The evolution of technology and the advancement of communications have resulted in an increased awareness of energy bursts. Such bursts which interfere with desired signals are properly classified as noise. In the transmission of information, for example, signals which have low redundancy are highly vulnerable to burst interference. In acoustics, audible sound of the impulsive type is an increasingly important problem because of the annoyance it may cause; moreover, high-intensity solid-borne energy of an impulsive character sometimes produces structural failures. While quantities of relatively short time duration are of widespread interest, little is known about the statistics of these quantities insofar as peak amplitudes, repetition rates and wave shapes are concerned. In view of the increasingly important role played by energy bursts in modern technology, accepted procedures for identifying and characterizing burst-like events should be established. Obviously, no single method of measurement will satisfy all requirements equally well. The techniques described here are based on a set of definitions which have been chosen to be easily adaptable to many engineering applications.