Concept

Additive white Gaussian noise

Summary
Additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) is a basic noise model used in information theory to mimic the effect of many random processes that occur in nature. The modifiers denote specific characteristics:
  • Additive because it is added to any noise that might be intrinsic to the information system.
  • White refers to the idea that it has uniform power spectral density across the frequency band for the information system. It is an analogy to the color white which may be realized by uniform emissions at all frequencies in the visible spectrum.
  • Gaussian because it has a normal distribution in the time domain with an average time domain value of zero (Gaussian process).
Wideband noise comes from many natural noise sources, such as the thermal vibrations of atoms in conductors (referred to as thermal noise or Johnson–Nyquist noise), shot noise, black-body radiation from the earth and other warm objects, and from celestial sources such as the Sun. The central limit theorem of probability the
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