Sampling (signal processing)

In signal processing, sampling is the reduction of a continuous-time signal to a discrete-time signal. A common example is the conversion of a sound wave to a sequence of "samples". A sample is a value of the signal at a point in time and/or space; this definition differs from the usage in statistics, which refers to a set of such values.[upper-alpha 1]

Signal sampling representation. The continuous signal S(t) is represented with a green colored line while the discrete samples are indicated by the blue vertical lines.

A sampler is a subsystem or operation that extracts samples from a continuous signal. A theoretical ideal sampler produces samples equivalent to the instantaneous value of the continuous signal at the desired points.

The original signal can be reconstructed from a sequence of samples, up to the Nyquist limit, by passing the sequence of samples through a type of low-pass filter called a reconstruction filter.


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