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A NOTE ON FOURIER SERIES OF HALF WAVE

RECTIFIER,
FULL WAVE RECTIFIER AND UNRECTIFIED SINE WAVE
Jambunatha Sethuraman*
Vinayaka Missions Kirupananda Variyar Engineering College
Salem Tamil Nadu India

ABSTRACT: There is always an inherent phase difference between a


sinusoidal input and output (response) for a linear passive causal
system. This is explained in detail and even in the Fourier series of a
periodic causal function, this principle can be elegantly used with
profit and better understanding. Several illustrations are give in
support of this novel idea. There need not be a special section for
Fourier cosine/sine transforms as this approach covers them also.

sethuswami80@gmail.com

INTRODUCTION:

is a periodic function with period

f (x)

can be expended as a Fourier series in the interval

It
:

a0
nx
nx
f ( x )= + an cos +b n sin
.
2 n=1
L
L

(1)

spanned by the basic set of orthogonal functions

sin

nx
nx
,cos
,n=0,1,2,3,
L
L

{a0 ,an ,bn }

. Each sinusoidal wave has angular frequency

n
n
n= frequency f n= .
L
2L

The fundamental frequency

set of Fourier coefficients has

Time

fn

the function receives the co-ordinates

Temporal
frequency

( 2n+1) entitieswithn[1].
Space
Spatial frequency

f 1=

1
.
2L

The

1
a0 = f ( x ) dx ,
L L

(2)

Half-wave rectifier output wave form and its Fourier series

f ( t )=

Asin 0 t 0 t T
.
0T t 0
The coefficients

are evaluated as

A 2A 1
1
1
A
Asin 0 t=
cos2 0 t+ cos4 0 t+ cos60 t+ + sin 0 t ,
1.3
3.5
5.7
2

It is convenient to write the coefficients as

a0 A
= , a =
2 n

Note that there is only one coefficient which survives in

sine series, namely

b1 .

all the other coefficients vanish. It is

interesting. Why it is so, will be clear later. See Fig. 1.

a0 ,an ( n>0 )bn ( n>0 ) are present.

A scale factor of 2 is due to doubling the

function in the period.

: The wave form can be represented as

f ( t )= Asin0|t|T t T

. For the full-wave rectifier the Fourier coefficients are


given by

a0 2 A
= , a =
2 n

Noteallb n arezero.Onlya 0a n coefficients surviveasexpected .A scalefactor2


is due to doubling the existence of the function.

sine wave: This is a pure sine wave given by

Asin0 tT tT .
TheFouriercoefficientsarea0=0, alla n are zeros,onlyoneb n coefficient
namely

b1 survivesisequalA .

b1=2A,b2 =b3=.=0.

b1
=A
2

This is expected since it is a pure sine wave and has only one Fourier
component, viz.,

sin0 t

and hence only

b1

contributes. Again a

factor 2 is present due to doubling the function in the period. See Fig.
3.

Ithasonlyb1 coefficientallother bn ( n>1 ) vanish.

The assertion is the the half-wave rectifier contains the coefficients of


full-wave rectifier and (unrectified) pure sine wave. This is interesting.
A closer analysis shows that full-wave rectifier and pure sine wave are
respectively even and odd extensions of half-wave rectifier! If halfwave rectifier is extended as an even function (full-wave rectifier) only
the cosine coefficients survive and sine coefficients (odd) vanish. A
factor 2 arises due to the period is doubled. If the half-wave rectifier is
extended as an odd function, i.e., pure sine wave only the odd sine
coefficients survive and all even coefficients vanish. This is an
important concept and can be applied to all so called Fourier
sine/cosine series. In both extensions, a factor 2 arises due to the
function is doubled in the period.
REDUNDANT EXERCISES: It is not necessary to teach Fourier sine
/cosine series and they are redundant in the sense that they are
special cases of Fourier series of a causal periodic function.
Our approach is further strengthened by the following exercise: See.
Fig. 4.

A rectangle periodic function with duty cycle 50% has only

1
a0 coefficient
2

( )

alla n>0vanish.

bn coefficientsexist.

When extended as an odd function the

bn

are simply doubled.

When extended as an even function, it becomes a continuous straight


line with constant value 1. Hence

a0
=1a 0=2.
2

There is consistency

in this approach. It is well-known that a constant function has only dc


term as there is no undulation or change in the function. In Fourier
analysis, it is sometimes regarded as useless term having no
information; but it is not so. Its role is important and serves as a
canvas for painting. The next illustration with a causal triangle
function is also self evident and proves beyond doubt our assertion.
See. Fig. 5.

Fig. 5.
A function is said to be causal if it is zero for negative range. For

1 x >0
example the Heaviside function is causal :
.
1
H ( x )= x=0
2
0 x<0
(3)
Exponential function used to describe radioactivity is also causal.

f ( x )= N 0 e .
0

(4)

Half wave rectifier is causal because for negative duration of the


period, the wave is zero.
CAUSALITY AND QUADRATURE RESPONSE: One might
have noticed that when a cosine periodic force is acting on a
damped harmonic oscillator , in the response (displacement)
there is a component proportional to cosine periodic force and
also a component of displacement proportional to sine of the
periodic force! This is surprising as no sine periodic force was
applied. Yet the system responds as if a sine periodic force
were also applied. This displacement is said to be in
quadrature response and that proportional to cosine force is
said to be in phase response. The differential equation of a
damped harmonic oscillator (DSHO) is [5, 6]

d x(t)
dx(t ) 2
+2
+ 0 x ( t ) = C ( t ) t >0 0 > ,
2
dt
dt
0t <0

(5)

0 is the natural frequency and


where
is the
damping constant per unit mass and C is the strength of the
impulse.

x (t )

is the displacement and

x ( t )= v(t)

velocity of the particle. It can be shown that


velocity is given by [2]

C=v 0

is the

[2]. The

v ( t )= v 0 e

cos 0 t

sin 0 t
t >0
0

0t<0

(6)
If a periodic force

where0 isthenaturalfrequencyof theDSHO.

per unit mass.

f 0 costisappliedtimet0,wheref 0 istheforce
The velocity is now given by

V ( t )=

{[

f0
2

20
2

( )

20
cost sint t>0

( )

(7)

0 t<0

there are two components for the velocity: first in-

phase component

component

[( ) ]
2 2
0

+ 2

20

( )
( )
2

20
2

response proportional to

sint

cost

and in-quadrature

. It is surprising that there is a

and that oscillating force was

not applied. Nevertheless the response has that component


also. A causal linear passive system always produces an
impulse response with both in-phase and in-quadrature
response. We can write eq. (.) as

V ( t )= A ( ) cos(t+ ( ) )
A ( ) =

(8)

f0

2 2

0 + 2

and tan

( )

( )=
.

The in-phase and in quadrature responses are not


independent of each other as the the principle of causality
ascertains that that for a physically realizable system it is not
possible to give an arbitrary characteristic for the in-phase
response without setting up a definite in-quadrature response
and hence a definite phase characteristic. For more
information the reader is referred to ref. 2 and 3 in
Academia.edu.
References:
1. E. Butkov, Mathematical physics, Addison-Wesley Pub Co (Reading),
1968, Ch. 7
2. Jambunatha Sethuraman, A convolution approach to damped
harmonic oscillator,
https://www.academia.edu/5385350/CONVOLUTION_APPROACH_TO_
DAMPED_HARMONIC_OSCILLATOR
3. Jambunatha Sethuraman, Hilbert transform, Causality, analyticity,
and Fraunhofer diffraction,
https://www.academia.edu/5453386/Causality_Analyticity_Hilbert_tr
ansform_and_Fraunhofer_diffraction