Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

Oscillation is the repetitive variation, typically in time, of some measure about a central value (often a point of equilibrium) or between two or more different states. Familiar examples include a swinging pendulum and alternating current power. The term vibration is sometimes used more narrowly to mean a mechanical oscillation but is sometimes used as a synonym of “oscillation”. Oscillations occur not only in mechanical systems but also in dynamic systems in virtually every area of science: for example the beating human heart, business cycles in economics, predator-prey population cycles in ecology, geothermal geysers in geology, vibrating strings in musical instruments, periodic firing of nerve cells in the brain, and the periodic swelling of Cepheid variable stars in astronomy.