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Oscilloscopes are used to observe the change in electrical signal over time. These two plot points create the signatures shapes that can be seen on oscilloscopes screens as the fluctuations create a distinct wave patterns when plotted continuously over time. The resulting waveform can be analyzed depending on their unique attributes such as amplitude frequency and time.
Oscilloscopes are widely used in science, medicine, telecommunication and engineering. General purpose oscilloscopes are often used for monitoring purposes while more specialized oscilloscopes are used to analyze specific types of wave patterns such as those used on electrocardiograms. Oscilloscopes are also used in monitoring television and radio signals, as well as in repairing and monitoring the performance of electronic equipment. This is generally the most common use of portable oscilloscopes because these instruments can visually show any abnormalities within the signals or voltage of the instrument being tested. As such, oscilloscopes are mostly used as monitoring and diagnostic devices to be used together with additional instruments for repair and maintenance.