The input function is a 60Hz square wave.enter image description here From Fourier Transform I know that the frequency on the spectrum is 60,180,300....(2k-1). But there's a series of 120,240,360...(2k) signals appear. enter image description here I've googled but all I found is Fourier Transform issues, not Fast Fourier Transform. I'm wondering why there are some 2k terms appearing on the spectrum. Thanks!


1 Answer 1


Looks like aliasing.

Your 360 Hz is probably not a real component at 360 Hz but it's the 9th harmonic (540 Hz) that aliases back to 360 Hz at a 900Hz sample rate.

That's easy to test: change the sample rate to, 940 Hz and see of the 360Hz moves to 400Hz or stays put. It moves to 400Hz, it's clearly aliasing.

  • $\begingroup$ Why does aliasing happen? I know if it violent the Nyquist Theorem it will appear. But the sampling rate is 10 times the input frequency. $\endgroup$
    – Harry Sung
    Oct 6, 2019 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ A square wave contains an infinite amount of harmonics. The Nyquist criteria applies not just to the fundamental frequencies but to any frequency in the signal which is infinite for a square wave. All harmonics that are below the Nyquist frequency will be sampled correctly. All harmonics above the Nyquist frequency will alias. $\endgroup$
    – Hilmar
    Oct 6, 2019 at 18:50

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