We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Square Wave?

John Lister
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
InfoBloom is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At InfoBloom, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A square wave is a type of waveform where the signal has only two levels. The signal switches between these levels at regular intervals and the switch is instant. These qualities mean a graph of the wave over time will produce shapes with square corners. This waveform has practical uses in digital circuits and music.

Most waveforms follow a distinct pattern known as sine. Such waveforms switch back and forth between two levels gradually, such that a graph of the wave over time is a series of curves. The waves of the sea, light waves and sea waves all follow a sine pattern, as does the level of voltage in an alternating current system.

All other waveforms are categorized as non-sinusoidal waveforms. The most well-known of these, including the square wave, triangle wave and sawtooth waveforms also involve a signal which fluctuates between two levels. However, each of these behaves in a different way, characterized by whether the switch in either or both directions is instantaneous or gradual, how long the switch takes, and how long elapses between switches. The names come from the way a graph of the wave over time produces the appropriate shape. The instant changes of a square wave in both directions means the graph is shaped like the turret of a castle.

A square wave is fairly simple to generate artificially. This makes it particularly suitable for making sure different parts of a circuit are synchronized properly. The regular pattern of the wave acts as a timing device. It can also be used for synthesizing sounds in music. A sound wave which follows the square waveform pattern sounds similar to wind instruments such as horns, trombones and saxophones.

In reality, it's impossible to generate a perfect square wave. This is because there will be some physical limitations to the device used to generate it. For example, wiring used in the device's electrical circuits will have some resistance which delays the change in voltage levels.

The square wave is sometimes also known as the Rademacher function. That name comes from Hans Adolph Rademacher, a German mathematician who emigrated to the United States. As well as contributing his own work to mathematical study, he taught numerous students who also became leading academics and researchers in the field.

InfoBloom is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
John Lister
By John Lister
John Lister, an experienced freelance writer, excels in crafting compelling copy, web content, articles, and more. With a relevant degree, John brings a keen eye for detail, a strong understanding of content strategy, and an ability to adapt to different writing styles and formats to ensure that his work meets the highest standards.
Discussion Comments
John Lister
John Lister
John Lister, an experienced freelance writer, excels in crafting compelling copy, web content, articles, and more. With...
Learn more
InfoBloom, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

InfoBloom, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.