Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-16-71

Published in Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Mathematical and Computer Modeling, Omsk, Russia, November 11, 2016, pp. 23-26.


To gauge how well vibrating rollers have compacted the road segment, it is reasonable to process the acceleration measured by the attached sensors. Theoretically, we expect the resulting signal to be periodic with the same frequency f with which the roller vibrates -- and thus, after a Fourier transform, we expect to observe only frequencies which are multiples of the vibration frequency f.

Surprisingly, often, we also observe a peak at half-frequency f/2.

In this paper, we explain this empirical phenomenon: we show that it is a particular case of a spontaneous symmetry violation, and that the general physical theory of such symmetry violations explains why namely half-frequency signals are often observed.