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Thermal Noise

Also called Johnson noise, is the random white noise found in any conductor or electronic device. It is produced by the thermal agitation of the charges in an electric conductor and is proportional to the absolute temperature of the conductor. It manifests itself in the input circuits of audio equipment such as microphone pre amps, where the signal levels are low. The thermal noise level is the limiting minimum noise any circuit can attain at a given temperature. Modern high-quality microphone pre amps, under proper conditions, have noise specifications that come very close to this theoretical limit.

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