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Chapter1 Simple Harmonic Motion

Chapter1 Simple Harmonic Motion

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Published by Çağdaş Demirci

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Published by: Çağdaş Demirci on Jun 19, 2011
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Reference: George C. Kings, Vibrations and waves, A John Wiley and Sons, Ltd., Publication, 2009.
In this chapter we will give basic description of Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM). The importance of SHM is that to a good approximation many real oscillating systems behave like simple harmonic oscil-lators. We obtain equations for the ways in which the displacement, velocity and acceleration of asimple harmonic oscillator vary with time and the ways in which the kinetic and potential energies of the oscillator vary. To do this we discuss two particularly important examples of SHM: a mass oscil-lating at the end of a spring and a swinging pendulum. We then extend our discussion to electricalcircuits and show that the equations that describe the movement of charge in an oscillating electricalcircuit.Outline of the Chapter:
1.1 Physical Characteristics of Simple Harmonic Oscillators1.2 A Mass on a Spring1.2.3 Displacement, velocity and acceleration in simple harmonic motion1.2.4 General solutions for simple harmonic motion and the phase angle1.2.5 The energy of a simple harmonic oscillator1.3 The Pendulum1.3.1 The simple pendulum1.3.2 The energy of a simple pendulum1.3.3 The physical pendulum1.4 Oscillations in Electrical Circuits: Similarities in Physics1.4.1 The
circuit1.4.2 Similarities in physicsPROBLEMS
1.1 Fundamental Concepts in Oscillatory Motion
There are many examples of 
vibrating/oscillating systems
in everyday life from large scale structuralvibrations in bridges and sky-scrapers and also earthquakes through musical instruments, clock pendu-la to the nano-world, e.g., vibrating molecules.There are also many other lecture courses that you willtake that dependon a thorough understanding of the physics of oscillating systems, e.g.Quantum Me-chanics (the
Equation of Quantum Mechanics is fundamentally a
wave equation
) andElectromagnetism.
The aim of this course is to acquire a deep understanding of, and beable to de-scribe conceptually (as well as quantify) vibrations and waves
Some examples of systems of vibrations and waves:
1.2. The Simple Harmonic Oscillator (SHO)One example is that of a mass on a horizontal spring.
2We assume a weightless spring and frictionless surface, e.g.
the object (mass „m‟) moves on an air 
track. In physics we usually start with an idealized system,
and add the complications later, i.e. fric-tion, gravity and
weight of real springs. What would friction do?The force produced by the spring actsto push or pull the
mass back to itsequilibrium position at !!
Therestoring force, , on the mass isgiven by the equation:
which is commonly known as
 Hooke’s Law
where x is the displace-ment from equilibrium and is thespring constant,
[ i.e. the restoringforce/unit displacement].
The negativesign shows that restoring force acts inthe a direction opposite to the dis-
 placement ‘x’ !!
Displacement (x)
is measured fromthe equilibrium point
Amplitude (A)
is the maximum displacement
A cycle
is a full to-and-fro motion; this figure shows half a cycle
 Period (T)
is the time required to complete one cycle
Frequency (
is the number of cycles completed per second (Hz
The system must also obey Newton‟s second law of motion which states that the force is equal to mass
times acceleration
, i.e.
. We thus obtain theequation of motion of the massRemember This is the basic equation of simple harmonic motion (SHM) and is thebasis for its description and understanding.The motion is oscillatory and best described by sinusoidalfunctions
like „Sine‟ and „Cosine‟.
 Figure 1.2 Variation of displacement
with time
for a mass undergoing SHM.Then we can write the force equation:is a constant and it is the angular frequency of the oscillation. can also be defined as returnforce per unit displacement per unit mass. Note that
simple harmonic oscillators have an equationof this form. It is a linear second-order differential equation.
 Note that ω
is equal to the restoring forceper unit displacement per unit mass.
Another example mass on a vertical spring :
3If the spring is hung vertically, the only change is in the equilibrium position, which is at the pointwhere the spring force equals the gravitational force. Its length is extended by ,
 by Hooke‟s law
(), the change in restoring force is . At theequilibrium position, the force on mass isWhen the mass is displaced downwards by an amount
, theresultant force is given by Which is of course just the equation of motion for SHM !!Figure 1.3An oscillating mass on a vertical spring. (a) Themass at its equilibrium position. (b) The mass displaced by adistance
from its equilibrium position.
1.3 Solutions for displacement, velocity and acceleration
We want expressions for displacement , velocity and acceleration , all as functions of time. Observing periodic motion of mass on spring, we look for a solution for that is also period-ic.Periodic functions that are familiar to us are and . Also we can use the solution tech-niques for the ordinary differential equations. Consequently one can obtain the following general solu-tion for displacement:The trigonometric solution can also be written in the form:One can easily show the equivalences of the solutions by using the trigonometric identities:Comparison of the equations gives that:In the solution is amplitude and is phase angle. The constants can be determined from the initialconditions.At this point, in order to define the SHM we introduce two physical quantities. One of them periodand another is frequency. The quantities can be defined as:Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit time. It is also referred to as tem-poral frequency. The period is the duration of one cycle in a repeating event, so the period is the reci-procal of the frequency. Mathematically we can write the relations:Note that the frequency
is determined by the properties of the oscillator,
, and does not de-
 pend at all on the amplitude, „
‟ of the oscillation.
Figure shows graph of sine and cosine functions.

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