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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume x Issue x (2006) pp 283-286

Processing Noisy Signals—A Computer Laboratory Exercise

Mark E. Rupright and Eugene T. Smith

Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, Florida Atlantic University, Jupiter, FL 33458,,
Received January 31, 2006. Accepted May 30, 2006.

Published online: 21 June 2006

Abstract. A computer laboratory exercise is described for enhancing the signal-to-noise of data using digital methods. This laboratory is designed to cover one to two lecture periods or a single laboratory period, and it is appropriate for an undergraduate instrumental methods course. Supporting material contains a student handout/problem set and various Excel, Labview, and Matlab files. The formulated problems, which illustrate the techniques of moving averages, unweighted and weighted (Savitzky–Golay), ensemble (signal) averages, Fourier transform, and other advanced methods, can be easily modified to accommodate available software and instrumentation at an academic institution. Students actively engage in these problems, rather than simply observe figures of raw and processed data commonly illustrated in textbooks.

Key Words: Computers in Chemistry; instrumental analysis; physical chemistry; diffusion; gas

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (222 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Instructor notes, a student handout, Excel worksheets containing data and problem solutions, Matlab program and data files, and a Labview data file are included as supporting material. (1.4 MB).

Issue date: August 1, 2006

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