[time-nuts] thermal transfer - even a little further OT

Jim Lux james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Sat Jul 12 13:38:13 EDT 2008

Quoting Mark Amos <mark.amos at toast.net>, on Sat 12 Jul 2008 10:13:36 AM PDT:

> Timenuts,
> In introductory texts regarding the FFT there is some mention of   
> Fourier's studies having had something to
> do with heat transfer.  Yet most of the FFT work I've been exposed   
> to has to do with decomposing signals
> into component sinusoids, translating between time and frequency domain, etc.
> Does anyone have a "layman's" explanation of how this relates to   
> what Fourier was trying to do with heat
> transfer?

M. Fourier was looking at the problem of heat transfer in cannon  
barrels, which, in 2D is a ring (aka a continuous periodic function).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Fourier has more info (including  
the interesting thing that I didn't know before, about his discovery  
of the greenhouse effect)

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