Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Shot noise or avalanche noise

  1. Jun 9, 2014 #1
    I frequently see the following circuit being used as a noise generator:


    ... where the transistors are basic npn bipolar transistors.

    Some authors attribute the noise to shot noise while others say it is avalanche noise.

    How do I determine which is correct?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 12, 2014 #2
  4. Jun 13, 2014 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I have no idea. But wonder whether dunking it in liquid nitrogen would reveal anything useful?
  5. Jun 13, 2014 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Couldn't it be argued that avalanche noise is a type of shot noise?
    The "definition" of shot noise is that it is noise caused by the fact the the current/signal is carried by discrete carriers; and from what I understand this is also the case for avalanche noise.

    That said, I suspect it will depend on the details of the circuit, avanches occur at hight field gradients and whether or not this is the case will probably depend on the exact type of transistor you are using. You will probably also always have quite a bit of shot noise.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Shot noise or avalanche noise
  1. Electrical noise (Replies: 10)

  2. PSD of Noise (Replies: 8)

  3. Brown noise (Replies: 1)