Figure 4.1 plots the sinusoid , for , , , and . Study the plot to make sure you understand the effect of changing each parameter (amplitude, frequency, phase), and also note the definitions of ``peak-to-peak amplitude'' and ``zero crossings.''
A ``tuning fork'' vibrates approximately sinusoidally. An ``A-440'' tuning fork oscillates at cycles per second. As a result, a tone recorded from an ideal A-440 tuning fork is a sinusoid at Hz. The amplitude determines how loud it is and depends on how hard we strike the tuning fork. The phase is set by exactly when we strike the tuning fork (and on our choice of when time 0 is). If we record an A-440 tuning fork on an analog tape recorder, the electrical signal recorded on tape is of the form
As another example, the sinusoid at amplitude and phase (90 degrees) is simply
Why Sinusoids are Important