Signals and Systems For Dummies
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The z-transform (ZT) is a generalization of the discrete-time Fourier transform (DTFT) for discrete-time signals, but the ZT applies to a broader class of signals than the DTFT. The two-sided or bilateral z-transform (ZT) of sequence x[n] is defined as


The ZT operator transforms the sequence x[n] to X(z), a function of the continuous complex variable z. The relationship between a sequence and its transform is denoted as


You can establish the connection between the discrete-time Fourier transform (DTFT) and the ZT by first writing


The special case of r = 1 evaluates X(z) over the unit circle —


and is represented as


the DTFT of x[n]. This result holds as long as the DTFT is absolutely summable (read: impulse functions not allowed).

The view that


sampled around the unit circle in the z-plane


shows that the DTFT has period 2π because


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Mark Wickert, PhD, is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He is a member of the IEEE and is doing real signals and systems problem solving as a consultant with local industry.

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