New
New
Year 10
Edexcel
Higher

# Oscilloscope

You can interpret and explain sound waves shown on an oscilloscope.

New
New
Year 10
Edexcel
Higher

# Oscilloscope

You can interpret and explain sound waves shown on an oscilloscope.

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## Lesson details

### Key learning points

1. An oscilloscope is a displacement-time graph of a wave
2. Connected to a microphone, an oscilloscope shows a displacement-time graph of a sound wave
3. The distance between two wave crests on an oscilloscope’s graph is equal to the period of the wave
4. The time period is measured most accurately by measuring the time for, say, 10 waves and dividing time by 10
5. The bigger the amplitude of a sound wave, the louder the sound

### Common misconception

The distance between two crests of an oscilloscope graph is equal to one wavelength.

Emphasise the need to read scales of graphs first and that the horizontal scale of an oscilloscope graph is time.

### Keywords

• Oscilloscope - an oscilloscope is a piece of equipment that can display a representation of a sound wave.

• Displacement-time graph - a displacement-time graph shows how the displacement of one part of a wave changes as the wave moves forward.

• Period - the period of a wave is the time for one complete oscillation.

• Frequency - the frequency of a wave is the number of complete oscillations in one second.

• Loudness - the loudness of a sound wave is a measure of how loud it is.

Ocilloscopes often appear complex and confusing. It is important to identify the main controls and to develop understanding of each one, one at a time.
Teacher tip

### Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

## Starter quiz

### 6 Questions

Q1.
What does a loudspeaker do when it makes a louder sound?
vibrates in and out more slowly
vibrates in and out more quickly
Correct answer: vibrates in and out a bigger distance
vibrates in and out a smaller distance
Q2.
What causes a soundwave to have a bigger amplitude?
a smaller vibration
a faster vibration
a slower vibration
Q3.
What sort of sound has a bigger amplitude?
a quieter sound
a sound with a higher note
a sound with a lower note
Q4.
What does a loudspeaker do when it makes a higher pitched sound?
vibrates in and out more slowly
Correct answer: vibrates in and out more quickly
vibrates in and out a bigger distance
vibrates in and out a smaller distance
Q5.
What causes a sound to have a lower frequency?
a bigger vibration
a smaller vibration
a faster vibration
Q6.
What sort of sound has a higher frequency?
a louder sound
a quieter sound
Correct answer: a sound with a higher note
a sound with a lower note

## Exit quiz

### 6 Questions

Q1.
What sort of graph is shown on an oscilloscope?
a displacement-distance graph
a distance-time graph
Q2.
What type of sound causes the height of a graph on an oscilloscope to increase?
quieter sound
higher pitched (squeakier) sound
lower pitched (deeper note) sound
Q3.
What type of sound causes the length of wave on a graph on an oscilloscope to increase?
quieter sound
louder sound
higher pitched (squeakier) sound
Correct answer: lower pitched (deeper note) sound
Q4.
What is the distance between two wave crests on an oscilloscope graph equal to?
amplitude
frequency
wavelength
Q5.
An oscilloscope shows two complete waves on a screen and it takes 0.1 s for the line to move across the screen. What is the period of the wave?
0.5 s
0.2 s
0.1 s