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Signal Processing and Noise (elective)


Admission Requirements

Generally: knowledge of Fourier Transforms, Experimental experience, being familiar with Labview software. The following Leiden courses are prerequisites: Experimentele Natuurkunde, Natuurkundig Onderzoek, Labview, Analyse 3 NA (Fourier Transforms) If you have not studied in Leiden, but have followed equivalent courses, please contact the lecturer.


The goal of this course is to learn how to properly measure and analyze a physical signal, to understand sources of noise and to cope with them. Furthermore, basic system theory and feedback is taught as well as basic electronics. In order for the student to acquire theoretical background as well as hands-on experience, we offer a combination of lectures, exercise classes and practical lab work. Attendance at the latter is obligatory. The course is taught on the basis of a reader that will be handed to the students. Background material is also provided.
This course will be taught in English.

Course objectives

The course aims for both theoretical knowledge and practical skills on:

  • Passive electronic circuits
    Transfer functions, complex impedances, Bode-Plots, Response functions

  • Fourier Transforms and digital processing
    Convolution, Discrete Fourier Transform, Modulation, Aliasing, Analog/Digital conversion

  • Noise
    Noise spectral density, Johnson Noise, Shot Noise, Wiener-Khinchin theorem, Noise reduction

  • Feedback and basic system analysis
    Negative and positive feedback, Stability criterion, Laplace Transform

  • Operational Amplifiers
    Inverting amplifier, Differentiator, Integrator; Non-ideal OpAmp



Mode of instruction

We combine lectures, exercise classes and (mandatory) practical lab work. In addition, the students are required to make self-tests on the theory, via Blackboard.

Course load

Assessment method

Written examination with open problems, each consisting of shorter questions.

To be eligible for the exam, the students need to have a pass grade on each of the four lab projects. Furthermore, they have to complete the self-tests on Blackboard and the homework on time.


We use Blackboard for course announcements, for the mandatory self-tests, for background information and for providing the manuals for the lab classes.
To have access to Blackboard you need a ULCN-account.Blackboard UL

Reading list

The students are provided with a Reader. Background information can be found on Blackboard


Contact details lecturer: van der Molen (Sense Jan)


This course is also offered to Master students that did a BSc outside of Leiden (without following a similar course). For more information about eligibility and suitability, please contact the lecturer.