A transient is a signal or waveform which begins at zero amplitude, lasts for a certain time, and ends at zero amplitude. An example is the sound of a gunshot, or the vibration due to a hammer blow. When transients are subjected to spectrum analysis, they usually do not generate a harmonic series, but generate a continuous spectrum where the energy is smeared out over frequency. When analyzing transients with an FFT analyzer, care must be taken that the entire transient is included in the time record of the analyzer, and also that the rectangular window rather than the Hanning window be used.
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