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MeSH D007734
A kymograph displays position along a line over time. In this kymograph, made from the film shown, a line across the center of a pizza is shown, and time progresses from top to bottom.

A kymograph (which means 'wave writer') is a device that gives a graphical representation of spatial position over time in which a spatial axis represents time. It basically consists of a revolving drum wrapped with a sheet of paper on which a stylus moves back and forth recording perceived changes of phenomena such as motion or pressure.[1]

It was invented by German physiologist Carl Ludwig in the 1840s and found its first use as a means to intrusively monitor blood pressure, and has found several applications in the field of medicine.[2] Its primary use was to measure phenomena such as changes in muscular contractions or other physiological processes, including speech sounds. Kymographs were also used to measure atmospheric pressure, tuning fork vibrations, and the functioning of steam engines.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Photo and Description of a 1903 kymograph dead link
  2. ^ Primary source texts and quotes on kymographs