The purpose of this report is to concisely describe some fundamentals of digital communication in a simple and accessible way. An emphasis is placed on intuition with an audience of non-specialists in mind. Electronic communication as a separate discipline has a nine-decade history, and even a concise summary of the current state of knowledge would take thousands of pages. Nevertheless, underlying all this work are important and lasting principles that form a solid foundation for communication system design. Since these principles are very fundamental, most were actually appreciated by the 1950's. As an example of the intended readership, in reviewing some of the physics literature, we find limited awareness of some fundamental principles of communications. Such awareness would be valuable in physics research that may have electronic or photonic communication application, such as new modes of electromagnetic propagation and new propagation media. We do not cover optical communication, a vast field in its own right and one where advances are more dominated by underlying physical principles than they are by communication principles. Analog communications (such as AM and FM radio) are rare in new communication system design and are also not covered.




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