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Difference between Period and Frequency

Difference between Period and Frequency

If you have ever been asked about the difference between period and frequency, it’s important to be able to clearly explain this concept. These two different values are closely related but also very distinct from one another – understanding the distinction between them can help you apply these concepts more effectively in various areas of discipline. In this blog post, we will dive deeper into what defines each value and explore how they work together when measuring time-dependent events. Whether you’re an engineer or a physicist preparing for an interview or exam, brush up on your knowledge with a better grasp of period and frequency after reading this article!

What is Period?

Period, in physics, is the measure of time it takes for a system to complete one cycle of oscillation or motion. It is an important property of waves and periodic functions, as it describes the length of the full cycle that occurs over a set amount of time. Period is also calculated by combining distance with velocity, which can be used to describe how fast a wave is moving.

Periodic motion plays an integral role in many different disciplines in physics, from studying waves on springs to exploring mechanics and forces in objects such as planets and satellites. Period can be used to determine patterns present in physical systems, which are essential for scientists trying to make predictions about the world around us.

What is Frequency?

Frequency is a core concept in physics, referring to the number of times a given waveform completes its cycle in one unit of time. Frequency is usually measured in Hertz (Hz); one Hz means that a waveform oscillates once per second. Frequency can be used to describe a variety of physical phenomenon, such as sound waves and wavelengths of light.

Frequency also has an inverse relationship to wavelength: the higher the frequency, the shorter the wavelength. Frequency is often used to determine key characteristics such as amplitude and phase angle, making it a critical component in physics equations. In short, frequency plays an important role in many branches of science by giving researchers insight into the behavior of historical objects.

Difference between Period and Frequency

  • Period and frequency often mean the same thing in everyday language, but to scientists or professionals in certain fields, they can have very specific meanings. Period is a measure of time in which an event repeats itself, like the Period of a wave or a rhythm.
  • Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeated event within a given period of time, i.e. it’s how many times per a given period that something repeats itself.
  • For example, if something has a Period of 10 seconds and occurs twice over this 10 second interval then its Frequency is 0.2 Hertz (cycles per second). Period and Frequency are related to one another; when Period decreases, Frequency increases and vice versa.


In physics, the period is the duration of time of one cycle in a repeating phenomenon, while the frequency is how often per unit time it occurs. In other words, the period is the reciprocal of frequency. The SI unit for both period and frequency is the hertz (Hz), where 1 Hz means once per second.

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