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Simple sinusoidal wave can't convey information?

  1. Nov 30, 2012 #1

    Here http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath210/kmath210.htm it is written that "...in order to actually convey information, a signal cannot be a simple periodic wave...". I've met this statement in several other places too, this one is just for reference.

    What does that mean that a simple sinusoidal periodic wave can't convey information?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 30, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    How would you convey information with such a wave?
  4. Nov 30, 2012 #3


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    A "simple sinusoidal periodic wave" in this sense continues for all time (both in the past and in the future) with the same amplitude and frequency.

    That might be different from a "common sense" idea of what the word "simple" means.
  5. Nov 30, 2012 #4


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    To convey information, you need at least two "words". One word gives no information - If your answer to every question was "yes", your answers would have no value at all, they would carry no information. A simple sine wave is like one word, it carries no information. If you had two possibilites, a sine wave or no sine wave, then you could transmit information, like "yes" or "no".
  6. Dec 1, 2012 #5
    thanks for the answers.
    thank you Rap, that explains it clearly
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