Proper Definition and Handling of Dirac Delta Functions [Lecture Notes]


IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, vol.38, no.3, pp.186-203, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/msp.2021.3055025
  • Journal Name: IEEE Signal Processing Magazine
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.186-203
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Dirac delta functions are introduced to students of signal processing in their sophomore year. Quite understandably, Dirac delta functions, which should be more aptly called generalized functions or distributions, cannot be comprehensively given to a young audience at the beginning of their engineering education. Instead, a simplified and abridged definition is presented, and the implications of the definition in signal processing problems are illustrated through numerous examples, following the footsteps of Oppenheim et al. [1], [2].