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.
This reasoning is subject to contention however, challenged by the teaser posed in the first few chapters of Stephen Hawking’s book A Brief History of Time. Using the Newton concept, gravitational effects do not seem to be subject to this time delay. The discovery of gravitational waves could, however, throw more light on this concept.
In another context, there is often a tradeoff between temporal resolution and computer storage. A transducer may be able to record data every millisecond, but available storage may not allow this, and in the case of 4D PET imaging the resolution may be limited to several minutes.
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