An oscilloscope (also known as a scope, CRO, DSO or, an O-scope) is a type of electronic test instrument that allows observation of constantly varying signal voltages, usually as a two-dimensional graph of one or more electrical potential differences using the vertical or ‘Y’ axis, plotted as a function of time, (horizontal or ‘x’ axis). Although an oscilloscope displays voltage on its vertical axis, any other quantity that can be converted to a voltage can be displayed as well. In most instances, oscilloscopes show events that repeat with either no change, or change slowly.
Oscilloscopes are commonly used to observe the exact wave shape of an electrical signal. In addition to the amplitude of the signal, an oscilloscope can show distortion, the time between two events (such as pulse width, period, or rise time) and relative timing of two related signals