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An oscilloscope is an instrument that graphically displays electrical signals and shows how those signals change over time. It measures these signals by connecting with a sensor, which is a device that creates an electrical signal in response to physical stimuli like sound, light and heat. For instance, a microphone is a sensor that converts sound into an electrical signal.
Here we’ll cover everything you need to know about an oscilloscope from how it works to how to find the right one.
Oscilloscopes are often used when designing, manufacturing or repairing electronic equipment. Engineers use an oscilloscope to measure electrical phenomena and solve measurement challenges quickly and accurately to verify their designs or confirm that a sensor is working properly.
Scientists, engineers, physicists, repair technicians and educators use oscilloscopes to see signals change over time. An automotive engineer might use an oscilloscope to correlate analog data from sensors with serial data from the engine control unit. Meanwhile, a medical researcher might use an oscilloscope to measure brain waves. There is no shortage of applications for this powerful instrument.