# How to Calculate the Period of a Wave

Written by robert osborne
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Many scientific disciplines incorporate the concepts of waves, frequencies and periods. Physicists, engineers and astronomers study and work with wave energy. Examples of wave energy include light waves from a faraway galaxy, radio waves received by a cell phone and the acoustical waves from an orchestra. Regardless of the wave's source, the relationship between the wave's frequency and period are the same. A wave period is the time in seconds between two wave peaks and is inversely proportional to frequency.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

## Instructions

1. 1

Count the number of times the wave's peak occurs in a given time period. Use an oscilloscope to view the waveform.

2. 2

Divide the number of waves by the length of time in seconds. This figure provides the wave's frequency. For example, assume 15 waves occur in 3 seconds. The frequency is 15 divided by 3, which equals 5. The units of frequency are Hertz.

3. 3

Calculate the inverse of the frequency to obtain the wave's period. For example, 1 divided by 5 Hertz is equal to a period of 0.2 seconds.

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