Journal of Computational Electronics

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 203–208 | Cite as

The role of measurement time on the universal crossover from \(1/f\) to non-\(1/f\) noise behavior

  • Sebastian A. Diaz
  • Massimiliano Di Ventra


Noise of stochastic processes whose spectral density scales at low frequencies, \(f\), as \(1/f\) appears in such diverse systems that it is considered universal. However, there have been a small number of instances from completely unrelated fields, e.g., the fluctuations of the human heartbeat or vortices in superconductors, in which spectral densities have been observed to cross over from a \(1/f\) to a non-\(1/f\) behavior at even lower frequencies. Here, we show that such crossover must be universal, and can be accounted for by the memory of initial conditions and the relaxation processes present in any physical system. When the smallest frequency allowed by the experimental observation time, \(\omega _{obs}\), is larger than the smallest relaxation frequency, \(\varOmega _{min}\), a \(1/f\) spectral density is obtained. Conversely, when \(\omega _{obs}<\varOmega _{min}\) we predict that the spectral density of any stochastic process should exhibit a crossover from \(1/f\) to a different, integrable functional form provided there is enough time for experimental observations. This crossover also provides a convenient tool to measure the lowest relaxation frequency of a physical system.


Fluctuation phenomena Relaxation processes Stochastic models Statistical physics 



We thank Guy Cohen and Sebastiano Peotta for a critical reading of the manuscript. S.D. acknowledges partial support from the International Fulbright Science and Technology Award. M.D. acknowledges support from the Center for Magnetic Recording Research at UCSD.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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