## The Continuous-Time Impulse

An*impulse*in continuous time must have

*``zero width''*and

*unit area*under it. One definition is

An impulse can be similarly defined as the limit of

*any*pulse shape which maintains unit area and approaches zero width at time 0 [150]. As a result, the impulse under every definition has the so-called

*sifting property*under integration,

provided is continuous at . This is often taken as the

*defining property*of an impulse, allowing it to be defined in terms of non-vanishing function limits such as

(B.28) |

(Note, incidentally, that is in but not .) An impulse is not a function in the usual sense, so it is called instead a

*distribution*or

*generalized function*[36,150]. (It is still commonly called a ``delta function'', however, despite the misnomer.)

**Next Section:**

Gaussian Pulse

**Previous Section:**

Power Theorem