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oscilloscope

oscilloscope An item of electronic test equipment that can display a wide variety of waveforms of electric signals. It does this effectively by “plotting” the amplitude variations of the signal with time on a display device, normally a cathode-ray tube. The electron beam of the CRT is deflected horizontally so that the display is scanned linearly with respect to time. Vertical beam deflections, derived from the input signal, are then superimposed on the display, the horizontal and vertical deflections being synchronized by means of trigger circuits. Most oscilloscopes provide at least two input channels allowing waveforms from different sources to be compared. Some oscilloscopes provide two timebases, allowing selected portions of a waveform to be displayed at a higher frequency by inserting a defined delay in the orizontal scan. See also storage oscilloscope.

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oscilloscope

oscilloscope (əsĬl´əskōp´), electronic device used to produce visual displays corresponding to electrical signals. Displays of such nonelectrical phenomena as the variations of a sound's intensity can be made if the phenomena are converted into electrical signals. The display is formed by a moving dot on the screen of a cathode-ray tube. For most applications horizontal deflecting circuits move the dot in a repetitive cycle from left to right, and then, very quickly, back to its starting position to begin the next sweep. If during this process the vertical deflecting circuits move the dot up and down in response to the variations of the signal to be observed, a wavelike picture of the signal appears on the screen. An oscilloscope is one of the most valuable tools of an engineer or electronics technician.

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oscilloscope

oscilloscope (cathode-ray oscilloscope) Electronic instrument in which a cathode-ray tube (CRT) system displays how quantities, such as voltage or current, vary over a period of time. The electron beam that traces the pattern on the screen is moved by a time-base generator within the oscilloscope. The result is generally a curve or graph on the screen.

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oscilloscope

oscilloscope (oss-il-ŏ-skohp) n. a cathode-ray tube designed to display electronically a wave form corresponding to the electrical data fed into it. Oscilloscopes are used to provide a continuous record of many different measurements, such as the activity of the heart and brain. See electrocardiography, electroencephalography.

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oscilloscope

os·cil·lo·scope / əˈsiləˌskōp/ • n. a device for viewing oscillations, as of electrical voltage or current, by a display on the screen of a cathode-ray tube. DERIVATIVES: os·cil·lo·scop·ic / əˌsiləˈskäpik/ adj.

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Oscilloscope

Oscilloscope

An oscilloscope is an electronic instrument that provides a graphical display of electrical signals. It is used frequently in the medical industry, along with much of industry, in general, and scientific laboratories. An oscilloscope presents a considerable amount of information about the operation of a circuit almost instantly (within several billionths of one second), and the visual nature of the display provides insights that tables of numbers do not offer.

Oscilloscopes are extremely useful for monitoring and diagnosing electrical circuits or devices. Though it can plot an electrical signal versus another signal, the most common oscilloscope display mode shows the behavior of an electrical signal as a function of time. The signal amplitude, or voltage, is displayed on the vertical axis of the screen, while the horizontal axis represents the time sweep. Electrical phenomena often happen faster than can been seen with the human eye. At the same time, they are generally oscillatory, or cyclical, and can be displayed as a motionless trace on a fast graphing device such as an oscilloscope. Oscilloscopes are often specially adapted with converters so that sound waves, mechanical vibrations, and other types of oscillatory motion can be measured.

Unlike other types of electrical meters, oscilloscopes show changes in voltage and circuit behavior instantly, and when power to a circuit is removed, the oscilloscope display response is immediate. Thus, an engineer or electrician diagnosing a system can observe such rapid, and potentially damaging, phenomena as transients, or voltage surges. This is a significant benefit of the oscilloscope.

Oscilloscopes use a cathode ray tube (CRT), or an electron gun, to display data. The filament of the tube produces electrons. They are then focused into a tight beam. Two pairs of electrostatic deflection plates, vertically oriented and horizontally oriented, control the beam and direct it toward the phosphor coated screen. When the electron beam impacts a section of the phosphor screen, it causes the material to glow, thus emitting light and conveying information. If the vertical pair of deflection plates are connected to an amplified voltage and the horizontal pair are connected to a clock, the beam deflection will map the voltage as a function of time. The electron beam is swept across the screen, creating the circuit trace.

The oscilloscope can be adjusted for maximum usefulness of display. In the time-sweep mode, the instrument can be adjusted to show multiple cycles on the screen, or just one. The vertical scale can be adjusted to match the amplitude of the signal being studied. A scope can be set up to trigger or begin to display a signal under certain conditions, for example, a rising signal or a falling signal. It can also be connected to two circuits at once, displaying both traces. Some oscilloscopes have memory, and can continue to display a given signal for a given time. Sampling oscilloscopes are useful for very high frequency applications.

See also Electric circuit.

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Oscilloscope

Oscilloscope

An oscilloscope is an instrument that provides a graphical display of electrical signals. It presents a considerable amount of information about the operation of a circuit almost instantly, and the visual nature of the display provides insights that tables of numbers do not offer. Oscilloscopes are extremely useful for monitoring and diagnosing electrical circuits or devices. Though it can plot an electrical signal versus another signal, the most common oscilloscope display mode shows the behavior of an electrical signal as a function of time . The signal amplitude, or voltage, is displayed on the vertical axis of the screen, while the horizontal axis represents the time sweep. Electrical phenomena often happen faster than can been seen with the eye . At the same time they are generally oscillatory, or cyclical, and can be displayed as a motionless trace on a fast graphing device such as an oscilloscope.

Unlike other types of electrical meters, oscilloscopes show changes in voltage and circuit behavior instantly, and when power to a circuit is removed, the oscilloscope display response is immediate. Thus, an engineer or electrician diagnosing a system can observe such rapid, and potentially damaging phenomena as transients, or voltage surges. This is a significant benefit of the oscilloscope.

Oscilloscopes use a cathode ray tube , or an electron gun, to display data. Electrons are produced by the filament of the tube and focused into a tight beam. Two pairs of electrostatic deflection plates, vertically oriented and horizontally oriented, control the beam and direct it toward the phosphor coated screen. When the electron beam impacts a section of the phosphor screen, it causes the material to glow, thus emitting light and conveying information. If the vertical pair of deflection plates are connected to an amplified voltage and the horizontal pair are connected to a "clock," the beam deflection will map the voltage as a function of time. The electron beam is swept across the screen, creating the circuit trace.

The oscilloscope can be adjusted for maximum usefulness of display. In the time-sweep mode, the instrument can be adjusted to show multiple cycles on the screen, or just one. The vertical scale can be adjusted to match the amplitude of the signal being studied. A scope can be set up to "trigger" or begin to display a signal under certain conditions, for example, a rising signal or a falling signal. It can also be connected to two circuits at once, displaying both traces. Some oscilloscopes have memory , and can continue to display a given signal for a given time. Sampling oscilloscopes are useful for very high frequency applications.

See also Electric circuit.

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