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Baldwin kicks off a new miniseries on DSP. He discusses periodic motion and sinusoids. He introduces time series analysis, sine and cosine functions, and frequency decomposition. He discusses composition, and provides examples for square and triangular waveforms.

Revised: Fri Oct 16 23:09:45 CDT 2015

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This module is the first in a series of modules designed to teach you about Digital Signal Processing (DSP) using Java. The purpose of theminiseries is to present the concepts of DSP in a way that can be understood by persons having no prior DSP experience. However, some experience in Javaprogramming would be useful. Whenever it is necessary for me to write a program to illustrate a point, I will write it in Java.

Viewing tip

I recommend that you open another copy of this module in a separate browser window and use the following links to easily find and view the Figures while you are reading about them.


  • Figure 1 . A sinusoidal function.
  • Figure 2 . Complex harmonic motion.
  • Figure 3 . Separate cosine and sine functions.
  • Figure 4 . Sinusoid with frequency modification.
  • Figure 5 . An approximate square waveform.
  • Figure 6 . An improved approximate square waveform.
  • Figure 7 . First five sinusoidal components of a square waveform.
  • Figure 8 . A triangular waveform.


Many physical devices (and electronic circuits as well) exhibit a characteristic commonly referred to as periodic motion .

I will use the example of a pendulum to introduce the concepts of

  • periodic motion,
  • harmonic motion, and
  • sinusoids.

I will introduce you to the concept of a time series .

I will introduce you to sine and cosine functions and the Java methods that can be used to calculate their values.

I will introduce you to the concepts of period and frequency for sinusoids.

I will introduce you to the concept of radians versus cycles .

I will introduce you to the concept of decomposition by decomposing a time series into a (possibly very large) set of sinusoids, each having its own frequency and amplitude. (We will learn much more about this in a subsequent module when we discuss frequency spectral analysis.)

I will introduce you to the concept of composition , where (theoretically) any time series can be created by adding together the correct (possibly very large) set of sinusoids, each having its own frequency and amplitude.

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
Difference between extinct and extici spicies
Amanpreet Reply
Researchers demonstrated that the hippocampus functions in memory processing by creating lesions in the hippocampi of rats, which resulted in ________.
Mapo Reply
The formulation of new memories is sometimes called ________, and the process of bringing up old memories is called ________.
Mapo Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Digital signal processing - dsp. OpenStax CNX. Jan 06, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11642/1.38
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