The Fourier Series

We have spent a considerable amount of time on the analysis of circuits with sinusoidal sources. This chapter is concerned with a means of analyzing circuits with periodic, nonsinusoidal excitations. The notion of periodic functions was introduced in Chapter 12; it was mentioned there that the sinusoid is the most simple and useful periodic function.
This chapter introduces the Fourier series, a technique for expressing a periodic function in terms of sinusoids. Once the source function is expressed in terms of sinusoids, we can apply the phasor method to analyze circuits.
The Fourier series is named after Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier (1768–1830). In 1822, Fourier’s genius came up with the insight that any practical periodic function can be represented as a sum of sinusoids. Such a representation, along with the superposition theorem, allows us to find the response of circuits to arbitrary periodic inputs using phasor techniques.
We begin with the trigonometric Fourier series. Later we consider the exponential Fourier series. We then apply Fourier series in circuit analysis. Finally, practical applications of Fourier series in spectrum analyzers and filters are demonstrated.

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