc.
Nowadays, people has to deal with the bunch of data in any kind of field work either software developement, education departments, engineering sites, business administrations or travelling management. Such data management needs some room for storage, devices to calcuate and process; a platform to analyse and modify; and a medium to share, transmit or exchange the processed data. The data is the seed for information tree to grow. Data can be associated to transactions, activities, facts, events, or such kind of statistics. Data gives the description and overview of above mentioned things and after it is processed and analysed it gives the conclusion. This conclusion which is obtained from these chunks of data is called information. Then these informations, in some cases needs to be shared or exchanged, then such procedure is then called communication. So, to achieve the intention of producing information and exchanging it, the Information and Communication Technologies took birth.
For the developement of ICT, we should have the knowledge of the Physics laws and its applications. So before understanding the role of Physics working backstage in the revolution of ICT, we must understand its history and how its developement took path. The ICT has been evolved very quickly since previous century naming it as a revolution in developement of ICT. There are many phases through which ICT has been evolved.
In Phase-1, the ICT has been established by creation of electromagnetic calculator during world war-2, which was weighed 5 tons and occupied a big room. Then after 1947 the transistors were invented. Due to the invention of transistors, a transition lead from bigger size to smaller size of computers was obtained.
In Phase-2, the era of personal computer began during the decade of 1970’s. The chip technology and magnetic discs made the size of computer drastically smaller.
In Phase-3, the mighty electronic device namely “microprocessor” was developed which became very useful in digital data processing and management. This device reduced the processing power cost.
In Phase-4, the networking era came. This phase was initially started from connecting the computers within the small span of area, this type of connected system is known as a Local Area Network (LAN). Then as the time passed, the distance barrier for the connections was broken due to the evolution of the technology giving us the World Wide Web (WWW). This was the birth of the internet and networking. As a product of this, we obtained the social networking platforms and many communication facilities.
The Phase-5, which is th current phase, it includes the developement of various kinds of wireless technologies for the communication purpose. This phase removed the problems of maintainance of messy wires, giving free space. This phase was started from bulky mobile phones and as the time and technology evolved, the size of cellular phones became smaller, which is used by the major population of the world for talking, transmission of messages, browsing, media & entertainments and navigation purposes. In this era, the Wi-Fi technology, EDGE, GPRS, 2G, 3G, 4G, VoLTE, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, RFID, and many kind of technologies were developed and also are under developedment currently.
This phase also gave us SuperComputers which are drastically fast in processing and are capable of calculating multiple complex problems in just fraction of a second. It is basically used in Defense for stratagic purposes and in science institutes for the solution of problems which human beings can not solve. It allows us to build the scenario of real-life like picture of system to test and modify the system by the means of simuation.
The Physics is playing a vital role in the developement of ICT. Starting from a century back, the calculators where made up of marbles and sticks. In 1822 Babbage made an automatic mechanical calculator, which was working on the principles of classical laws of motion. In 1892 William Burroughs introduced the first electronic model of a prinitng caculator, which was having pulleys, gears empowering electronic components. Then after the invention of transistors and diodes, they became the raw materials for building electronic devices. Here comes the theory of semiconductors into the play which gave birth to the elecronics era. Semiconductor materials are used in the diodes and transistors because it is having the electrical properties in the middle between the insulators and the conductors. It is having perfect forbidden gap which is helpful in many cases as it should be given some amount of initial voltage for the conduction to take place. The conductivity of semiconductors can be modified by replacing or adding the dopping elements, which can make it Positive type or Negative type semicondutor. This N-type and P-type dopped semicondutors when combined makes a P-N junction diode. The diode is vastly used in electronic circuit due to its exponential I-V characteristics and its nature of uni-directionality for the current. Hence the diodes can be used as to allow or disallow the flow of current through circuit by proper biasing wih the battery. The three layer sandwitch of N-type and P-type semiconductors makes a PNP or NPN transistors. The transistors are used for different purposes by applying different biasing accordingly. Mainly transistors are used for the amplification purposes. Hence this area of technology is born due to the application of band theory of electrons in the semiconductors.
In early times, the screen of computer or television was made up from Cathode Ray Tube. It works on the variational principle of electromagnetic fields which influence the beam of electron, giving the image on the screen. Nowadays the CRT is not being used, instead LCD, LED and Plasma displays are used. The colored display screen works on the law of spontaneous emission of radiation giving the photons in the range of visible range of frequency. Now, the Plasma dispays are working due to the plasma gas filled inside the pixels of the screen. The Plasma screen is made up of arrays of pixels. Each pixel contains three sub pixel cells one red, one blue, and one green which are filled with tiny amounts of neon or xenon gas and each cell is coated inside with phosphor chemicals. The phosphor coating turns this invisible light into visible light. When electricity flows into the cell, gas atoms crash about inside it and generate invisible ultraviolet light.Now the phosphor take the invisible ultraviolet light produced by the neon or xenon gas in the cell and turn it into red, blue, or green light we can actually see. The picture made by a plasma TV is made from an array of red, green and blue pixels (microscopic dots or squares).Each pixel can be switched on or off individually by a grid of horizontally and vertically mounted electrodes.
The TV shows are now caught up by receiver antennas which receive the broadcasted signal from the service providers. This phenomenon works on Electromagnetic Theory from Maxwell Equations. The change in current produces the magnetic field around the wire of antenna. Again the change in magnetic field produces the electric field. Therefore an antenna can produce and receive the electromagnetic signals following the maxwells equations and the laws of electromagnetism. The same thing can be understood from the figure given below.
The internet and networking has been made fast by using optical fibres, which uses the optical concepts of total internal reflection. Thus signal can be transmitted at the speed of light by using optical fibres.
In, storage devices like hard discs use the magnetic properties of the material to store information that’s why it is called a magnetic storage. It stores information in bits as 1s and 0s. It works on the principle of electromagnetisn, the iron nails of rotating magnetic platter magnetises and demagnetises by magnetic head of actuator arm for information storage. The magnetised iron nail is considered as 1 and demagnetised iron nail is considered as 0. The Solid State Drive is an advancement in the drive storages category. The solid drive itself is not revolving like the platter in HDD but it is in the stationary state. The high latency property of the SSD makes the processing faster than the HDD.
The ICT is used in any official or business presentations in which we use projectors. The projectors are actually working on the very basic principle of Optical Lens system. The projector takes the input from a computer or any storage device after which the image is produced inside the projector where the lens systems amplifies, sharpens and widens the image transmitting onto a screen. The procedure can be understood from the diagram given below.
One of the very useful ICT is Global Positioning System (GPS). GPS is basically used for navigation purposes. It tracks the location of the user by the chain of 24 satellites orbitting around 20,000kms above the ground. As the positioning procedure involves the time information of different planes, the time clock at user’s frame of reference and the time clock at the moving frame of reference of satellite itself will not run at same rate. So there must be difference in the clock timing of both the frame of reference as they are moving with respect to each other. For the accurate measurement of the position of the user, the clocks must be calibrated. So there atomic clocks are used for well accuracy. Here the tracking procedure and the clock calibration is only possible due to the Einstein’s General theory of relativity. So, the theory of relativity is responsible for this accurate and mighty technology, making the navigation very easier for the people.
The ICT has given us so many facilities and support. But again, every coin has two sides. There are advantages of ICT then also the disadvantages exist as well.
The advantages of ICT are that it reduces the work period, increasing the speed of working process. The ICT is versatile which allows us to do multi tasking at the same time. The use of ICT is cost effective and economical. The ICT provides precision in result by accurately processing the data.
There are many big disadvantages of ICT. ICT is vulnerable to hacking which stakes the privacy and confidentiality. The piracy is increased leading to unauthorised use of material or content. People make the social media platfom, their stage to abuse and criticise others. There have been a lot of pornographic contents some of which are illegal, but still accessible on the web and inappropriate for under aged children. The virus production is done by hackers to target and access the victim’s files and computer remotely. So the security is not that parallely improving as the ICT is evolving. The initial cost for establishing ICT is very high.
To conclude, we can say that the Physics is giving the power to Information and Communication Technology. So the power of ICT has been very high that it is better if used for wise purposes and as well, it is very harmful if it is used for bad intentions. This is what encourages terrorism if used wrongly, or it can be the source of knowledge and solutions if used wisely.
Now we can understand how much vital role, Physics is playing for the evolution and revolution of Information and Communication Technology. But then ICT also help us to understand the Physics better, that is now has been the essential use of ICT. So Physics made ICT and ICT is helping to make new Physics and to understand Physics. So it creates a continuous loop of developement and understanding the developement.