Definition of oscilloscope
: an instrument in which the variations in a fluctuating electrical quantity appear temporarily as a visible wave form on a display screen
oscilloscopicplay \ä-ˌsi-lə-ˈskä-pik, ˌä-sə-lə-\ adjective
Did You Know?
In Latin oscillare means "to swing", and our word oscillation usually means "vibration" or "variation", especially in a changing flow of electricity. The oscilloscope basically draws a graph of an electrical signal. Since all kinds of physical phenomena can be converted into an electric voltage, oscilloscopes can be used to measure such things as sound, light, and heat. So an oscilloscope can analyze how one clarinet's sound is different from another's, or how one bulb's light differs from another's. Auto mechanics use oscilloscopes to measure engine vibrations; doctors use them to measure brain waves. Audio technicians use oscilloscopes to diagnose problems in audio equipment; TV and radio technicians use them to diagnose TV and radio problems. But oscilloscopes are most essential today to high-tech electronics experimentation.
Origin and Etymology of oscilloscope
International Scientific Vocabulary
First Known Use: 1906
Medical Definition of oscilloscope
: an instrument in which the variations in a fluctuating electrical quantity appear temporarily as a visible waveform on the fluorescent screen of a cathode-ray tube—called also cathode-ray oscilloscope
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