posted by Billie .
What are the basic uses of a CRO (cathode ray oscilloscope)
Excerpt from there:
Oscilloscopes are commonly used to observe the exact wave shape of an electrical signal. In addition to the amplitude of the signal, an oscilloscope can show distortion, the time between two events (such as pulse width, period, or rise time) and relative timing of two related signals. 
Oscilloscopes are used in the sciences, medicine, engineering, and telecommunications industry. General-purpose instruments are used for maintenance of electronic equipment and laboratory work. Special-purpose oscilloscopes may be used for such purposes as analyzing an automotive ignition system, or to display the waveform of the heartbeat as an electrocardiogram.