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I set up an RC circuit and connected it with a signal generator. In the lab instructions, I was told to apply a "square wave signal" in order to see the transient response of the circuit in the oscilloscope screen.

My question:

Could someone please tell me why a square wave is necessary in this case? What would be the problem with a sinusoidal signal?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Did you try to use a sinusoidal signal ? If not then I suggest to simulate this in a circuit simulator with both a sinewave and a squarewave and see what happens ! A transient is a signal that changes quickly from one value to another value. Does a sinewave do that ? \$\endgroup\$ – Bimpelrekkie Sep 10 '15 at 7:37
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The author of the lab wants you to see the typical step response on which you can measure the time constant.

If you put in a sine wave, you will get out a sine wave with a different amplitude and phase. Try doing just that and then sweeping the frequency on the function generator.

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