In my physics book there is an example of making a square wave by "simply" summing up a few cosine waves. The book says these first three waves are the first three Fourier components of a square wave, yet when I sum the three wave functions up, I get something way off; as does my calculator.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

For example, if we take the easiest case of x = 0, we get the sum of 1, 1/3, and 1/5 equals 1.53m. However, when I look at the plot for the sums, the amplitude seems to be at about 0.9m. That is nowhere near the sum of the three wave functions at zero. This means that I am missing something fundamentally important here. What is it?

Here's a link to the graphs and the example problem. Thanks for your help.

http://i.imgur.com/DrjU0VE.jpg?1

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# I need help understanding the Fourier components of a square wave

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