How would I go about figuring out how long a source was measured when given a graph of the power spectrum?


From notes I'm following, they just state the total observation time as being roughly 16minutes, and I can't figure out how they got this value.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


1 Answer 1


As a rule of thumb, the uncertainty in the frequency distribution is the reciprocal of the total measurement time, or

$$ \Delta f \Delta T \approx 1 $$

The exact constant will depend on how exactly you want to specify terms like "uncertainty in the frequency distribution".

Here we can see the distance between the individual points in the frequency domain is 10$^{-3}$ Hz, so roughly $\Delta T$ is $\frac{1}{10^{-3}}$ s, or 16 minutes.

This question might help if you still have any questions


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