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Transfer Functions and the Laplace Transform

Laplace Transform
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Online Course Highlights
    • weeks long
    • 2-5 hours a week
    • FREE, Upgradable
    • Self-Paced
    • Taught by: Haynes Miller, Jeremy Orloff
    • View Course Syllabus

Online Transfer Functions and the Laplace Transform Course Details:

An intro to the mysteries of the frequency domain and Transfer Functions and the Laplace Transform and how they’re used to understand mechanical and electrical systems.

This Transfer Functions course is about the Laplace Transform, a single very powerful tool for understanding the behavior of a wide range of mechanical and electrical systems: from helicopters to skyscrapers, from light bulbs to cell phones. This tool captures the behavior of the system and displays it in a highly graphical form that is used every day by engineers to design complex systems.

This Transfer Functions course is centered on the concept of the transfer function of a system. Also called the system function, the transfer function completely describes the response of a system to any input signal in a highly conceptual manner. This visualization occurs not in the time domain, where we normally observe the behavior of systems, but rather in the “frequency domain.” We need a device for moving from the time domain to the frequency domain; this is the Laplace transform.

We will illustrate these principles using concrete mechanical and electrical systems such as tuned mass dampers and RLC circuits.

What you’ll learn

You’ll learn how to:

  • Passback and forth between the time domain and the frequency domain using the Laplace Transform and its inverse.
  • Use a toolbox for computing with the Laplace Transform.
  • Describe the behavior of systems using the pole diagram of the transfer function.
  • Model for systems that have feedback loops.
  • Model sudden changes with delta functions and other generalized functions.
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