What is an oscilloscope?

          In simple terms, an oscilloscope is a type of equipment that provides visual images of varying electrical quantities. That means that its main function is to graph an electrical signal as it changes over time. Most oscilloscopes produce a two dimensional graph showing time on the x-axis, and voltage on the y-axis. The signals produced are plotted on a graph.

         There are a number of applications for which oscilloscopes are used. Most of the general purpose instruments are used for maintenance of electronic equipment and laboratory work. It is an important tool for designing, or repairing electronic equipment. Special purpose oscilloscopes are used for analyzing an automotive ignition system or to display the waveform of the heartbeat as an electrocardiogram.

         Oscilloscopes can be divided into two – digital and analogue. Digital oscilloscopes are portable units that are replacing the analogue ones.