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Any effect that varies in a back-and-forth or reciprocating manner. Examples of oscillation include the variations of pressure in a sound wave and the fluctuations in a mathematical function whose value repeatedly alternates above and below some mean value.

The term oscillation is for most purposes synonymous with vibration, although the latter sometimes implies primarily a mechanical motion. The alternating current and the associated electric and magnetic fields are referred to as electric (or electromagnetic) oscillations.

If a system is set into oscillation by some initial disturbance and then left alone, the effect is called a free oscillation. A forced oscillation is one in which the oscillation is in response to a steadily applied periodic disturbance.

Any oscillation that continually decreases in amplitude, usually because the oscillating system is sending out energy, is spoken of as a damped oscillation. An oscillation that maintains a steady amplitude, usually because of an outside source of energy, is undamped. See Anharmonic oscillator, Damping, Forced oscillation, Harmonic oscillator, Vibration


(control systems)
The oscillation of a real-valued function on an interval is the difference between its least upper bound and greatest lower bound there.
The oscillation of a real-valued function at a point x is the limit of the oscillation of the function on the interval [x-e, x + e ] as e approaches 0. Also known as saltus.
Any effect that varies periodically back and forth between two values.
References in periodicals archive ?
Interictal high frequency oscillations (HFOs) in patients with focal epilepsy and normal MRI.
Clinical significance of ictal high frequency oscillations in medial temporal lobe epilepsy.
Identification of seizure onset zone and preictal state based on characteristics of high frequency oscillations.
This system suppresses high frequency oscillations of water level variations in internal chamber.
High frequency oscillations are transporting not through the water but over the surface of plastic tubes.

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