Images are a description of how a parameter varies over a surface. For example, standard visual images result from light intensity variations across a two-dimensional plane. However, light is not the only parameter used in scientific imaging. For example, an image can be formed of the temperature of an integrated circuit, blood velocity in a patient’s artery, x-ray emission from a distant galaxy, ground motion during an earthquake, etc. These exotic images are usually converted into conventional pictures (for example, light images), so that they can be evaluated by the human eye. This first chapter on image processing describes how digital images are formed and presented to human observers.

The Scientist and Engineer’s Guide to Digital Signal Processing, ©1997-1998 by Steven W. Smith. For more information visit the book’s website at: