# Talk:Fourier analysis

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## Inheritance Edit

If Fourier analysis is mentioned in this episode, then that episode's page should have it added to the references. I can't confirm this so I haven't done so. Lt. Washburn 12:57, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

## PNA-IncompleteEdit

Missing references:

Thanks --Alan del Beccio 19:44, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

## RemovedEdit

A lot of extraneous information was added to this article this morning, including some in the wrong POV. If people want to know what a Fourier analysis really is in all its gory detail, they can read Wikipedia.

The first section was expanded to:

that can be recombined to obtain the original signal. It is useful for examining the frequency content of the signal: it essentially "transforms" the signal from its equivalent time or spatial variation to its relationship versus frequency. Fourier analysis can also be performed on stochastic, non or quasi-periodic signals to obtain an estimate of the signal's frequency content, which is known as the power spectral density (PSD).
For periodic signals, it is possible to exactly reconstruct the original from its Fourier series. This process of recombining the sinusoidal basis functions is also called Fourier synthesis (in which case Fourier analysis refers specifically to the decomposition process). It is not possible to reconstruct a stochastic signal's PSD back to the original.

The bit where Data refers to his blinking being controlled by Fourier analysis had this added to the end:

It is unclear what he meant by this, for Fourier analysis is a signal analysis technique, not a method for generating pseudorandom number sequences. Furthermore, it is unclear how simply the Fourier decomposition formula could "govern" anything other than the method of how to decompose a periodic signal into its constituent frequency components, which yields a predictable, non-random, finite sequence.

The first is far more information than is really required (that's what the WP link is for), and the second is in the wrong POV and verges on nitpickish. -- sulfur 12:31, September 17, 2010 (UTC)

That was me. I was correcting misinformation. I'm sorry for causing offense. I'm new at editing, and I was trying to improve the article. I didn't include details but just changed some mistakes and added a few notes surmising what was intended in the episodes. I'll stop editing MA from now on. --Cepstrum 12:39, September 17, 2010 (UTC)

No need to stop editing MA. We're not here to speculate on things or to pick at problems with them, only to summarize what was stated. People that have interest in the topic can read further on places like Wikipedia (that have quite good sections of references, etc). Sometimes it is best to simplify the content, so as to attempt to omit the falsehoods and mistakes made by writers (very few of whom are mathematicians or scientists, and those that are try not to let science get in the way of good story-telling), and simply "state the facts." I'm not sure if my removal of information gets us to that point, but along with your initial corrections, I think that it improves the quality of the article. I hope. :) -- sulfur 12:45, September 17, 2010 (UTC)

oops. I was typing in the talk page midway. Here is the rest of what I was saying. (I can't write any more; it's too hard and slow on my iPod):
That was me. I was correcting misinformation. I'm sorry for causing offense. I'm new at editing, and I was trying to improve the article. I didn't include details but just changed some mistakes and added a few notes surmising what was intended in the episodes. I'll stop editing MA from now on. I'm really sorry. I just thought people would find it interesting, given that Trek is science fiction and was trying to actually use some real engineering concepts. Please accept my apologies. Again, I'll go back to just reading MA. It took me an hour to write the material on my iPod, and seeing it deleted immediately is disheartening. But I will respect your judgment, for obviously you've been around here editing longer than I. Sorry for the trouble.
--Cepstrum 12:39, September 17, 2010 (UTC)

Again -- some of the information you put in (and corrected) is good. The big issue for MA is "where do we draw the line?" We have gotten a few of those things down explicitly, especially when it comes to point of view and nitpicking (any time there is a scientific fact incorrect in Trek, which is really quite often, for example). The one that still wavers back and forth is when it comes to real world scientific and mathematical principles and concepts. Those are the things that are hard to really quantify how much information is good to have here. Some camps lean toward nothing that is not explicitly mentioned in canon, others lean toward replicating Wikipedia's output. -- sulfur 13:02, September 17, 2010 (UTC)

Dear Sulfur:

I'm really sorry for causing trouble. Again, I'm a long, long time MA reader but new at editing. I obviously was not prepared. My knowledge of the policies etc., is poor — though I've read through a lot of them and would never try to subvert them. I guess I was mistakenly trying to "be bold" and add what turned out to be bad additions to this article. Normally I would restrict myself to only editing/correcting very minor typos/errors (copy editing), for I claim to know neither much about MA policy nor collective wiki editing. I do appreciate the fact that you quickly put me in my place: I definitely wouldn't want my extraneous, nit-picking to percolate into anything further. It's good you reined me in.

I'm really quite shy, so I'll just step back and let the pros take their place. Furthermore, my physical condition limits me to using an iPod for all editing, which is neither an easy nor convenient tool for wiki editing. Will you be ok with me if I promise to restrict myself to just making clear, non-controversial copy edits? I won't attempt to make any changes to an article again. I just couldn't help myself, for I'm a PhD student in electrical engineering with signal processing as my (only) specialty: Fourier analysis techniques are my livelihood. ^_^ Still, I regret making any changes: I should have known better that MA is *not* the appropriate venue for accuracy in such matters. Most people wouldn't even care! And you're right: those that do can consult texts, articles, or even Wikipedia for more information.

Having said that, would you mind if I tried to rectify things by making one or two changes? For example, the term "PSD" now appears with neither a link to its description (an external link, of course) nor a clue about what the initialism literally means. I feel bad, for it was I who originally added a mention of it, and in your kind attempt to preserve some of my changes, you kept the term in there but left out its meaning ("power spectral density").

Perhaps the best solution would be to just revert all my changes. You are an experienced editor *and* an admin, so I'll leave it up to you. If you'd like me to make a couple of changes like that, let me know. Otherwise, I'll stay away and stick to reading the excellent MA wiki and perhaps occasionally making copy edits.

Thank you, Sulfur, for your consideration and patience with me.

Best regards,

--Cepstrum 13:12, September 19, 2010 (UTC)

You should do whatever you feel you need to, but no one wants you to stop editing or promise to edit in only a certain manner. We don't want you to feel bad because your edits were reverted- that is a normal wiki occurence, and has happened to all of us(even admins) Again, you should do whatever level of involvement you wish to- but don't feel like you to have to stop for us.--31dot 13:17, September 19, 2010 (UTC)

Thank you, 31dot, for your encouragement. But feeling guilty/bad is what I do best, so I think I should refrain from making any significant edits. Nonetheless, I *will* wait for you or Sulfur to advise me: I don't wish to engage in "edit wars" or break policies (or be a "nit-picker" and write "gory details"). I think it's best for you and others such as Sulfur to maintain order and prevent me from messing things up.

I would like to ask you a question, though: do you know why Sulfur changed the POV of the Fourier analysis technique itself to the past tense, as though it were no longer around? I know as an encyclopedia, MA strives to present information that has occured in episodes, etc., as though they were historical events. But Fourier analysis is simply a mathematical and engineering tool based on principles that will not disappear, even if one day people stop using it. Why wouldn't MA say Fourier analysis "is" a technique etc., instead of "was"? I can understand saying that it "was applied" in such-and-such episodes, but I guess I don't understand why the technique itself is referred to as something that is no longer around. The Milky Way article, for example, doesn't say it "was" a galaxy. I realize I'm quite ignorant about such policies, so I'd appreciate an explanation if anyone can help me. Thanks!

Regards, --Cepstrum 13:52, September 19, 2010 (UTC)

The POV of the in-universe articles is that of someone all-knowing in the distant future looking back at the Star Trek universe, so we use the past tense for the vast majority of articles. There are a couple of exceptions- astronomical features should be written in the present tense(such as galaxies) and "eternal concepts" that do not change should be written in the present tense. In this case, I think the interpretation of that is while mathematics is eternal, specific aspects are not. Not saying I necessarily agree, just that it seems to be the case.--31dot 14:07, September 19, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I tend to disagree, for mathematical/logic concepts seem more "eternal" than astronomical phenomena. But I'll abide by the guidelines! --Cepstrum 13:41, October 3, 2010 (UTC)