Imagine you are an inventor who has created a new process for digitization. In this post, write up your process to share it with your investors.
I have chosen my bedroom light as an analog source. The constant wave of photons that emanates from the 40 W bulbs follows a certain trajectory to provide illumination. While the light source is analog, it can be digitized because it has a special tool connected to it: a light dimmer! The light dimmer is a small knob that can be turned to make the light source appear darker or brighter. With every turn of the knob, the light waves can be made weaker or stronger.
A tool to digitize the wave of photons from my bedroom light is a photodiode. A photodiode converts incident light waves to current or voltage. This process works because a photon is a source of energy that excites an electron from the PN junction of the photodiode and transforms the electron to its free energy state (see visual). A free electron has the energy boost needed to create electrical energy.
A process to digitize the light in my room would be to divide up the circumference of the dimmer knob into 10 discrete sections (imagine a pie with 10 slices, and one shared point in the middle). Each section of the knob will have an arc length associated with a certain distance (about 0.5 inch). A baseline reading of 0 will occur if the light source is off and no photons are released; a baseline reading of 10 will occur if the light is fully bright. In order to convert the analog light source into a digital source, a series of observations will have to be made using a photodiode and the light knob.
1. The photodiode will be placed near the light bulb and will output a certain value based on the light turned off. 2. The light dimmer knob will be turned 1/10th of its circumference, and a second measurement will be made by the photodiode when the light is very dim. 3. The light bulb will be turned another 1/10th of its circumference, and the photodiode will spit out a new discrete value based on the less dim appearance of the light. This sampling process will continue until each of the 10 turns of the dimmer knob has been made. The last value to be outputted by the photodiode will correspond to the brightest light emanating from the bulb. In this sense, the analog light waves from the bulbs are transformed into 10 discrete values from the sampling process of turning the knob and measuring the brightness with a photodiode. The photodiode naturally produces quantization of the light because it spits out a numerical value, but the quantization is furthered by partitioning the knob circumference into 10 distinct sections.
If this digitization process became popular, it would probably lead to a population with more acute Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Some people are very peculiar about their environments (the temperature, location, music, aroma etc.) and it would likely follow that if people could numerically designate a value to their preferred brightness, they might compulsively use it. I can imagine conflicts about a room being too bright or too dim for reading.