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Introduction

The Fourier Series

A Fourier series is an expansion of a periodic function f (t) in terms of an infinite sum of cosines and sines
f (t ) = a0 + (an cos nt + bn sin nt ) 2 n =1

In other words, any periodic function can be resolved as a summation of constant value and cosine and sine functions:
f (t ) =
=

a0 + (an cos nt + bn sin nt ) 2 n =1


a0 + (a cos t + b sin t ) 1 1 2 + (a2 cos 2t + b2 sin 2t )

+ (a3 cos 3t + b3 sin 3t ) +

The computation and study of Fourier series is known as harmonic analysis and is t i extremely useful as a way t b k up l f l to break an arbitrary periodic function into a set of simple terms that can be plugged in, solved individually, and then recombined to obtain the solution to the original g problem or an approximation to it to whatever accuracy is desired or practical.

f(t)

Periodic Function

a0 2

f (t ) =

=
t

a1 cos t

b1 sin t

where =

a0 + (an cos nt + bn sin nt ) 2 n =1 2


T = Fundemental frequency
a0 = 2 f (t )dt T 0
T

+
a2 cos 2t

+
T

b2 sin 2t

an =

2 f (t ) cos ntdt T 0

bn =

2 f (t ) sin ntdt T 0
T /2 T / 2

*we can also use the integrals limit