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14
votes
3answers
5k views

How Earth communicates with Voyager I?

After taking a basic signals & systems class and learning about the frequency domain, I started wondering: How the heck do scientists still communicate with Voyagers I and II??   Do they ...
12
votes
4answers
495 views

Reconstruction of “wavefunction” phases from $|\psi(x)|$ and $|\tilde \psi(p)|$

Consider a "wavefunction" $\psi(x)$, which has a Fourier transform $\tilde \psi(p)$ Suppose that we know, for each $x$, $|\psi(x)|^2$, and that we know, for each $p$, $|\tilde \psi(p)|^2$. Have we ...
12
votes
2answers
156 views

Is there a fundamental limit to the temporal resolution of signals from space?

In Earth-based experiments, we can measure phenomenon very rapidly in an experiment given appropriate equipment. Clearly if something takes a long exposure to see (due to a weak signal), then the ...
9
votes
3answers
495 views

Can the Kramers–Kronig relation be used to correct transfer function measurements?

In experimental physics, we often make measurements of linear transfer functions; these are complex-valued functions of frequency. If the underlying system is causal, then the transfer function must ...
8
votes
1answer
659 views

Ringing sound when you flip a coin?

When you flip a coin, you hear a ringing sound. I know that the source of the sound is the thumbnail hitting the coin, but it seems to be filtered by the spinning of the coin. Specifically, the faster ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
205 views

Multiple channels of information in single electromagnetic wave?

I'm trying to understand how can multiple radio stations transmit information just by transmitting using different frequency. The way I understand it all those different frequency waves add up to a ...
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
2answers
276 views

Why isn't data lost when sent over large distances?

I was thinking about how information is sent, for example through the atmosphere. There are plenty of obstacles, as well diffraction, etc. Still, no information is lost. How is information sent to ...
5
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
161 views

Frequency shift without affecting signal length

Non-physicist here. From what I've learned in university and what common sense says, a shift in frequency of a signal results in a change in its length in time. For example, if a sinusoid signal of ...
5
votes
1answer
133 views

Why does a wall act as a low-pass filter?

Learning about the fourier transform and its connection to filtering/convolution got me curious about naturally occurring filters. Why/how is it that brick walls naturally act as a low-pass filter ...
4
votes
4answers
686 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
703 views

Dialing emergency numbers with no network available. How? [closed]

When the network is not available on my phone, it says "emergency calls only". It means that even if I'm in the middle of the desert, with no towers in the vicinity, I can dial the emergency number. ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Signal-to-noise ratio of the difference between two signals

Something tells me this must be a fairly simple question, but I have somehow been unable to find an answer to it. In short: I need to calculate the difference between two signals, A and B, each one of ...
4
votes
2answers
193 views

Autocorrelation of sound in liquids vs gas

This is just a curiosity and you need to bear with me as my math skills were always sub-par and so is my English academic language. My specialty is Electronics but I have always been a programmer. ...
4
votes
1answer
194 views

Products of Gaussian stochastic process variables

In the classic experimental physics text "Statistical Theory of Signal Detection" by Carl. W. Helstrom, Chapter II, section 4 concerns Gaussian Stochastic Processes. Such a process is observed at ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

White Noise Generator Through Low Pass Filter - Autocorrelation of normalized data dropping below 0 (showing negative correlation)

I am doing the following experiment: http://physlab.lums.edu.pk/images/a/ab/Correlation.pdf It is basically a white noise generator running through a low pass filter. Sample voltages are taken and ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

What is the interpretatation of individual contributions to the Shannon entropy?

If $X=\{ x_1,x_2,\dots,x_n\}$ are assigned probabilities $p(x_i)$, then the entropy is defined as $\sum_{i=1}^n\ p(x_i)\,\cdot\left(-\log p(x_i)\right).$ One may call $I(x_i)=-\log p(x_i)$ the ...
4
votes
1answer
245 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. $$ ...
4
votes
1answer
600 views

How does phase modulation conspire to eliminate power variations?

A purely phase-modulated signal has no power modulation. This is obvious enough if you look at the time series, but I'd like to "see" it in the frequency domain. In physical terms, if we take a ...
3
votes
3answers
372 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
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is bandwidth, range of frequencies, important when sending wave signals, such as in radio?

So in wired/wireless networking and radio, signals are sent in form of wave. Then the concept of bandwidth comes in, which is the difference between highest frequency and lowest frequency in a signal. ...
3
votes
3answers
234 views

Why don't you always use a high sampling rate?

I was just curious, as I was reading about aliasing. As far as I understand, aliasing comes from the fact, that you use a bad sampling rate, resulting in getting a wrong waveform compared to the one ...
3
votes
2answers
186 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
344 views

How to find gain bandwidth with knowledge of source bandwidth and output bandwidth? Deconvolution?

Say, I'm amplifying a signal using a device with gain bandwidth, ΔG Hz, which is unknown. My source signal which is being amplified is known to have a bandwidth of X Hz, and the amplified output ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

What is a Nyquist edge?

I've come to this sentence and I don't understand the term Nyquist edge. Because observing in the FM band is not feasible, a sampling frequency of 200 MHz has been chosen for most of the receiver ...
3
votes
1answer
327 views

Can atmospheric pressure literally push electromagnetic waves?

I work for an IT company and some time ago we had an issue with our wireless internet. We are 5 miles away from the ISP's antenna. Our Sys Admin expressed the view that the electromagnetic waves are ...
3
votes
2answers
687 views

Why is the observed signal the convolution of the true signal with the instrumental function?

Imagine we are observing a star. The light coming from a star enters an optical instrument that will give us some observed data, such as the spectrum of light say. What we observe is not the true ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Loss of Power at high frequencies

One of my work colleagues told me that a cable he is sending a signal through is losing power at high frequencies. So he recommends the signal should be amplified before being sent. The explanation ...
3
votes
2answers
919 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
231 views

Frequency of a periodic signal with distortions

I would like to evaluate frequency of some unstable periodic signal coming from a detector: The signal is registered continuously and may or may not be present (i.e. be periodic). The frequency ...
3
votes
1answer
239 views

How would one generate Brownian light? What would it look like?

When light is an equal mix of all visible frequencies, we call it white light. By analogy, sound that is a mix of all audible frequencies is called white noise. For sound, there is an additional ...
3
votes
1answer
440 views

How to determine frequency components present in distorted signal, with the set of possible components already known?

I am trying to choose the best approach to digitally analyse a signal, which is a mix of an unknown number (but less than 16) fundamental signals at specific frequencies (e.g., sines). The goal is ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Optical signal filters

Are there any optical filters which filter the signal's frequency and not based on the wavelength of the light? So what I mean is, if I have a modulated/pulsating light signal riding on a large DC ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Fourier series of single tone modulated wave

When a single-tone continuous modulating signal modulates a sinusoidal carrier, isn't the modulated wave periodic? If so, can't we apply fourier series and determine the harmonic frequency components ...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

Mapping between numbers and symbolic representations

I am not a physicist but applying symbolic dynamics for information coding in signal processing. Is there any mapping between symbols and numbers?
2
votes
2answers
509 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
116 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
45 views

Is it possible to estimate the number of people in a room from a limited number of simultaneously recorded audio samples?

Note: I struggled to decide the appropriate site for this question, between http://physics.stackexchange.com/, http://avp.stackexchange.com/, http://math.stackexchange.com/, and even ...
2
votes
0answers
149 views

Why is Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier (EDFA) preferred over Erbium Doped Waveguide Amplifier (EDWA)?

Why is Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier (EDFA) preferred over Erbium Doped Waveguide Amplifier (EDWA)? The question has been asked from an engineering point of view, but obviously I would also be ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Effect of Background Radiation on a Transmitted Signal

I'm coding a basic simulation of using error correcting codes to transmit data from a satellite back to earth. I'm not sure what to set the "noise level" to. Let's say a satellite orbiting Mars ...
1
vote
5answers
229 views

Normal distribution of x, xdot [closed]

I have some real measurements from a process and I happened to look at the mutual distribution of (x(t), xdot(t)). I found that they seem to follow 2d normal distribution around (mu, 0). See image, ...
1
vote
3answers
8k views

What is the meaning of “frequency of a human voice”?

The term frequency for a periodic wave can be defined as the number of times a repeating pattern occurs in a given time period (eg: no. of crest and trough cycles per second for EM wave). But what ...
1
vote
3answers
4k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
129 views

What does a constant signal sound like?

Say I was sampling a sound incorrectly and it produced a constant signal as below: What would this signal sound like? In Matlab, it plays nothing. Is this correct?
1
vote
1answer
111 views

Two superimposed sounds traveling through low- and high-density matter: is separation possible?

Two superimposed sounds (at source: $s(t) = s_1(t) + s_2(t)$; the two sound components overlap completely in time, partially in spectra) travel through low- and high-density matter and are recorded ...
1
vote
2answers
75 views

Energy of a signal

"The energy" of a signal $x(t)$ is defined as : $$E_s = \int_{-\infty}^{\infty}|x(t)|^2$$ Why is it called energy if it's not homogeneous to energy ? What does it actually represent ? Parseval's ...
1
vote
1answer
481 views

Parseval's Theorem on a Random Signal

NB - I'm re-posting this question in physics because I haven't had any luck getting a response from the maths StackExchange site - it's a rather applied problem so is probably better suited here ...
1
vote
1answer
191 views

Calculating decibel gain and loss

I'm doing a mobile/wireless networking subject and the physics aspect is giving me some trouble. I'm mainly confused about the conversion of dB, dBm and dBW and how to calculate the gain/loss from an ...