In signal processing, the impulse response, or impulse response function (IRF), of a dynamic system is its output when presented with a brief input signal, called an impulse. More generally, an impulse response refers to the reaction of any dynamic system in response to some external change. In both cases, the impulse response describes the reaction of the system as a function of time (or possibly as a function of some other independent variable that parameterizes the dynamic behavior of the system).
For example, the dynamic system might be a planetary system in orbit around a star; the external influence in this case might be another massive object arriving from elsewhere in the galaxy; the impulse response is the change in the motion of the planetary system caused by interaction with the new object.
In all these cases, the 'dynamic system' and its 'impulse response' may refer to actual physical objects, or to a mathematical system of equations describing these objects.
Famous quotes containing the words impulse and/or response:
“Whereas the Greeks gave to will the boundaries of reason, we have come to put the wills impulse in the very center of reason, which has, as a result, become deadly.”
—Albert Camus (19131960)
“There are situations in life to which the only satisfactory response is a physically violent one. If you dont make that response, you continually relive the unresolved situation over and over in your life.”
—Russell Hoban (b. 1925)