Signal Processer/Lock-In Amplifier
Understanding Extraction of Signal from Noise
The Signal Processor / Lock-In Amplifer was developed to help students understand theprocess of extracting weak signals that are embedded in a noisy environment. It allows them to experiment with a variety of "electronic strategies," as well as to become familiar with some of the uses of phase-sensitive detection. The SPLIA1-A is the antithesis of the modern commercial research lock-in amplifiers. These elegant devices are essentially "black boxes" to the user (student), since they automatically adjust almost all of their parameters to achieve optimum signal-to-noise. They are designed for ease of operation and to achieve optimal signal recovery, but not to make what we call the "electronic strategies" transparent to the user. In short, wonderful as they are, they were obviously not designed for teaching.
TeachSpin has designed the SPLIA1-A specifically for teaching. However, it can also function quite respectably as a "real" signal processor or lock-in amplifier, for real physics experiments.