In wave motion, the fraction of the time required to complete a full cycle that a point completes after last passing through the reference position.
Two periodic motions are said to be in phase when corresponding points of each reach maximum or minimum displacements at the same time. If the crests of two waves pass the same point at the same time, they are in phase for that position. If the crest of one and the trough of the other pass the same point at the same time, the phase angles differ by 180° and the waves are said to be of opposite phase. Phase differences are important in alternating electric current technology (see alternating current ).