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Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit time. It is also referred to as temporal frequency. The period is the duration of one cycle in a repeating event, so the period is the reciprocal of the frequency.

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Definitions and units

For cyclical processes, such as rotation, oscillations, or waves, frequency is defined as a number of cycles, or periods, per unit time. In physics and engineering disciplines, such as optics, acoustics, and radio, frequency is usually denoted by a Latin letter f or by a Greek letter ν (nu).

In SI units, the unit of frequency is hertz (Hz), named after the German physicist Heinrich Hertz. For example, 1 Hz means that an event repeats once per second.

A traditional unit of measure used with rotating mechanical devices is the revolutions per minute, abbreviated rpm. 60 rpm equals one hertz.[1]

The period is usually denoted as T, and is the reciprocal of the frequency f:


The SI unit for period is the second.[1]

See also


External links