Analog/digital signals in real life

Discussion in 'Homework Help' started by TsAmE, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. TsAmE

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 19, 2010
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    Which of the following quantities is analog in nature and which is digital? Explain your answers.

    Attempt:

    *Grains of sand in a bucket - digital since number of grains of sand fixed

    *Waves hitting the beach in one hour - analog since waves change due to moon

    *Height of a wave - analog since height varies

    * People in a square mile - analog since also varies

    Are my answers correct?
     
  2. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    I don't agree with all of your answers.

    Isn't counting inherently digital? Can you have 1/2 person? 1/10 person? Etc. Aren't people like grains of sand?

    Isn't measuring height or distance inherently analog, that is, a continuous variable?

    John
     
  3. Georacer

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    Nov 25, 2009
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    Counting can be analogue. The height of the wave can take any real value, which isn't quantized, it can take continuous values.

    Of course the first, second and fourth case are analogue in my opinion. You can't count half a grain of sand, half a wave and half a person. However, you can count half a meter when describing the height of a wave.
     
  4. jpanhalt

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    Jan 18, 2008
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    If you meant digital, I'd agree.

    Although, I gave some thought to waves, but then that small digression would be easily handled by defining that a wave had to be counted only at its peak or some other consistent and easily defined spot.

    John
     
  5. Georacer

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    Nov 25, 2009
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    Duh, of course I meant digital. Sometimes a word gets fixed in your mind and forces its way to the fingers.

    As for the waves, yes, that 's how I had it in mind. Count one wave every time a peak reaches the beach. No decimals, just increment the count by 1.
     
  6. jpanhalt

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    Jan 18, 2008
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    I hope the OP tells us whether we passed.

    Now here's one, is life analog or digital? Is dying just a continuum after age 50? (I'm joking.)

    John
     
  7. Georacer

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    Nov 25, 2009
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    I 'd say life is an infinite but countable set. You can do alot in life, but there's only so much you can do in one life.
     
  8. t_n_k

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    Mar 6, 2009
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    There is debate as to whether brain function is, in part, digital in nature.
     
  9. jpanhalt

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    I know what you mean. Every day, I feel a bit dumber.

    Sorry, I couldn't resist. Long day.

    John
     
  10. bribri

    Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    i like how Newton's "mechanical universe" is certainly a reflection on the human technology of its time. in the computer era we now, of course, have "digital physics" where, instead of a giant machine, the universe is a giant computer.
    if i was a basket-weaver i might be temped to describe the universe as a giant basket (containing many smaller baskets of course).
     
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