What Is Harmonic?

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When talking about music, harmonics are like the little brother of a wave. They sound good and fun to play with, but they need help to get the hang of them. Harmonics are like waves related to another signal or wave-like how your voice sounds when you sing along with yourself or how a guitar string vibrates when it's plucked. When you sing along with yourself, the two frequencies are related by 2:1 (or f/2). This means that one wave is two times faster than the other one. To know the frequency relationship between two waves, multiply them together! So if you want to know the harmonic relationship between f and g, bear them: f*g=h. This is true for any harmonic relationship; remember to keep your multiplication sign where it's supposed to go! Harmonic describes two or more musical tones related by their frequencies. That is, they are whole-numbered multiples of each other. In acoustics, harmonic refers to a sound wave with a frequency greater than 20 Hz (20 cycles per second). In electronic power transmission, harmonic refers to any signal whose frequency is an exact multiple of another signal. In radio technology, harmonic has several meanings: it can refer to the energy emitted from an antenna when it is excited by a current it can also refer to the output from an amplifier that is equal in magnitude but opposite in phase from its input; and finally, it can refer to the third overtone frequency produced by a system which is excited by a given fundamental frequency. Energy is everywhere—even in the signals you're sending. That's a good thing because your signals need all the energy they can get to get where they're going. The only problem is that not all of your signal energy is contained in the fundamental frequency—some of it is at harmonic frequencies. This means that sometimes you must look deeper than just the fundamental frequency to see what's happening with your signal. You may have heard of perfect sine waves, whose energy is contained entirely within their fundamental frequency. It turns out that most waves are not ideal sine waves; instead, they have large amounts of energy at harmonic and fundamental frequencies.

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