Physics Today


Principles of Lock-in Detection


Executive Summary

How does a lock-in amplifier work, and what should be considered when buying a state-of-the-art instrument?  This whitepaper answers these questions and helps to increase the understanding of how lock-in amplifiers function.

The lock-in detection technique is described both in the time and in the frequency domain.  Moreover, details are laid out on how signal modulation can be exploited in order to improve on signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) while keeping acquisition time low.

The paper also highlights the latest innovations in lock-in technology and the increasing range of tools and features which can be implemented in a single instrument.

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