# What is the role of complex exponential?

What is the role of complex exponential $e^{jθ}$ in Fourier Transform? Is it different in the continuous and in discrete time domain?

• The complex exponential correlates with sinusoids no matter what their phase. See dsp.stackexchange.com/a/449/29 Apr 6 '13 at 17:45

## 1 Answer

Euler's relationship says that $e^{j\Theta}$ is equal to $cos(\Theta) + j*sin(\Theta)$. The Fourier Transform can then be seen as correlating the signal with sinusoids at various frequencies. The continuous Fourier Transform correlates with an infinite number of sinusoids, while the discrete transform uses $N$ sinusoids, where $N$ is the length of the transform.