The Oscilloscope

The oscilloscope is an instrument which measures electrical voltages which change with time. It differs from other voltage-measuring instruments because it is able to display any changes to the size or shape of the voltage instantaneously with respect to time.

For most applications, the oscilloscope screen is a graph with voltage on the vertical y-axis and time on the horizontal x-axis.

Features which we can observe are the waveform's shape, its amplitude and the intervals between parts of the wave. Some waves may be symmetrical about a horizontal centre line, others may not.