# Fourier Transformations

Can anyone explain the above-i've read about in books, internet sites and still do not understand what its doing or the maths.

Thanks

mathman
Try wikipedia. It can't be explained in a few sentences.

hmm, ive read that and although i understand the basic, i.e complicated function and representing with smaller functions with sin and cosine waves, the rest doesn't make sense no matter how many times I read it.

how old are you? what level mathematical maturity do you have?

Not really sure why it matters but im 21. hmmm not that much i guess?

you know anything about vectors? how you can express any vector as a sum of basis vectors?

hmmm cant say that I do, is that where I should start then?

what do you know then? why do you want to know about fourier transforms?

An intuitive explanation:
I am sure you have seen one of these http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectral_analyzer" [Broken] found on Hi-Fi's or digital audio players, that plot frequency vs. amplitude. They take the audio signal (amplitude/time), apply the (discrete) Fourier transform, and display the resulting function (amplitude/frequency).

To illustrate, take the function $$\cos(2\pi at)$$, which is a wave with frequency $$a$$. Its Fourier transform is zero except for two "spikes" at $$-a$$ and $$a$$.

A more mathematical reason why the Fourier transform is important, is that it turns differentiation into multiplication, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourier_Transform#Analysis_of_differential_equations", which is quite useful for solving some differential equations.

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