Fourier Analysis is a mathematical tool which can do a number of things: separate out signals from noise; help identify patterns or trends in data; filter out all unwanted data and focus on a single signal; use approximations to make generalizations; make approximations of real world signals (think electronic music); combine harmonics to get a stronger signal. That's what I'll be trying to do here!! Won't you join me with your comments?
Saturday, January 26, 2008
As I have been trained as a scientist and engineer, I tend to think about life in terms of the various scientific and engineering principles that I have learned. While some folks joke about "gravity" getting them down, I just blame it all on Newton's First Law.
Picture my husband coming home. The kids are fed and homework is done, but they are basically vegging out in front of the TV. The dishes have not been done. Of the 10 household chores on my list, only 3 have been completed and the rest have seen half-hearted attempts which have been interrupted. I am curled up in my reading corner with the light off and a cold towel on my forehead.
"Everything OK?" he asks.
"Yeah. Blame it on Isaac." I reply.
"First Law again?"
"It's what keeps the world spinning."
"I'm not going to argue Physics with you now. Too much inertia."
"I'll put the kids to bed."
This month it has seriously gotten me in its grip. I can't seem to get started on anything. And the fibromyalgia keeps flaring up. I know the most likely cause is the changing weather which plays havoc with my system. It seems the higher the wind velocity, the stronger my headache. And the more it rains, the stiffer my joints. But a part of me also knows that I am in this pattern and it is not going to go away by itself. I have to act, to exert effort, to effect change. And while the scientist part of my brain is analyzing all this, the inertia-laden rest of my body just continues on in its pattern of everyday routine and nothing changes.
So my first step is to fall back on what I know. I find I can blog about physics and science easier than I can about the on-going stresses in my world these days. So I am tempting myself out of my routine by focusing on a few of my favorite topics. I hope, dear readers, that you still find me interesting, and hopefully not too boring. And maybe you can learn a little something as well as have a laugh at my expense. As a bonus, I promise (inspired by the incomparable Leslie) a future blog about the "Physics of Sex".
Want a short lesson on Inertia? Check out this YouTube cartoon (4 1/2 minutes)!