These notes originate from a workshop I used to teach as part of year3 lab for MPhys students.
This doesn't exist any more, and the content has been subsumbed in a number of other lectures and
lab modules. I've decided to leave these notes online as a summary of Fourier transforms.
Secondyear maths touches on Fourier series and transformations,
but given that the technique is so widespread and important in experimental physics, we need to
expand on this further. This workshop is a threeday block course which reiterates the maths behind
the Fourier transform, shows the implications for physics applications arising from the fact
that measured data sets aren't continuous functions, and looks at the way Fourier transforms are
implemented in computing.
Contents of the workshop
Please note that theses notes are meant to help you revise. However, I may include additional material
in the workshops or not cover all of the material listed here.
Further reading

WH Press, SA Teukolsky, WT Vetterling, BP Flannery;
Numerical Recipes;
Cambridge University Press ^{2}1992, ch. 12.02 and 13.01
This book is available for a number of programming languages. It is probably the best known source of
scientific algorithms. The introductory sections in each chapter are very concise and understandable
explanations of the mathematical background. I find the Recipes' coverage of FT better than that in
most dedicated Fourier theory books I have seen. Any of the copies available in the
Physical Sciences Library
will do.

ML Boas;
Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences;
New York: Wiley ^{2}1983, ch. 15.45.
My favourite maths textbook, although its discussion of Fourier transforms is based on the preceding
chapter on Laplace transforms, which we haven't done in year2 maths. If you're prepared to go the
extra mile and read up on both, it's certainly worthwhile. There are a few copies in the
Physical Sciences Library.

M Cartwright;
Fourier Methods for Mathematicians, Scientists and Engineers;
New York: Ellis Horwood 1990
This book lives up to its claim and provides all the mathematical rigour alongside plenty of examples from
science and engineering, although reading it would be a lot easier if the diagrams were properly labelled.
[Physical Sciences Library]

DC Champeney;
Fourier Transforms in Physics;
Bristol: Hilger 1985
There are a couple of copies of this booklet in the Physical Sciences Library. It is quite useful
because it has loads of worked examples based on physical applications.
[Physical Sciences Library]