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Uses and Abuses of the Energy-Time Curve

This paper addresses two basic aspects of the familiar Heyser energy-time curve (ETC) as applied to electroacoustic system measurements, namely a) its inherently acausal nature, which means that it should not be literally interpreted as representing the energy flow of a physical system, and more importantly b) the way in which the appearance of an actual ETC is affected by the detailed nature of the data from which it is computed, and especially by any frequency-domain window which is used in its computation. Theoretical and experimental data are used to illustrate the variety of behavior which can occur, and show how the processing can either enhance or falsify the measurement.

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