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Read About Digital vs. Analog Signals

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Digital vs Analog Signal Video for Kids
WHAT ARE DIGITAL SIGNALS?

Electronic signals allow computers and other electronic devices to take in, send out, and process the information they need to function. Computers and other digital devices send and store information as a series of digits like 1s and 0s. We call signals made of only two digits, digital signals.

To better understand digital vs. analog signals…

WHAT ARE DIGITAL SIGNALS?. Electronic signals allow computers and other electronic devices to take in, send out, and process the information they need to function. Computers and other digital devices send and store information as a series of digits like 1s and 0s. We call signals made of only two digits, digital signals. To better understand digital vs. analog signals…

LET’S BREAK IT DOWN!

A sound wave is an analog signal.

A sound wave is an analog signal.

Sound waves are created by vibrations, and sound can be recorded on vinyl records with grooves that cause the needle on a record player to vibrate. Those vibrations are then amplified to play back the sound that was originally recorded. The pitch, or frequency, of that sound can take on a wide range of values. In other words, the frequency of that sound is a continuous variable. The signal produced by playing a record can be represented as a smooth sound wave that describes exactly how the sound changes over time. This is known as an analog signal. The sound wave produced by the record player is analogous, or similar, to the original sound wave that was recorded.

A sound wave is an analog signal. Sound waves are created by vibrations, and sound can be recorded on vinyl records with grooves that cause the needle on a record player to vibrate. Those vibrations are then amplified to play back the sound that was originally recorded. The pitch, or frequency, of that sound can take on a wide range of values. In other words, the frequency of that sound is a continuous variable. The signal produced by playing a record can be represented as a smooth sound wave that describes exactly how the sound changes over time. This is known as an analog signal. The sound wave produced by the record player is analogous, or similar, to the original sound wave that was recorded.

Analog signals can be converted to digital signals.

Analog signals can be converted to digital signals.

Modern computers are controlled by digital, not analog signals. Digital signals are made up of values, or digits, that can have only certain values. The most basic instructions controlling a computer are made up of a series of 1s and 0s. Because computers often need to handle analog signals, like a digital thermometer reading your body temperature, we need to be able to convert analog signals to digital signals. This happens through a process called sampling. To convert the sound wave produced by a record player into a digital signal, we would take the value for the wave height at evenly spaced time intervals and convert those values into a digital code of 1s and 0s. Once the sound wave is converted to a digital signal, it can be stored and transmitted by a computer. This is what allows us to download, play, and stream music from our smartphones.

Analog signals can be converted to digital signals. Modern computers are controlled by digital, not analog signals. Digital signals are made up of values, or digits, that can have only certain values. The most basic instructions controlling a computer are made up of a series of 1s and 0s. Because computers often need to handle analog signals, like a digital thermometer reading your body temperature, we need to be able to convert analog signals to digital signals. This happens through a process called sampling. To convert the sound wave produced by a record player into a digital signal, we would take the value for the wave height at evenly spaced time intervals and convert those values into a digital code of 1s and 0s. Once the sound wave is converted to a digital signal, it can be stored and transmitted by a computer. This is what allows us to download, play, and stream music from our smartphones.

Sending digital signals