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Einstein's 1914 paper on the theory of irregularly fluctuating series of observations

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1 Author(s)
Yaglom, A. ; IEEE ASSPM

The author makes various observations on Albert Einstein's short note of 1914 ["Method for the determination of the statistical values of observations concerning quantities subject to irregular fluctuations," Arch. Sci. Phys. et Natur., 37, ser. 4, 254-56 (1914)] on methods of reducing fluctuating series of observations. He argues that it foreshadows the theory behind the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). The paper seems not to have attracted much attention when it was given, and was soon nearly forgotten. In any case, the present author has found no reference to it, either in a bulky index of literature on the theory of time series or in the tens of monographs, symposia and detailed reviews on this topic that he has examined. Only in 1979, in connection with the worldwide observance of the Einstein centenary, did the East German H. Melcher draw attention to the existence of the little-known paper (without discussing its content).

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ASSP Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 4 )