Pink Noise

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What Does Pink Noise Mean?

Pink noise is a specific kind of spectral noise with different intensity over different parts of the frequency spectrum. It has specialized uses in IT and other industries.


Techopedia Explains Pink Noise

Pink noise has a linear or logarithmic nature, where power or intensity decreases by 3 dB per octave at a certain range of frequencies. Another way to characterize it is that it has distributed power in proportional bands. For example, pink noise would have the same intensity in a lower frequency range of 20 to 30 Hz as in a higher frequency range of 2000 to 3000 Hz. Pink noise can also be characterized by contrasting it to another type of noise called blue noise, which increases through parts of the frequency spectrum in a way similar to how pink noise decreases.

Because of its specific spectral distribution, which is complementary to what humans hear, pink noise is used for different scientific purposes. It can be used for:

  • Sound testing for audio equipment
  • Meteorological studies
  • Astronomy, to look at radiation from celestial objects
  • DNA research

Part of the unique nature of pink noise is its use across various scales, from scales approaching the nanoscale to the extremely large scales of astrophysics. Scientists also recognize its specific spectral noise properties and how they make pink noise desirable for different kinds of scientific research.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.