##
A Sum of Sinusoids at the

Same Frequency is Another

Sinusoid at that Frequency

It is an important and fundamental fact that a sum of sinusoids at the
same frequency, but different phase and amplitude, can always be
expressed as a *single* sinusoid at that frequency with some
resultant phase and amplitude. An important implication, for example,
is that

That is, if a sinusoid is input to an LTI system, the output will be a sinusoid at the same frequency, but possibly altered in amplitude and phase. This follows because the output of every LTI system can be expressed as a linear combination of delayed copies of the input signal. In this section, we derive this important result for the general case of sinusoids at the same frequency.

### Proof Using Trigonometry

We want to show it is always possible to solve

for and , given for . For each component sinusoid, we can write

(A.3) |

Applying this expansion to Eq.(A.2) yields

Equating coefficients gives

where and are known. We now have two equations in two unknowns which are readily solved by (1) squaring and adding both sides to eliminate , and (2) forming a ratio of both sides of Eq.(A.4) to eliminate . The results are

which has a unique solution for any values of and .

### Proof Using Complex Variables

To show by means of *phasor analysis* that Eq.(A.2) always has a solution, we can express each component sinusoid as

Thus, equality holds when we define

Since is just the polar representation of a complex number, there is always some value of and such that equals whatever complex number results on the right-hand side of Eq.(A.5).

As is often the case, we see that the use of Euler's identity and
complex analysis gives a simplified *algebraic* proof which
replaces a proof based on trigonometric identities.

### Phasor Analysis: Factoring a Complex Sinusoid into Phasor Times Carrier

The heart of the preceding proof was the algebraic manipulation

*carrier term*``factors out'' of the sum. Inside the sum, each sinusoid is represented by a complex constant , known as the

*phasor*associated with that sinusoid.

For an arbitrary sinusoid having amplitude , phase , and radian frequency , we have

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