A Fourier transform (FT) is a mathematical technique that decomposes a function of time (a waveform signal) into a sum of sine waves. In essence, a Fourier transform maps from the time domain to the frequency domain, and is widely used in chemistry, physics, and engineering. Some operations on a given function may be easier to perform in the time domain; others become far simpler in the frequency domain.

Any waveform can be translated, by means of a Fourier transform, into the sum of sines and cosines.

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