Sources of Noise

There is a wide array of potentially troublesome noise sources that can exist in even the most benign lab environments. There are natural sources of noise which are native to the environment and man-made sources. Some noise sources are hard to characterize as belonging to either category.

 

NATURAL SOURCES

VIBRATION: seismic movement, building sway

ACOUSTIC: wind, ocean waves

EMI: solar events, Earth’s magnetic field

THERMAL: daily variation

 

MAN-MADE SOURCES

VIBRATION: pumps and other machinery, foot traffic, vehicle traffic, moving parts within instrument, construction, mining operations

ACOUSTIC: human voices, pumps and other machinery, wind

EMI: traffic, elevators, MRI machines, HVAC equipment, radio communication

THERMAL: daily variation, man-made heat sources, body heat

ELECTRONIC: insufficient grounding, line noise, noise floor constraints

 

OTHER SOURCES OF ERROR

air currents, dust and particulate, sample contamination, gas and atmospheric variation