Section 3 Waves
Oscilloscope wave traces
- If a microphone is connected to an oscilloscope, the sound received by the microphone is transferred electrically and the oscilloscope trace can be used to compare frequency (pitch) and amplitude (loudness).
The diagrams show graphical representations of sound waves as seen on an oscilloscope screen.
Notice that the frequencies of the loud sound and the quiet sound are the same in the traces above. Only the amplitude is different.
- Notice that the amplitudes are the same for the high- and low-pitch sounds in the lower two diagrams. Only the frequency differs.
- Remember: Sound waves are longitudinal waves and not transverse waves. The diagrams above are graphical representations of the pressure variations.