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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2answers
201 views

Measurement and uncertainty principle in QM

The Wikipedia says on the page for the uncertainty principle: Mathematically, the uncertainty relation between position and momentum arises because the expressions of the wave function in the two ...
2
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0answers
163 views

Discrete sum over an exponential with imaginary argument, considering only every second lattice site?

Let's say I sum an exponential function $e^{\imath \left(k-k^{\prime}\right) x_{i}}$ over a chain system where every member of the chain is of the same type, e.g., A-A-A-...-A-A (total of N sites) ...
3
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3answers
236 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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3answers
890 views

Does the Fundamental Frequency in a Vibrating String NOT Necessarily Have the Strongest Amplitude?

I am doing some experiments on musical strings (guitar, piano, etc.). After performing a Fourier Transform on the sound recorded from those string vibrations, I find that the fundamental frequency is ...
5
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3answers
410 views

Physics of a guitar

I understand that when you pluck a guitar string, then a bunch of harmonic frequencies are produced rather than just the frequency of the desired note. If this is true, why does C2 sound so different ...
5
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2answers
285 views

Modeling stochastic process with frequency-dependent power spectrum

I'm trying to model of Johnson-Nyquist noise propagation in a nonlinear circuit. An ideal (linear) resistor can be modeled very nicely by the Fokker-Planck equation (equivalently, the drift-diffusion ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Optics of the eye - do we see Fourier transforms?

I've recently been learning about Fourier optics, specifically, that a thin lens can produce the Fourier transform of an object on a screen located in the focal plane. With this in mind, does the ...
4
votes
2answers
348 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 ...
3
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1answer
77 views

Describing quantum intereference with only currents and densities

I know about and believe to understand the general wave equation based Kirchhoff diffraction formula, which in the Fraunhofer limit leads to a farfield complex wave function by Fourier transforming ...
0
votes
2answers
952 views

What's the physical meaning of the Fourier transform of magnetic flux density?

I have here below the distribution of the magnetic flux density $B$ across a 1 pole pitch in the airgap of a synchronous machine. The horizontal axis represents the distance along the arc length ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
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4answers
766 views

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 $p$, ...
7
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1answer
216 views

Fourier Methods in General Relativity

I am looking for some references which discuss Fourier transform methods in GR. Specifically supposing you have a metric $g_{\mu \nu}(x)$ and its Fourier transform $\tilde{g}_{\mu \nu}(k)$, what does ...
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2answers
224 views

Expressing a particle's matter wave in terms of its momentum

I'm following Zettili's QM book and on p. 39 the following manipulation is done, Given a localized wave function (called a wave packet), it can be expressed as $$\psi(x,t) = \frac{1}{\sqrt{ 2 \pi}} ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to distinguish female and male voices via Fourier analysis?

What makes one, without looking, be able to identify the gender of the talker as male or female? I mean if we Fourier analysed the voice of males and females, how the 2 spectrums are different which ...
1
vote
1answer
604 views

Conjugate Variables and Fourier Transforms in Classical Physics

Let q be a generalized coordinate with a conjugate momentum p and a potential resulting in a periodic motion of q. What is the meaning of the Fourier transform of q(t) over its period? Can this be ...
4
votes
2answers
189 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 ...
1
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2answers
473 views

Duality and Fourier Transforms [closed]

I read that $(FF(f))(x)=2\pi f(-x)$, where $F$ is the Fourier transform and $F(f(x-a))(k)=\exp(-ika) X(k)$ where $X(k)=F(f(x))$ implies $F(\exp(iax)f(x))(k)=X(k-a)$. But I don't see how that is ...
5
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3answers
1k views

Can Laplace's equation be solved using Fourier transform instead of Fourier series?

Sorry for the long text, but I am unable to make my question more compact. Any periodic function can be Fourier expanded. Usually, they say in mathematical physics books, if the function is not ...
3
votes
2answers
293 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How does the Fourier Transform invert units?

I don't really understand how units work under operations like derivation and integration. In particular, I am interested in understanding how the Fourier transform gives inverse units (i.e. time ...
6
votes
1answer
490 views

Can one canonical conjugate variable be considered to be the “frequency” of the other one? (which could be a “wavelength”)?

So, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjugate_variables#Derivatives_of_action, we have... The energy of a particle at a certain event is the negative of the derivative of the action along a ...
2
votes
2answers
439 views

Simulating eye diagrams

I'm trying to figure out how to simulate eye diagrams for communications systems using Python. I'm not sure I have the theory down completely, though. From what I could figure out using some old ...
4
votes
2answers
944 views

What is the specific meaning of “Fourier frequency” (as opposed to simply “frequency”)?

I've noticed that many journal articles (in optics) use the phrase "Fourier frequency" to describe, well, the frequency of something. Google scholar search for "Fourier frequency". Example: ...
5
votes
1answer
739 views

What is the meaning of the Fourier transform of Feynman propagator?

I know $K(a,b,t)$ is the probability amplitude of find a particle that starts at point a in b in a time t later. There is also an expression that sometimes is called green function: ...
4
votes
3answers
456 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
660 views

Using Fourier Transforms to Solve Systems with springs of high frequency

I'm trying to numerically solve the differential equations of motion in a system with multiple springs of very high frequency. Because the solution is often a combination of rapidly-oscillating sine ...
3
votes
2answers
431 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
347 views

Finding $\psi(x)$ from Fourier modes [closed]

In quantum physics we've defined: $$ \psi (x) = \sqrt{ \dfrac{1}{2 \pi \hbar} } \int^{ \infty }_{-\infty } \phi (p) \exp \left( i \dfrac{px}{ \hbar} \right) dp $$ Now, $$a(k) \equiv \sqrt{ \hbar } ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is the bispectrum not commonly used in experimental physics?

Power spectra, coherence spectra, and linear transfer functions are ubiquitous tools of experimental physics. However, our instruments often retain small nonlinear effects which can contaminate ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the relation between position and momentum wavefunctions in quantum physics?

I have read in a couple of places that $\psi(p)$ and $\psi(q)$ are Fourier transforms of one another (e.g. Penrose). But isn't a Fourier transform simply a decomposition of a function into a sum or ...
2
votes
5answers
477 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
981 views

How do I compute the eigenfunctions of the Fourier Transform? [closed]

I read today (ref) that the Continuous Fourier Transform has four eigenvalues: +1, +i, -1, and -i. Associated with each eigenvalue is a space of eigenfunctions: functions which retain their form ...
25
votes
6answers
3k views

Fourier transformation in nature/natural physics?

I just came from a class on Fourier Transformations as applied to signal processing and sound. It all seems pretty abstract to me, so I was wondering if there were any physical systems that would ...