Applying Fourier Transform In Python Using Numpy.fft


  • Fourier transform is one of the most applied concepts in the world of Science and Digital Signal Processing.
  • Fourier transform provides the frequency domain representation of the original signal.
  • For example, given a sinusoidal signal which is in time domain the Fourier Transform provides the constituent signal frequencies.
  • Using Fourier transform both periodic and non-periodic signals can be transformed from time domain to frequency domain.


The Python example creates two sine waves and they are added together to create one signal. When the Fourier transform is applied to the resultant signal it provides the frequency components present in the sine wave.

# Python example - Fourier transform using numpy.fft method

import numpy as np

import matplotlib.pyplot as plotter


# How many time points are needed i,e., Sampling Frequency

samplingFrequency   = 100;


# At what intervals time points are sampled

samplingInterval       = 1 / samplingFrequency;


# Begin time period of the signals

beginTime           = 0;


# End time period of the signals

endTime             = 10; 


# Frequency of the signals

signal1Frequency     = 4;

signal2Frequency     = 7;


# Time points

time        = np.arange(beginTime, endTime, samplingInterval);


# Create two sine waves

amplitude1 = np.sin(2*np.pi*signal1Frequency*time)

amplitude2 = np.sin(2*np.pi*signal2Frequency*time)


# Create subplot

figure, axis = plotter.subplots(4, 1)



# Time domain representation for sine wave 1

axis[0].set_title('Sine wave with a frequency of 4 Hz')

axis[0].plot(time, amplitude1)





# Time domain representation for sine wave 2

axis[1].set_title('Sine wave with a frequency of 7 Hz')

axis[1].plot(time, amplitude2)




# Add the sine waves

amplitude = amplitude1 + amplitude2


# Time domain representation of the resultant sine wave

axis[2].set_title('Sine wave with multiple frequencies')

axis[2].plot(time, amplitude)




# Frequency domain representation

fourierTransform = np.fft.fft(amplitude)/len(amplitude)           # Normalize amplitude

fourierTransform = fourierTransform[range(int(len(amplitude)/2))] # Exclude sampling frequency


tpCount     = len(amplitude)

values      = np.arange(int(tpCount/2))

timePeriod  = tpCount/samplingFrequency

frequencies = values/timePeriod


# Frequency domain representation

axis[3].set_title('Fourier transform depicting the frequency components')


axis[3].plot(frequencies, abs(fourierTransform))






Example Python Program output that uses Fourier Transform to get the frequency components present in a sine wave


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