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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5answers
6k 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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3answers
159 views

How to design an experiment that shows that a rectangular pulse can be expressed as a series of infinite sinusoids?

Is it possible to design a physical experiment that shows that a time limited signal, such as a rectangular pulse is composed of infinite continuous sine/cosine waves?
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3answers
3k views

Magnitude of the Fourier Transform of White Noise

Say you have two white noise signals with different variation amplitudes A1 and A2 as shown in this beautiful Excel graph: Ignoring the DC offset as it's been represented here, how do you relate ...
7
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3answers
877 views

Why use Fourier expansion in Quantum Field Theory?

I have just begun studying quantum field theory and am following the book by Peskin and Schroeder for that. So while quantising the Klein Gordon field, we Fourier expand the field and then work only ...
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1answer
400 views

What's the average position of oscillating particles in a box with periodic boundary conditions?

Imagine an open box repeating itself in a way that a if a particle crossing one of the box boundary is "teleported" on the opposite boundary (typical periodic boundary position in 3D). Now put a ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Physical Significance of Fourier Transform and Uncertainty Relationships

What is the physical significance of a fourier transform? I am interested in knowing exactly how it works when crossing over from momentum space to co ordinate space and also how we arrive at the ...
3
votes
3answers
323 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 ...
3
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1answer
412 views

What would we never know in Physics if Fourier Transform were not discovered? [closed]

I am still unsure if Fourier Transform has any fundamental significance in Physics. Is it anything more than a calculation tool? For example sometimes people Fourier transform an equation to solve it ...
8
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2answers
602 views

Was uncertainty principle inferred by Fourier analysis?

I would like to know: did Heisenberg chance upon his Uncertainty Principle by performing Fourier analysis of wavepackets, after assuming that electrons can be treated as wavepackets?
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1answer
441 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the significance of negative frequency in Fourier transform?

What is the significance of negative frequency in Fourier transform? Why we include the band widths of the negative frequency also while calculating band width of the signal.
8
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2answers
297 views

Does light have timbre?

Timbre is a property associated with the shape of a sound wave, that is, the coefficients of the discrete Fourier transform of the corresponding signal. This is why a violin and a piano can each play ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Canonical Commutation Relations

Is it logically sound to accept the canonical commutation relation (CCR) $$[x,p]~=~i\hbar$$ as a postulate of quantum mechanics? Or is it more correct to derive it given some form for $p$ in the ...
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0answers
183 views

Splitting light into colors, mathematical expression (fourier transforms)

I am trying to solve a problem that includes a function of the light hitting a certain area. My question is, how would I change a function $G(x)$ of photons hitting a certain area to include just ...
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votes
3answers
1k views

Evaluating propagator without the epsilon trick

Consider the Klein–Gordon equation and its propagator: $$G(x,y) = \frac{1}{(2\pi)^4}\int d^4 p \frac{e^{-i p.(x-y)}}{p^2 - m^2} \; .$$ I'd like to see a method of evaluating explicit form of $G$ ...
9
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2answers
898 views

What does the Canonical Commutation Relation (CCR) tell me about the overlap between Position and Momentum bases?

I'm curious whether I can find the overlap $\langle q | p \rangle$ knowing only the following: $|q\rangle$ is an eigenvector of an operator $Q$ with eigenvalue $q$. $|p\rangle$ is an eigenvector of ...
2
votes
3answers
338 views

Energy stored in space/frequency electric field

I've come across a problem with finding the energy stored in time/frequency electric field. In space/time we have (taking $\epsilon = 1$) $$ Energy = \frac{1}{2} \int_V |\mathbf{E}(\mathbf{x},t)|^2 ...
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votes
4answers
3k views

Intuitive explanation of why momentum is the Fourier transform variable of position?

Does anyone have a (semi-)intuitive explanation of why momentum is the Fourier transform variable of position? (By semi-intuitive I mean, I already have intuition on Fourier transform between ...
2
votes
3answers
356 views

Acausality in solving time-domain inhomogeneous differential equations with Fourier transforms?

I was always wondering about the acausal nature of solutions obtained by Fourier transforms in the case of inhomogeneous equations. The solution usually revolves around the integration of the ...
3
votes
2answers
628 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Finding $\psi(x,t)$ for a free particle starting from a Gaussian wave profile $\psi(x)$

Consider a free-particle with a Gaussian wavefunction, $$\psi(x)~=~\left(\frac{a}{\pi}\right)^{1/4}e^{-\frac12a x^2},$$ find $\psi(x,t)$. The wavefunction is already normalized, so the next thing to ...
7
votes
1answer
811 views

Calculating diffraction patterns using FFT

I'm trying to write a piece of code that calculates a diffraction pattern similar to an X-ray experiment using a FFT. From my knowledge, the diffraction pattern for point particles can be calculated ...
4
votes
1answer
684 views

Is there a relation between quantum theory and Fourier analysis?

These days I was studying the quantum theory.I found that some theories about that is similar to Fourier Transform theory.For instance, it says "A finite-time light's frequency can't be a certain ...
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votes
2answers
3k views

Can the equation $v=\lambda f$ be made true even for non sinusoidal waves?

The known relation between the speed of a propagating wave, the wave length of the wave, and its frequency is $$v=\lambda f$$ which is always true for any periodic sinusoidal waves. Now consider: ...
3
votes
2answers
242 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
209 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
195 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) ...
4
votes
3answers
261 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
1k 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
votes
3answers
439 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
votes
2answers
308 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
3k 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
446 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
votes
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
1k 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
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
891 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 $p$, ...
9
votes
1answer
314 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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vote
2answers
232 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}} ...
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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
699 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
199 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
vote
2answers
513 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
votes
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
300 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
4k 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
576 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
488 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
3answers
1k 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: ...
6
votes
1answer
869 views

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

I know $K(a,b,t)$ is the probability amplitude that a particle that starts at point $a$ is found at point $b$ at a time $t$ later. There is also an expression that sometimes is called green function: ...