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The Uncertainty Principle

The uncertainty principle (for Fourier transform pairs) follows immediately from the scaling theorem. It may be loosely stated as

Time Duration $ \times$ Frequency Bandwidth $ \geq$ c
where $ c$ is some constant determined by the precise definitions of ``duration'' in the time domain and ``bandwidth'' in the frequency domain.

If duration and bandwidth are defined as the ``nonzero interval,'' then we obtain $ c=\infty$ , which is not very useful. This conclusion follows immediately from the definition of the Fourier transform and its inverse in §B.2.



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``Mathematics of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT), with Audio Applications --- Second Edition'', by Julius O. Smith III, W3K Publishing, 2007, ISBN 978-0-9745607-4-8.
Copyright © 2014-04-06 by Julius O. Smith III
Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA),   Stanford University
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