Browse Definitions :
Definition

oscillation

Oscillation, in general, is a periodic fluctuation between two things; in the broadest sense, oscillation can occur in anything from a person's decision-making process to tides and the pendulum of a clock. Oscillation in a device called an oscillator is usually a back and forth motion over a central neutral point, created by changes in energy. In a pendulum-driven clock, for example, the oscillation is the back and forth movement of the pendulum. Oscillators may be mechanical or electronic, but all work on the same principles. Other devices based on the principles of oscillation include the oscillograph and the oscilloscope .

Like other oscillators, a clock pendulum's oscillation is maintained by changes in energy. In this case, potential energy , present when the pendulum is at the top of its swing, is converted to kinetic energy as the pendulum falls and is driven upwards on the other side. When the kinetic energy has been spent, at the top of the swing, the pendulum's energy is potential once more. With no kinetic energy to drive it higher, the pendulum falls. A pendulum clock keeps time according to the frequency of the pendulum's swing (the number of times it swings per second). Friction would eventually cause the movement to stop, but mechanical pendulum clocks use a spring to help the device overcome friction's drag. Most modern timepieces use quartz or electronic oscillators. The most accurate timepiece in the world, the atomic clock , measures time according to the oscillation within atom s.

This was last updated in August 2006

Continue Reading About oscillation

SearchCompliance
  • OPSEC (operations security)

    OPSEC (operations security) is a security and risk management process and strategy that classifies information, then determines ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract is a decentralized application that executes business logic in response to events.

  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

SearchSecurity
  • hardware security module (HSM)

    A hardware security module (HSM) is a physical device that provides extra security for sensitive data.

  • buffer overflow

    A buffer overflow occurs when a program or process attempts to write more data to a fixed-length block of memory, or buffer, than...

  • biometric verification

    Biometric verification is any means by which a person can be uniquely identified by evaluating one or more distinguishing ...

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • What is risk mitigation?

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • change control

    Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system.

  • disaster recovery (DR)

    Disaster recovery (DR) is an organization's ability to respond to and recover from an event that affects business operations.

SearchStorage
  • What is RAID 6?

    RAID 6, also known as double-parity RAID, uses two parity stripes on each disk. It allows for two disk failures within the RAID ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

  • VRAM (video RAM)

    VRAM (video RAM) refers to any type of random access memory (RAM) specifically used to store image data for a computer display.

Close