EngE_1104_Spring_2007_Lab_7_Warm_Up_Students_Copy_V1A -...

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Explorations Of Our Digital Future Summer 2006 Lab 7 Warm-Up Worksheet Written by Jeremy Garrett, Edited by Thomas Walker, Copyrighted June 2006 – Jan. 2007 Although there are several ways in which sound can be made (several different technologies), we will only discuss one of them here, at this time. But before we can discuss those details, it is important to discuss the difference between “analog” and “digital.” True human speech is an example of an analog signal. It is produced by a physical device (our vocal cords, tongue, lungs, mouth, nose, etc) and can contain any frequency within a certain range. Digital signals are signals that can only contain very specific values. Binary is the most common and most extreme case of this, where only 0 and 1 are transmitted, but any discrete signal is digital – in other words, any signal whose meaning is not at all open to interpretation or rounding. A modem's high pitched whistle is an example of this latter type. Even though it is a sound wave, it is still digital because both the modem that created it and the modem that receive it know that the possible pitches (frequencies) of those whistles can only come from a specific list. If a human being were capable of singing a pure frequency (only one frequency at a time) and if that human was then capable of always hitting notes exactly, and if the listener knew to expect those capabilities, then the singer could send a “digital” message to that listener by using those pure, exact notes. Another set of examples can be derived from the constant Pi. In the real world (trees, tires, clock faces, etc) the ratio of the diameter to circumference is described by the
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This note was uploaded on 09/19/2011 for the course ENGE 1114 taught by Professor Twknott during the Fall '06 term at Virginia Tech.

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EngE_1104_Spring_2007_Lab_7_Warm_Up_Students_Copy_V1A -...

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