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An Oscilloscope is an electronic test instrument that helps in observation of constantly changing signal voltages usually as a two-dimensional graph of one or more electrical potential differences plotted as a function of time. Also known as a scope, CRO, DSO or an O-scope, oscilloscopes are generally used to observe the precise wave shape of an electrical signal. Besides the amplitude of the signal, the instrument can also show distortion, the time between two events such as a period and relative timing of two related signals.


Oscilloscopes are very useful in the sciences, medicine, engineering, and telecommunications industry. General purpose instruments are used for maintenance of electronic equipment and laboratory work. Special purpose oscilloscopes may be used for analyzing an automotive ignition system, or to display the waveform of the heartbeat as an electrocardiogram.