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Understand signal enhancement

Posted: 07 May 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DC anode  atomic state lifetimes  Poisson statistics 

Many experimental techniques depend on the quantitative measurement of charged particles. Applications range from the simple, such as the measurement of a DC anode current by a picoammeter, to the complex, such as the measurement of atomic state lifetimes using time-resolved particle counting.

Often, the signal of interest is obscured by noise. The noise may be fundamental to the process: discrete charges are governed by Poisson statistics which gives rise to shot noise. Or, the noise may be from more mundane sources, such as microphonics, thermal EMF or inductive pick-up.

This article describes the methods for making useful measurements of weak signals, even in the presence of large interfering sources, emphasizing the electronic aspects of the measurement.

View the PDF document for more information.

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