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   -> Volume 7, Issue 8

Question: History of Wavelets
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Author Message (Uwe Meyer-Baese)

PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 1998 4:27 pm    
Subject: Question: History of Wavelets
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#22 Question: History of Wavelets

Question: History of Wavelets/Error in the Matlab Toolbox documentation?

In the MatLab toolbox manual on page 1-28 "History of Wavelets" you
find the statement: 'The first recorded mention of the term "wavelet"
was in 1909, in a thesis by Alfred Haar.' Thats not true. I have a
copy of the thesis. The function family is called "orthogonal function
decomposition", but not wavelet, small wave, or "kleine Welle" (the
german term), or ondelette (the French term).

In fact there are two questions:
1. When did the word wavelet (or ondelette, or kleine Welle) first
appear in the literature ?
2. When did it first appear in the meaning of a wavelet function as we
know it now ?

The answer to 1 may be Huygens, the physician (ca. 1678), who used the
term to describe "small wave packets" but I have no proof of this
statement which I have heard once at a wavelet conference. Regarding
the answer 2 we find in the Vetterli/Kovacevic book, that it should
come from "ondelette" in French which was introduced by Morlet in the
early 80's.

Uwe Meyer-Baese
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