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Nature 373, 33 - 36 (05 January 1995); doi:10.1038/373033a0

Stochastic resonance and the benefits of noise: from ice ages to crayfish and SQUIDs

Kurt Wiesenfeld & Frank Moss

School of Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, USA.
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Missouri at St Louis, St Louis, Missouri 63121, USA.

Noise in dynamical systems is usually considered a nuisance. But in certain nonlinear systems, including electronic circuits and biological sensory apparatus, the presence of noise can in fact enhance the detection of weak signals. This phenomenon, called stochastic resonance, may find useful application in physical, technological and biomedical contexts.

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