Fourier Transforms and Nephew Mishaps

Imagine everything is made up of small ripples (it actually is!). From the sound of music (great movie!) to the silence of the lambs (scary movie!). These elemental waves are not limited to sound, far from it. They affect every dimension known and beyond.

Joseph Fourier[i] introduced a new way of describing the behaviors of our wonderful universe. Usually, people would use time as a reference to describe a phenomena. For example, in the case of a goof off session with one’s young nephew, if  is a theoretical function that outputs activity name for given time  then its Fourier equivalent would be  where the function would tell us how much time of a certain activity  I’ve done with my nephew during our goof off session.


Which can be broken down to even smaller activities which make up the ones above:

So if we graph our whole “Goof Off Session”  we’d have:


And it’s Fourier Transform counterpart:

More granular with elemental activities:

So an event like ‘Hide Seek’ is made up of various activities such as running, laughing, about-to-cry and being-surprised.

Realistically, activity A is a metaphor for frequency – ξ. Instead of base activities like Running and Laughing that make up more complex ones like ‘Hide and Seek’ and ‘Playing Catch’, according to Fourier, the world is made up of waveforms or sinusoids which are identified by frequency  where  is cycles and  stands for time. These make up more complex waves, analogous to ‘Hide and Seek’ and ‘Playing Catch’.

Mapping Activities to Frequencies ξ

Running à 50 Hz

Laughing à 20 Hz

About To Cry à 10 Hz

Being Surprised à 9 Hz

For all the nephews out there with uncles in love with knowledge and the magic of the world, I am truly sorry!

PS: If my nephew is reading this in a close future, you were not used as a guinea pig! I fell and goofed off way more than you, if anything I was! J