Lissajous Figure

Lissajous Figure

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Credit: GIPHOTOSTOCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lissajous figure A modern digital oscilloscope (Tektronix, no brand name visible) displays the Lissajous figure that has a shape of the infinity symbol. An oscilloscope is a very versatile electronic instrument that is used to visualize and measure electrical signals changing in time. When two sinusoidal waveforms are inputed to the oscilloscope in the X-Y mode, a closed Lissajous figure can be observed when the ratio of the waves' frequencies is a rational number. The shape of the curve also depends on the relative phase of the two waves. For 2:1 frequency ratio and 0 degree relative phase, the shape resembles the infinity symbol, as shown here. Photo Nov 2007.

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