- Absolute phase
Absolute phase refers to the phase of a
waveformrelative to some standard (strictly speaking, phase is always relative). To the extent that this standard is accepted by all parties, one can speak of an absolute phase in a particular field of application.
In the realm of
high fidelityreproduction of music, absolute phase refers the phase of the reproduced sound waves relative to the original sound waves, or to the relative phase of the various channels of stereo or multi-channel reproduction. In most cases, it is actually a question of the polarity of the channels, i.e., phase shifts of 180°. Some audiophiles claim (see, for example, [http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/absolutephase.html] ), that reversing the polarities of "all" the channels simultaneously makes a perceptible difference in the sound quality, even though the relative phases of all the channels are preserved.
When dealing with
power electronics, the phase of the voltage and current at various points in the system relative to one another are important. If the points of interest are widely separated in space, it is difficult to measure the relative phase. To solve this problem, the phase of the signals relative to absolute time ( UTC) is measured using instruments relying on GPS. Comparison of two absolute phases in this sense allows the relative phase of distant signals to be computed. See [http://184.108.40.206/search?q=cache:jvTG0D1EGaoJ:www.arbiter.com/ftp/datasheets/1133a_absolute_phase.pdf+absolute-phase&hl=de] .
signal processinga pulse or finite wavetrain can be considered as a signal of a single frequency modulated by an envelope, or as a superposition of an infinite number of infinitesimal waves of different frequencies. In the first capicture, it is a question of the relative phase of the component frequencies. For examples of physical effects due to the phase of signals with the same power spectrum, see [http://www.photonics.com/spectra/tech/XQ/ASP/techid.1273/QX/read.htm] and [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11700551&dopt=Abstract] .
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