Temporal resolution

Temporal resolution

Temporal resolution (TR) refers to the precision of a measurement with respect to time. Often there is a tradeoff between temporal resolution of a measurement and its spatial resolution. In some contexts such as particle physics, this trade-off can be attributed to the finite speed of light and the fact that it takes a certain period of time for the photons carrying information to reach the observer. In this time, the system might have undergone changes itself. Thus, the longer the light has to travel the lower is the temporal resolution.

In another context, there is often a tradeoff between temporal resolution and computer storage. A transducer may be able to record data every millisecond,[1][2][3] but available storage may not allow this, and in the case of 4D PET imaging the resolution may be limited to several minutes.[4]

In some applications, temporal resolution may instead be expressed through its inverse, the refresh rate, or update frequency in Hertz, of a TV, for example.


  1. ^ http://aerade.cranfield.ac.uk/ara/arc/cp/0747.pdf
  2. ^ http://www.piceramic.com/piezo_actuator.php
  3. ^ http://sensing.honeywell.com/index.cfm?ci_id=140301.
  4. ^ http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/iel5/9356/29716/01352352.pdf