An oscilloscope produces a graphical display of constantly varying signal voltages. With time as the X axis and voltage as the Y axis you can measure practically any signal which can be converted to a voltage. Oscilloscopes are vital to electronic testing, medical applications, engineering and telecommunications.
The most common application of an oscilloscope is for troubleshooting malfunctioning electrical equipment. This is done by “probing” an electrical component for an expected signal. If the signal matches what is expected the equipment is working correctly, if a flawed or non-existent signal is received then the equipment is malfunctioning.
Progressive signal probes are used to isolate faults in the electronics which are then fixed and isolation of other faults can begin. Another use of an oscilloscope is to test newly designed circuitry. Problems include bad design, incorrect voltages and electrical noise.
Oscilloscopes are a vital component of circuitry design and construction and are one of the largest leaps forward in innovation of electrical equipment. Progressing to almost entirely digital versions they have become faster and more precise.