Browse Definitions :
Definition

oscilloscope

An oscilloscope is a laboratory instrument commonly used to display and analyze the waveform of electronic signals. In effect, the device draws a graph of the instantaneous signal voltage as a function of time.

A typical oscilloscope can display alternating current (AC) or pulsating direct current (DC) waveforms having a frequency as low as approximately 1 hertz (Hz) or as high as several megahertz (MHz). High-end oscilloscopes can display signals having frequencies up to several hundred gigahertz (GHz). The display is broken up into so-called horizontal divisions (hor div) and vertical divisions (vert div). Time is displayed from left to right on the horizontal scale. Instantaneous voltage appears on the vertical scale, with positive values going upward and negative values going downward.

The oldest form of oscilloscope, still used in some labs today, is known as the cathode-ray oscilloscope. It produces an image by causing a focused electron beam to travel, or sweep, in patterns across the face of a cathode ray tube (CRT). More modern oscilloscopes electronically replicate the action of the CRT using a liquid crystal display (liquid crystal display) similar to those found on notebook computers. The most sophisticated oscilloscopes employ computers to process and display waveforms. These computers can use any type of display, including CRT, LCD, and gas plasma.

In any oscilloscope, the horizontal sweep is measured in seconds per division (s/div), milliseconds per division (ms/div), microseconds per division (s/div), or nanoseconds per division (ns/div). The vertical deflection is measured in volts per division (V/div), millivolts per division (mV/div), or microvolts per division (?V/div). Virtually all oscilloscopes have adjustable horizontal sweep and vertical deflection settings.

oscillos.gif (4843 bytes)

The illustration shows two common waveforms as they might appear when displayed on an oscilloscope screen. The signal on the top is a sine wave; the signal on the bottom is a ramp wave. It is apparent from this display that both signals have the same, or nearly the same, frequency. They also have approximately the same peak-to-peak amplitude. Suppose the horizontal sweep rate in this instance is 1 µs/div. Then these waves both complete a full cycle every 2 µs, so their frequencies are both approximately 0.5 MHz or 500 kilohertz (kHz). If the vertical deflection is set for, say, 0.5 mV/div, then these waves both have peak-to-peak amplitudes of approximately 2 mV.

These days, typical high-end oscilloscopes are digital devices. They connect to personal computers and use their displays. Although these machines no longer employ scanning electron beams to generate images of waveforms in the manner of the old cathode-ray "scope," the basic principle is the same. Software controls the sweep rate, vertical deflection, and a host of other features which can include:

  • Storage of waveforms for future reference and comparison
  • Display of several waveforms simultaneously
  • Spectral analysis
  • Portability
  • Battery power option
  • Usability with all popular operating platforms
  • Zoom-in and zoom-out
  • Multi-color displays
This was last updated in September 2005

Continue Reading About oscilloscope

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

there is good effort for sharing your knowledge. very easy and useful for help.... may Allah bless u...
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

  • Health IT (health information technology)

    Health IT (health information technology) is the area of IT involving the design, development, creation, use and maintenance of ...

  • fee-for-service (FFS)

    Fee-for-service (FFS) is a payment model in which doctors, hospitals, and medical practices charge separately for each service ...

  • biomedical informatics

    Biomedical informatics is the branch of health informatics that uses data to help clinicians, researchers and scientists improve ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

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

  • ransomware recovery

    Ransomware recovery is the process of resuming options following a cyberattack that demands payment in exchange for unlocking ...

  • natural disaster recovery

    Natural disaster recovery is the process of recovering data and resuming business operations following a natural disaster.

SearchStorage

  • RAID 5

    RAID 5 is a redundant array of independent disks configuration that uses disk striping with parity.

  • non-volatile storage (NVS)

    Non-volatile storage (NVS) is a broad collection of technologies and devices that do not require a continuous power supply to ...

  • petabyte

    A petabyte is a measure of memory or data storage capacity that is equal to 2 to the 50th power of bytes.

Close