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Oscillation   /ˌɑsəlˈeɪʃən/   Listen
Oscillation

noun
1.
The process of oscillating between states.
2.
(physics) a regular periodic variation in value about a mean.  Synonym: vibration.
3.
A single complete execution of a periodically repeated phenomenon.  Synonym: cycle.



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"Oscillation" Quotes from Famous Books



... whether this oscillation would slacken or increase with time. Would she swing on a longer and more dangerous rhythm? Would she be flung backwards and forwards between ...
— The Belfry • May Sinclair

... — N. periodicity, intermittence; beat; oscillation &c 314; pulse, pulsation; rhythm; alternation, alternateness, alternativeness, alternity^. bout, round, revolution, rotation, turn, say. anniversary, jubilee, centenary. catamenia^, courses, menses, menstrual flux. [Regularity of return] rota, cycle, period, stated time, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... Montesquieu (Esprit des Lois XXVI., 15) more mildly expresses it, in the laws. The application of this principle would, on account of the extreme changeableness of the laws of every state, lead to most extreme insecurity, and to a steady oscillation from one Utopia to another, from one revolution to another, if it were not, at the same time, recognized that each one had a just title to the acquisitions he had made, not because the law, for the time being ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • William Roscher

... neglectful of the fact that it was by persons exactly analogous to themselves that those portions of Tennyson were adored which the young repudiate to-day. Not to expand too largely this question of the oscillation of taste—which, however, demands more careful examination than it has hitherto received—it is always important to discover what was honestly admired at a given date by the most enthusiastic and intelligent, in other words by the most poetic, students of poetry. But to do this we must cultivate ...
— Some Diversions of a Man of Letters • Edmund William Gosse

... expected, impossible, amazing reality. When I had deciphered the last word, when I had it borne fully in upon me, the significance of it all, I turned to the one natural effort to answer this Martian communication. I sent out from the battery of our transmitter the longest wave of magnetic oscillation I could emit. The message was simple: "Have received all. Await more. ...
— The Certainty of a Future Life in Mars • L. P. Gratacap

... and of the form. But this equilibrium remains always an idea that reality can never completely reach. In reality, there will always remain a preponderance of one of these elements over the other, and the highest point to which experience can reach will consist in an oscillation between two principles, when sometimes reality and at others form will have the advantage. Ideal beauty is therefore eternally one and indivisible, because there can only be one single equilibrium; on the contrary, experimental ...
— Literary and Philosophical Essays • Various

... involves the other. One cannot speak of motion without implying rest; one cannot mention the finite without at the same time referring to the infinite; one cannot define cause without explicitly defining effect. Not only is this true, but concepts, when applied, reveal perpetual oscillation. Take the terms "north" and "south." The mention of the north pole, for example, implies at once the south pole also; it can be distinguished only by contrast with the other, which it thus includes. But it is a north pole only by excluding the south pole from itself—by being ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VII. • Various

... the foregoing factors, the secret of mechanical invisibility is constructed. Gracely, an American—following a long series of world-wide experiments, tests of current strength, frequencies of oscillation, suitable metals, etc., which I cannot detail here—in 1955 was the final developer of the mechanisms subsequently ...
— Astounding Stories of Super-Science, October, 1930 • Various

... the violently agitated waters around its base. The Frenchman, unable longer to endure the awful sight bowed his head upon his hands; another moment, and he was lost to sight in the circle of mist and spray that enveloped the foot of the column; then a strong oscillation began to be visible in the body of the water-spout; it swayed heavily to and fro; the cloud at its apex seemed to stoop, and the whole mass broke and fell, with a noise that might have been heard for miles. The sea, far ...
— The Island Home • Richard Archer

... the modern theories of evolution, may be seen directly at work. It does not alter the species themselves, as is commonly supposed, but it is always changing their numerical proportion. Any lasting change in the external conditions will of course alter the average oscillation and the influence [104] of such alterations will manifest itself in most cases simply in new numerical proportions. Only extremes have extreme effects, and the chance for the weaker sorts to be completely overthrown ...
— Species and Varieties, Their Origin by Mutation • Hugo DeVries

... advance on Roman Catholic Christianity, and Liberal and Rational Christianity an advance on Church Orthodoxy. But all such advances are subject to reaction and relapse. Reaction differs from relapse in this, that it is an oscillation, not a fall. Reaction is the backward swing of the wave, which will presently return, going farther forward than before. Relapse is the fall of the tide, which leaves the ships aground, and the beach uncovered. Reaction is going back to recover some substantial truth, left behind ...
— Orthodoxy: Its Truths And Errors • James Freeman Clarke

... malady. The following passage sums up Parlagreco's theory in a succession of pregnant sentences. "An accurate study, based upon his correspondence in connection with the events of the artist's life and the history of his works, has enabled me to detect in his character a persistent oscillation. Continual contradictions between great and generous ideas upon the one side, and puerile ideas upon the other; between the will and the word, thought and action; an excessive irritability and the highest degree of susceptibility; constant love for ...
— The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti • John Addington Symonds

... alone actually erase and leave out, against all the other official prestige and Court of St. James's. On such minor and personal incidents (so to call them,) often depend the great growths and turns of civilization. This moment of a woman and a queen surely swung the grandest oscillation of modern history's pendulum. Many sayings and doings of that period, from foreign potentates and powers, might well be dropt in oblivion by America—but never this, if I could have ...
— Complete Prose Works - Specimen Days and Collect, November Boughs and Goodbye My Fancy • Walt Whitman

... appeared to be in a mind to strike. To the hissing sound there succeeded a wheezing one, until, putting forth its best efforts, the thing struck two with as much clatter as though some one had been hitting an iron pot with a cudgel. That done, the pendulum returned to its right-left, right-left oscillation. ...
— Dead Souls • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... remedy. But the invention by which he overcame the difficulty completely, consisted in employing a column of mercury as the "bob" of the pendulum. The hot weather, which lengthened the steel rods, raised the column of mercury, and so brought the centre of oscillation higher. If the column of mercury was of the right length, the lengthening or the shortening of the pendulum was exactly counterbalanced, and the variation of the clock, through changes of the temperature, ...
— Captains of Industry - or, Men of Business Who Did Something Besides Making Money • James Parton

... seen those symptoms before," said Holmes, throwing his cigarette into the fire. "Oscillation upon the pavement always means an affaire de coeur. She would like advice, but is not sure that the matter is not too delicate for communication. And yet even here we may discriminate. When a woman has been seriously wronged by a man, ...
— The Lock And Key Library - Classic Mystery And Detective Stories, Modern English • Various

... orbits. As yet, however, we have no certain knowledge as to whether changes in the periods at which the stream becomes visible, or the 'retardations' of the phenomena of which I have already spoken, indicate a regular precession of oscillation of the nodes — that is to say, of the points of intersection of the Earth's orbit and of that of the ring; or whether this ring or zone attains so considerable a degree of breadth from the irregular grouping and distances apart of the small bodies, ...
— COSMOS: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe, Vol. 1 • Alexander von Humboldt

... slow and spasmodic. There was a clearly perceptible interval—probably several minutes—between the first stirrings of consciousness and the full clarification of my faculties. I began to be aware of the rumble and oscillation of the train without realizing what was meant. Then I opened my eyes and blinked at the lamp, and vaguely noted the yellow oil washing to and fro in the bowl. Then the white square of the "Avis aux Voyageurs" caught my eye in the gloom ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery - Riddle Stories • Various

... Chandler proved that these variations pass through their principal cycle in a period of 427 days. The entire Earth oscillates slightly in this period. The earlier researches of Euler had shown that the Earth would have a natural oscillation period of 305 days provided it were an absolutely rigid body. Newcomb showed that the period of oscillation would be 441 days if the Earth had the rigidity of steel. As the observed oscillation requires 427 days, Newcomb concluded that the ...
— Popular Science Monthly Volume 86

... observations here there was a to and fro motion of the earth in the vicinity of Washington amounting to about four-tenths of an inch at the time of its greatest oscillation. These movements kept up in a constantly decreasing ratio until nearly half an ...
— Complete Story of the San Francisco Horror • Richard Linthicum

... with his thick hands on the board in front of him; he looked steadily in Herrick's face, and Herrick as steadily looked upon the table and the pattering fingers; there was a gentle oscillation of the anchored ship, and a big patch of sunlight travelled to and fro between the one ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XIX (of 25) - The Ebb-Tide; Weir of Hermiston • Robert Louis Stevenson

... basket and crouched down in some uneasiness of mind. The way the thing swayed and wriggled gave me to believe that the next moment we should all be shot catapultwise into the sea. To call it topheavy will do for a word, but nothing but experience will do for the sensation. This oscillation, strangely enough, was not apparent from the sea; which reminds me to have noticed differences due the point ...
— Noto, An Unexplored Corner of Japan • Percival Lowell

... could not stir nor speak! Catharine felt his gaze, although her eyes were not towards him. At last the lily came to an end and she tossed the naked stalk after the flower. She loved this man; it was a perilous moment: one touch, a hair's breadth of oscillation, and the two would have been one. At such a crisis the least external disturbance is often decisive. The first note of the thunder was heard, and suddenly the image of Mrs. Cardew presented itself before Catharine's eyes, appealing to her piteously, ...
— Catharine Furze • Mark Rutherford

... to him seemed a gross deformation of the reality, ever since the day when at Ajaccio he attended a performance of "Norma," in which the moon was represented by a round transparent disc, lit from behind by a lantern hanging at the end of a string, whose oscillation revealed by turns first the luminary and then the transparency. This was enough to disgust him for ever with the theatre and the opera, whose motionless choruses, contrasting with the sometimes frantic movement of the music, left him with a memory of an insane ...
— Fabre, Poet of Science • Dr. G.V. (C.V.) Legros

... equal weight, one of which is suspended from each end of the pingo. By a swaying motion communicated to them as he starts, his own movement is facilitated, whereas one unaccustomed to the work, by allowing the oscillation to become irregular, finds it almost impossible to proceed with a ...
— Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and • James Emerson Tennent

... not been fully asleep all night, and the sight of that mess, and what it meant, jolted me immediately awake. Something, probably a heavy truck, had started a tiny oscillation in that ball. And the ball had been heavy enough to start the table bouncing with it until, by dancing that table around the room, it had literally torn the clamp off and shaken itself free. What had happened afterward ...
— The Big Bounce • Walter S. Tevis

... dream, it hurries back to the old unconsciousness. Until then, however, its desires are boundless, and every satisfied wish begets a new one. So-called pleasures are only a mode of temporary relief. Pain soon returns in the form of satiety. Life is a more or less violent oscillation between pain and ennui. The latter, like a bird of prey, hovers over us, ready to swoop down wherever it sees a ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great Philosophers, Volume 8 • Elbert Hubbard

... the draught clevis to the whiffletree bolt to permit the independent oscillation of the whiffletree ...
— Scientific American, Vol. 17, No. 26 December 28, 1867 • Various

... the Spider's moving her position, the oscillation is resumed in the opposite direction. By means of this alternate motion, interspersed with numerous contacts, a segment of the sheet is obtained, of a very accurate texture. When this is done, the Spider moves a little along a circular line and the loom works in the ...
— The Wonders of Instinct • J. H. Fabre

... through the West, when once one has grasped the idea of continental oscillation, or submergence and emergence of the land, of the sequence of the marine and fresh-water deposits in laying down these pages of earth-history, he will know exactly where to look for this wonderful layer-bed of the giant ...
— Dinosaurs - With Special Reference to the American Museum Collections • William Diller Matthew

... there—in what is surely the most wonderful spot in the world, the front firing trench, the outer breakwater which holds back the German tide. How strange that this monstrous oscillation of giant forces, setting in from east to west, should find their equilibrium here across this particular meadow of Flanders. 'How far?' I ask. '180 yards,' says my guide. 'Pop!' remarks a third person just in front. 'A sniper,' says my guide; 'take a look through the periscope.' ...
— A Visit to Three Fronts • Arthur Conan Doyle

... of the retarding causes, or resistances, and to judge how near they both were to being exhausted; and it appeared that the effect dwindled as rapidly, and at each step was as far on the road toward annihilation, as the cause was. The simple oscillation of a weight suspended from a fixed point, and moved a little out of the perpendicular, which in ordinary circumstances lasts but a few minutes, was prolonged in Borda's experiments to more than thirty hours, by diminishing as much as possible the friction ...
— A System Of Logic, Ratiocinative And Inductive • John Stuart Mill

... would take that time to insure that the line should be clear. The powerful engine called Rochdale (No. 247 on the company's register) was attached to two carriages, with a guard's van behind. The first carriage was solely for the purpose of decreasing the inconvenience arising from the oscillation. The second was divided, as usual, into four compartments, a first-class, a first-class smoking, a second-class, and a second-class smoking. The first compartment, which was nearest to the engine, was the one allotted ...
— Tales of Terror and Mystery • Arthur Conan Doyle

... his companion Brown is a beast, and back again; from very high carriages to very low ones and back; from very short horsetails to very long ones and back again—the pendulum swings. In matters of serious judgment it is comparatively easy to discern the rationale of this oscillation from side to side. It is that the evils of what is present are strongly felt, while the evils of what is absent are forgotten; and so, when the pendulum has swung over to A, the evils of A send it flying over to B, while when it reaches B the evils of B repel ...
— The Recreations of A Country Parson • A. K. H. Boyd

... entered within the church. The bell-rope swayed to and fro with a mimic oscillation; a sort of admonitory premonition of what it must shortly do ran up its fibres. I had left the entrance into the place devoted to worship open. I closed it now. There was nothing very alarming in standing there. The floor ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 10, Number 60, October 1862 • Various

... vitascope, which has a revolvable cylinder, blackened with soot, and this being rotated at a certain speed, the stylus, which is attached to the vibrating body, in contact with the cylinder, will show the number per second, as well as the particular character of each oscillation. ...
— Practical Mechanics for Boys • J. S. Zerbe

... A pleasure to give a good wine to a young woman who looked so well, who knew how to dress, with charming manners, quite distinguished—a pleasure to entertain her. Between the points of his collar he gave his head the first small, painful oscillation of the evening. ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... kind of difficulty in descending the stairs; there was practically no oscillation of any kind in this still and windless summer night, and the two came down easily and ...
— Dawn of All • Robert Hugh Benson

... enable a train to intersect a road, to cross canals in slanting directions, to turn amid jagged precipices, and to cross arms of the sea at a sufficient elevation not to interfere with the passage of ships,—objects not to be accomplished by suspension-bridges because of their oscillation, nor girder for lack of support, the desiderata being extensive span with rigid strength, so triumphantly realized in the tubular bridge. The day when the great Holyrood train passed over the Strait of Menai by this grand expedient established the superiority of this principle of construction, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 74, December, 1863 • Various

... history that amusements have gone through waves upward and downward, but that the amplitude of the waves is very small. It is true that the shows of the late Roman empire were very base, and that the great drama has gone very high by comparison, but the oscillation between the two entirely destroys anything like a steady advance in dramatic composition or dramatic art. This is a very instructive fact. It entirely negatives the current notion of progress as a sort of function of time which is to be expected to realize itself in a steady improvement ...
— Folkways - A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals • William Graham Sumner

... years' freedom from all restraint and reform at the cost of the whirlwind of the red terror; and in their turn the unbridled extremists of the terror induced a blind reaction; and so, with convulsion and oscillation from one extreme to another, with alterations of violent radicalism and violent Bourbonism, the French people went through misery ...
— A Preface to Politics • Walter Lippmann

... them in to diminish their surface in reefing them. Thence the necessity of running out on foot-ropes—movable ropes stretched below the yards—of working with one hand while holding on by the other—perilous work for any one who is not used to it. The oscillation from the rolling and pitching of the ship, very much increased by the length of the lever, the flapping of the sails under a stiff breeze, have often sent a man overboard. It was then a truly dangerous operation for ...
— Dick Sand - A Captain at Fifteen • Jules Verne

... tried to show that the Renaissance bears the same relation to classical literature as the Revival of Romance bears to mediaeval literature, and that the whole history of the literature of Europe is an oscillation between Christian and Pagan ideals during that long and wavering process whereby Christianity was partially established as the creed and way of life of a group of diverse nations. The historical meaning ...
— Romance - Two Lectures • Walter Raleigh

... pairs of plates (10.) with this ring, the impulse at the galvanometer, when contact was completed or broken, was so great as to make the needle spin round rapidly four or five times, before the air and terrestrial magnetism could reduce its motion to mere oscillation. ...
— Experimental Researches in Electricity, Volume 1 • Michael Faraday

... small pieces, three Poems of Devotion, whose merit may not indeed be great, but whose feeling is, I think, genuine. Whatever were his faults, and they were not few, hypocrisy was not one of them. His nature was fierce and honest. He might boast, but he could not pretend. His oscillation between the reformed and the Romish church can hardly have had other cause than a vacillating conviction. It could not have served any prudential end that we can see, to turn catholic in the reign of Elizabeth, while in prison for killing in a duel ...
— England's Antiphon • George MacDonald

... thrown off the overpowering gloom which possessed him in the latter days at Springfield. It is possible he had reacted to a mood in which there was something of levity. His oscillation of mood from a gloom that nothing penetrated to a sort of desperate mirth, has been noted by various observers. And in 1861 he had not reached his final poise, that firm holding of the middle way,—-which afterward fused his moods ...
— Lincoln • Nathaniel Wright Stephenson

... impeded her progress. Although only a moderate breeze was blowing, the sea was rough, a circumstance to be accounted for only by the diminution in the force of the earth's attraction rendering the liquid particles so buoyant, that by the mere effect of oscillation they were carried to a height that was quite unprecedented. M. Arago has fixed twenty-five or twenty-six feet as the maximum elevation ever attained by the highest waves, and his astonishment would have been very great to see them rising fifty or even sixty feet. Nor did these waves ...
— Off on a Comet • Jules Verne

... the crow, for instance, but progresses by a kind of royal indirection that puzzles the eye. Even on a windy winter day he rides the vast aerial billows as placidly as ever, rising and falling as he comes up toward you, carving his way through the resisting currents by a slight oscillation to the right and left, but never once beating the ...
— Winter Sunshine • John Burroughs



Words linked to "Oscillation" :   libration, periodic event, pass, transient, sympathetic vibration, action, wave, resonance, natural action, Carnot's ideal cycle, menstrual cycle, natural process, physics, recurrent event, ripple, oscillate, undulation, natural philosophy, vibration, beat, cardiac cycle, Carnot cycle, activity



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