I’m looking for the simplest, precise definition of a Symbol
- The symbols found within a signal
- The signal has a N symbols per second
I'm following this tutorial. The fellow defines the term symbol informally as "different states" and I do grasp the concept intuitively, however I am seeking a more formal definition.
Here are various definitions I have found:
My definition 1: "A distinct, observable state of a property of a physical medium ... which persists for a fixed unit of time in a communication channel"
My definition 2: "A distinct state of a quantity of a waveform ... which persists for a fixed unit of time in a communication channel"
Khan Academy definition: “A symbol can be broadly defined as the current state of some observable signal, which persists for a fixed period of time.” 4m 15s on this video
Signal Processing StackExchange Definition: "A symbol is a symbolic representation of a baseband signal in digital communication."
Electrical Engineering StackExchange Definition 1: "A symbol is any distinct state of the communication channel."
Electrical Engineering StackExchange Definition 2: "A symbol is an information entity"
Wikipedia Definition 1 (under Symbol Rate): “A symbol may be described as either a pulse in digital baseband transmission or a tone in passband transmission using modems. A symbol is a waveform, a state or a significant condition of the communication channel that persists, for a fixed period of time”
Wikipedia Definition 2 (under Symbol (disambiguation): “Symbol (data), the smallest amount of data transmitted at a time in digital communications”
Out of interest, is there a mathematical/formal definition of a symbol? Perhaps that would help me.
I'm not certain if this is the appropriate StackExchange to post the question if it's not should I try one of the following? :
- Mathematics (under Information Theory)
- Electrical Engineering
- Network Engineering
Thank you for reading