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Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula by Paul J. Nahin

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Chapter 5

Fourier Integrals

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5.1 Dirac’s impulse “function.”

In this fairly short introductory section I want to take a break from Fourier and jump ahead a century to Paul Dirac, the English mathematical physicist I mentioned way back in the Preface. His name today is synonymous with the concept of the impulse function (often called the Dirac delta function), which will be of great use to us—as much as will Euler’s formula—in the next section on the Fourier transform. The impulse (I’ll define it soon) is one of the most important technical tools ...

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