A unitary linear operator which resolves a function on $\mathbb{R}^N$ into a linear superposition of "plane wave functions". Most often used in physics for calcalating the response of a time shift invariant linear system as the sum of its response to time harmonic excitation or for transforming a ...

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What's the physical significance of using fourier transform for diffraction?

I am studying some basic idea of diffraction and there mention in far field, the diffraction pattern could be understood by Fourier transform. But I just don't understand what's the physical fact for ...
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2k views

Physical interpretation of Parseval's theorem

I have read that Parseval's theorem, relating the norm of a function $f$ and the norm of its Fourier transform $g(k)$: \begin{equation} \int |f(x)|^2 dx=\int|g(k)|^2 dk \end{equation} has the ...
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612 views

Intuition behind Fourier transformed spaces

Intuitively I've been able to understand a Fourier transform a change-of-basis formula - you're basically moving from position to momentum basis or from time to frequency - but what does it mean that ...
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298 views

Action of Parity operator on Impulse representation

Is my derivation of the action of the parity operator $\mathbb{P}$ on the $|p\rangle$ representation correct? $$\left( \mathbb{P}\tilde\psi \right)(p)= - \tilde\psi (p).$$ Obtained from $$\left( \...
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Continuous Fourier transform vs. Discrete Fourier transform

Continuous Fourier transform vs. Discrete Fourier transform. Can anyone tell me what the difference is physics-wise? I know the mathematical way to do both, but when do you use the other instead of ...
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203 views

Does a finite wave necessarily have to be non-monochromatic in reality?

Does a finite wave necessarily have to be non-monochromatic in reality, or is that implication just a result of the mathematical analysis? I always wonder at these sort of things that come out of a ...
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112 views

Same quantum states represented in different basis

In literature on an introduction to quantum mechanics which I am working through, there is a section which explains that a vector has different representations based on the basis you choose and then ...
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264 views

Why there is no Gibb's phenomenon in QM?

Why we don't see any Gibb's phenomenon in quantum mechanics? EDIT At sharp edges (discontinuities), we usually find ringing. This can be observed in many physical phenomenon (eg. shock waves). ...
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Uncertainty Principle for a Totally Localized Particle

If a particle is totally localized at $x=0$, its wave function $\Psi(x,t)$ should be a Dirac delta function $\delta(x)$. Accordingly, its Fourier transform $\Phi(p,t)$ would be a constant for all $p$, ...
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1k views

The Dirac-Delta function as an initial state for the quantum free particle

I want to ask if it is reasonable that I use the Dirac-Delta function as an intial state ($\Psi (x,0) $) for the free particle wavefunction and interpret it such that I say that the particle is ...
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527 views

Very simple example of the way the Fourier transform is used in quantum mechanics?

According to a book I'm reading, the Fourier transform is widely used in quantum mechanics (QM). That came as a huge surprise to me. (Unfortunately, the book doesn't go on to give any simple examples ...
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2k views

Is there a relation between quantum theory and Fourier analysis?

I found that some theories about quantum theory is similar to Fourier transform theory. For instance, it says "A finite-time light's frequency can't be a certain value", which is similar to "A finite ...
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179 views

Renormalization, integrating out high momenta Wilson way

In equation $(12.5)$ in Peskin and Schroeder, they write out the generating function but leave out all quadratic terms of the form $\phi\hat{\phi}$ arguing that they vanish since Fourier ...
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341 views

Fourier transform of two pulses of light

I have laser beam path that fires two pulses of light in a gaussian distribution, so the intensity graph over time is two identical gaussians separated by a distance $t_0$. In other words, a gaussian ...
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590 views

“Optically performed” Fourier Transform

This article says that they are only able to achieve such extremely high fiberoptic data rates because the multiplex light and then use a Fourier Transform to split it up again. But they say that ...
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250 views

$2\pi$ and Feynman Rules

I notice a $2\pi$ term in the $\delta$-function when trying to construct an amplitude using the Feynman Rules. The $2\pi$ also appears as an integration measure to enforce normalisation in the phase ...
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230 views

Derivation of canonical position-momentum commutator relation

We know that the position-momentum commutator is fundamental in quantum mechanics, but would it be possible to derive it starting from a different set of first principles, more specifically starting (...
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113 views

Shifting momentum by a constant in the Schrodinger Equation

My book states that if we perturb a given Hamiltonian for the Schrödinger Equation $$ H = \frac{p^2}{2m} +V(x) $$ to $$ H' = \frac{p^2}{2m} + V(x) + \frac{\lambda p}{m} $$ then we can rewrite ...
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140 views

Is there a mathematical relationship between Legendre conjugates and Fourier conjugates?

In quantum mechanics, there is an uncertainty principle between conjugate variables, giving rise to complementary descriptions of a quantum system. But the variables are conjugates in two different ...
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384 views

How is Green function in many-body theory introduced?

Normally, for a (linear) operator $L$ and a DE $$ Lu(x) = f(x) $$ the Green function is defined as $$ LG(x,s) = \delta(x-s) $$ and it is found that $$ u(x) = \int G(x,s) f(s) ds $$ is the ...
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375 views

The appearance of volume $V$ in the Fourier series representation of a periodic cubic system

In the textbook Understanding Molecular Simulation by Frenkel and Smit (Second Edition), the authors represent a function $f(\textbf{r})$ (which depends on the coordinates of a periodic system) as a ...
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260 views

Significance of higher harmonics

I am analyzing a noise signal and have identified the fundamental frequency of a tone and it's higher harmonics. Say for example given the signal below, The fundamental frequency has a sound ...
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714 views

Derivation of Green's Function for Wave Equation

In the textbook Modern Methods in Analytical Acoustics (Crighton-1992, Amazon link to 2013 edition) the following relates the 3D Green's function in the time-domain to the frequency domain $g(x-y)$: \...
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What is the physical interpretation of the Fourier transform $(\mathcal{F}Z)(t)$ an impedance?

If I compose a impedances out of smaller ones in series and parallel configurations, e.g. $$Z(\omega)=i\omega L_2+\tfrac{1}{\tfrac{1}{R_1}\ +\ i\omega C_1+\ \tfrac{1}{i\omega L_2}},$$ then I get a ...
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298 views

A question from Srednicki's QFT textbook

I have a question in Srednicki's QFT textbook. In order to compute the vacuum to vacuum transition amplitude given by : $$\left \langle 0|0 \right \rangle_{J}~=~\int \left [ d\varphi \right ]e^{i\int ...
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147 views

Quantization of a free field: Klein-Gordon case

I am a beginner and reading this course text on QFT. The author first introduces the KG equation: $$\partial_\mu\partial^{\mu}\phi+m^2\phi=0$$ [with Minkowski signature $(+,-,-,-)$]. Then the ...
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404 views

Image Reconstruction:Phase vs. Magnitude

Figure 1.(c) shows the Test image reconstructed from MAGNITUDE spectrum only. We can say that the intensity values of LOW frequency pixels are comparatively more than HIGH frequency pixels. $$ f(x,y)=...
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511 views

Inverse Fourier Transform Of K-space Image…what is the object space scale?

Checked around a buch and could not find any help. But I needed help with: Understanding that if I get the Inverse FT of K-space data, what is the scaling on the X-space (object space) resultant ...
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620 views

Effect of a wavefront deformation on the far-field diffraction pattern of a TEM00

By performing Matlab simulations on a TEM00 mode (approximated by a gaussian intensity profile with a flat wavefront), I got the impression that applying wavefront deformations (such as a single ...
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341 views

Massless boson in 2D and its (retarded) propagator

I have the retarded propagator for a free scalar field in 1+1 dimensions. Inside the light cone, this looks like $J_0(m \sqrt(t^2-x^2))$, $J$ being a Bessel function. When I take the massless limit, ...
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109 views

Light, Fourier Transforms, Spherical Harmonics

Mathematically, I'm having trouble understanding where we can use what with light. I read somewhere on this site that Huygen's Principle is effectively just taking an expansion of a wave onto the ...
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261 views

Getting an equivalent integral equation from a given one

I'm reading a paper and don't understand some of the calculations. We are given an integral equation with asymptotic boundary conditions $\rho_+(u)=\frac{1}{2\pi} \int\limits_{|v|>\mu}^{}\mathrm{d}...
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772 views

Fourier transformation, electric field and magnetic field to have a shielding lattice against particles

With Fourier-Series Expansion, we can write a function as sum of many non-repating different frequncied different amplituded sine and cosine functions. Lets assume we know electric-field and magnetic-...
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64 views

Interpreting the Fourier transform of a Gibbs measure

Recall that a Gibbs measure gives a probability distribution on states $x$ of the form $$ p_X(x) = \frac{1}{Z(\beta)}\exp(-\beta E(x)) $$ As I understand, the function $E$ is interpreted as the ...
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220 views

Diffraction and $k$-space

Regarding diffraction I am a little bit lost reading about reciprocal space and the space of $k$'s. As I understand it the Fourier relationship between a wavepacket $\Psi(\vec r,t)$ and the complex ...
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101 views

Non-Hermiticity when Fourier transforming onto a finite lattice

I'm doing numerical simulations. I have the Haldane model in a honeycomb lattice where $$ H = \sum \limits_{<ij>}a^\dagger_i b_j + h.c $$ Where $i$ belongs to sublattice $A$, and $j$ to ...
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512 views

Does this statement make any sense?

I am asking this question completely out of curiosity. The other day, my roommate, by mistake, used 'Light year' as a unit of time instead of distance. When I corrected him (pedantic, much), he said ...
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12k views

Why are AC quantities represented by sine waves always?

Usually we use a sinusoidal wave form to represent a alternating quantity. Why not a cosinusoidal wave or a ramp wave form? In sine wave forms we can indicate the maximum and minimum amplitude and ...
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2answers
309 views

Why higher frequencies in Fourier series are more suppressed than lower frequencies?

One can expand any periodic function in sines and cosines. When calculating the coefficients $a_0$, $a_n$, and $b_n$ one find that $a_1>a_2>...>a_n>...$, similarly for $b_n$. Is there an ...
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3answers
463 views

What information is stored on gramaphones/tape recorders/CDs/DVDs

I'm a Software Developer by profession and my physics knowledge is limited what I had learned at high school level. Please excuse me if the question is trivial. Question: From what I know, a sound ...
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4answers
91 views

Convolution Theorem in Physics

I'm getting ready for my classes to start next semester in Grad school, and I'm reading over Fourier Transforms and their applications. I came across the Convolution Theorem, namely, that if we have a ...
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3answers
135 views

How can $F_0\cos\omega t$ change to $F_0e^{i\omega t}$ in driven oscillator equation?

I have one thing that confuses me on deriving the solution for the Linear Forced Oscillator. Suppose we have the equation as $$ma + rv + kx = F_0 \cos \omega t$$ What confuses me is when the driving ...
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3answers
2k views

How do human ears distinguish the frequencies in sound?

If they do a Fourier transform, how can they know the formula to find coefficients?
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285 views

How to measure an image's contrast?

I'm studying Fourier optics and Interferometry and I intend to determine the contrast of an image using computer software. My teacher of Experimental Physics didn't tell me how to do it, and so, I'm ...
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3answers
336 views

Fourier Transforms Related to Green's Functions

I'm reading a text on field theory where there are a number of assertions made about Fourier transforms that I'm finding confusing. For example, let $G^R = -i \theta(t - t')e^{-i \omega_0 (t - t')}$. ...
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331 views

What is the significance of the Fourier coefficients?

Let us take an example, a white ray (which is composed of bunch of frequency components) is passed through a prism, the ray gets split (decomposed) into its elementary vibgyor colours (i.e.different ...
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61 views

Why is response of system same frequency as driving force frequency

Super basic question: why does a system (to be definite, perhaps assume a collection of coupled harmonic oscillators) respond (in the steady-state, after transient effects have dissipated) with all ...
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2answers
345 views

Is a wave packet physically realizable as a Fourier series?

In QM a wave packet is modeled as an infinite, or almost infinite, Fourier series, and the Fourier transform provides a transformation between momentum space and position space. To what extent is ...
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3answers
412 views

Why does $\nabla \to ik$ when you Fourier transform?

I am reading a text that describes the scattering of light by a particle with dielectric constant $\epsilon$ After a bit of maths starting from Maxwell's equations they obtain: $$\nabla (\nabla \...
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2answers
786 views

Field theory:functional derivative involving Fourier Transform

I have to solve the following functional derivative $$ \frac{\delta}{\delta \Lambda(\mathbf{x})}\log[A-\mathbf{k}^2\Lambda(\mathbf{k})] $$ where $\Lambda(\mathbf{k})$ is the Fourier transform of $\...