Document Type


Publication Date


Published In

American Journal Of Physics


An undergraduate experiment is described in which the output of a noise generator is sampled by a computer equipped with a data acquisition board, after which the autocorrelation function is calculated. If the output of the noise generator passes through a low‐pass filter before it is sampled by the computer, then the autocorrelation function is a decreasing exponential function with a decay constant equal to the time constant of the low‐pass filter. The theory necessary to understand this phenomenon involves basic concepts in electrical noise, the analysis of linear systems, and Fourier transforms. In this paper the theoretical background for the experiment is discussed, typical data are presented, and a full analysis of these data is described.


This work is freely available courtesy of the American Association of Physics Teachers.

Included in

Physics Commons