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Thermal kT Noise Primer


Thermal kT Noise Primer


The thermal noise power in 50-ohm system with a 1 Hz bandwidth has a minimum value given by:

kT = 4.14 x 10-21 Watts (-174 dBm)


where the parameters have the following values:

k = Boltzmann's constant (1.38 x 10-23 J/K),

T = temperature (300 K),


The plot shows the typical noise floor level of a microwave spectrum analyzer with the thermal kT noise rising as a function of frequency. The frequency markers indicate that this spectrum analyzer has a Noise Figure of 44 dB at 10 GHz, 50 dB at 15 GHz and 52 dB at 20 GHz.


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