A new principle of sound frequency analysis

Theodorsen, Theodore

In connection with the study of aircraft and propeller noises, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics has developed an instrument for sound-frequency analysis which differs fundamentally from previous types, and which, owing to its simplicity of principle, construction, and operation, has proved to be of value in this investigation. The method is based on the well-known fact that the Ohmic loss in an electrical resistance is equal to the sum of the losses of the harmonic components of a complex wave, except for the case in which any two components approach or attain vectorial identity, in which case the Ohmic loss is increased by a definite amount. The principle of frequency analysis has been presented mathematically and a number of distinct advantages relative to previous methods have been pointed out. An automatic recording instrument embodying this principle is described in detail. It employs a beat-frequency oscillator as a source of variable frequency. A large number of experiments have verified the predicted superiority of the method. A number of representative records are presented.

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