Apr 20th, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Lissajous Patterns

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Elisa Barney Smith


The Discovery Center of Idaho (DCI) is always looking for new displays. The display needs to teach as well as entertain. This display needs to be able to withstand a lot of use by kids of all ages so it needs to be durable yet easy to use. DCI decided they would like to have a display showing and describing Lissajous patterns. Lissajous patterns are created by combining two sine waves. Two sine waves are created using two signal generators. These sine waves will have frequencies that are integer multiples of each other. One sine wave will be on the horizontal axis and the other on the vertical axis and when combined a Lissajous pattern can be displayed on an oscilloscope. These patterns have traditionally been used to identify an unknown frequency by comparing it to a known one and observing the pattern that is produced. Frequency counters will display the frequencies of the two sine waves. The user will be able to control the frequency of each sine wave independently. They will also be able to choose to display either of the two sine waves individually or the lissajous pattern that was produced.