wavelet

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(n.) A waveform defined in both the frequency and the temporal domains. A Fourier transform converts a signal into a continuous series of sine waves, each with constant frequency and amplitude and with infinite duration. Most actual waves have a finite duration, however, and their frequencies change abruptly. Wavelet transforms convert a signal into a series of smaller waves, or wavelets. Signals processed by the wavelet transform are stored more efficiently than those processed by the Fourier transform. Actual waveforms with rough edges are better approximated by wavelet transforms.