# 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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0

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

2. ### jpanhalt Expert

Jan 18, 2008
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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 Moderator

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 Expert

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 Moderator

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 Expert

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 Moderator

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 AAC Fanatic!

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

9. ### jpanhalt Expert

Jan 18, 2008
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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
133
5
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).