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Stories

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ACOUSTICS
DONKIN

Honfcon

HENRY FROWDE

OXFOBD UNIVEHSITY PKESS WABEHOUSE
AMEN CORNER

V
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O

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gtrits

ACOUSTICS
THEORETICAL
PAKT
I

BY

W.

F.

DONKIN,

M.A.,

F.R.S.,

F.R.A.S,

LATE SAVILIAN PROFESSOR OF ASTRONOMY, OXFORD

SECOND EDITION,

AT. THE CLARENDON PRESS
MDCCCLXXXIV

[

All rights reserved}

ADVERTISEMENT.
As this is the only portion of a treatise on Acoustics, intended to comprise the practical as well as the theoretical parts of the subject, which will proceed from the pen of its Author,
a few words are required to explain the circumstances under

which

it

now

appears.

The

Author, the late Professor Donkin, has passed away
It

prematurely from the work.

was a work he was

peculiarly

qualified to undertake, being a mathematician of great attain-

ments and rare
investigation

taste,

and taking an

especial interest in the
analysis

and application of the higher theorems of

which are necessary for these subjects. He was, moreover, an accomplished musician, and had a profound theoretical

knowledge of the Science of Music. He began this work early in the year 1867; but he was continually interrupted by severe illness, and was much hindered

by the

difficulty,

and

in

many

instances the impossibility, of

obtaining accurate experimental results at the places wherein
his delicate health

compelled him to spend the winter months

of that and the following years.

He

took, however, so great
at
it

an

interest in the subject, that

he continued working

to

within two or three days of his death.

The

part

now

published contains an inquiry into the Vibra-

tions of Strings

more elementary theorems of the
of
its

and Rods, together with an explanation of the subject, and is, in the opinion
itself;
;

Author, complete in

his wish

was

that

it

should be

published as soon as possible
that

and he was pleased
It is

at

knowing

the last pages of

it

were passing through the Press imthe
first

mediately before the time of his death.
of the theoretical part.

portion

VI

ADVERTISEMENT.
It

was intended

that the

second portion should contain the

investigation into the Vibrations of Stretched

Membranes and
Elastic

Plates

;

into the

Motion of the Molecules of an

Body

;

and

into the

did not live
the work.

Mathematical Theory of Sound. Professor Donkin long enough to complete any part of this section of

The

third portion

was intended

to contain the practical part

of the subject; and the theory and practice of Music would have been most fully considered. It is exceedingly to be regretted that the Professor did not live to complete this portion ;
for the

combination of the

qualities necessary for

it

is

seldom

Not with, and he possessed them in a remarkable degree. even a sketch or an outline is found amongst his papers. He
met
with pleasure.
written
it.

had formed the plan in his own mind and often talked of it It can now never be written as he would have

BARTHOLOMEW
ii, ST. GILES',

PRICE.

OXFORD,
1870.

Feb.

1 6,

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
Little alteration

has been

made

in

preparing

the

second

edition.

A
;

corrected

few slight errors (chiefly misprints) have been and I have added an article (68 a), with diagrams,
respects

on Compound Harmonic Curves. In all other work remains exactly as it left its Author's hands.
A. E.

the

DONKIN.

RUGBY,
July
6,

1884.

CONTENTS.
PAGE

CHAP.

I.

GENERAL INTRODUCTION
PROPOSITIONS
.
.

.

.

I

II.

MISCELLANEOUS DEFINITIONS AND
.

.13
.

III.

COMPOSITION OF VIBRATIONS

IV.

THE HARMONIC CURVE

...
. .

.

29

47
72

V.
VI.

VIBRATIONS OF AN ELASTIC STRING
VIBRATIONS OF A STRING

90

VII.

ON THE TRANSVERSE VIBRATIONS OF AN ELASTIC STRING (DYNAMICAL THEORY)
. . .

.

m

VIII.

ON THE LONGITUDINAL VIBRATIONS OF AN ELASTIC ROD .149
.
.

IX.

ON THE LATERAL VIBRATIONS OF A THIN ELASTIC ROD .165
.
.

CHAPTER

I.

GENERAL INTRODUCTION.
1.

THE

sensation of sound, like that of light,

may

be pro-

duced
in

and extraordinary ways. But the first step the usual process consists in the communication of a vibrain exceptional

tory motion to the tympanic
slight

membrane of

the

ear,

through
its

and rapid changes
ear

in the pressure of the air

on

outer

surface.

The

may

be considered as consisting essentially of two

parts, of which one is the organ of communication with the external world, and the other of communication with the brain.
2.

The former

part

is

a tube of irregular form, divided into

two portions of nearly equal length by the tympanic membrane, which is stretched across it somewhat obliquely as a transverse
diaphragm.
the tympanic
ear.

The

shorter and wider part of the tube is outside membrane, and ends at the orifice of the external
is

This part

called the Meatus.

part of the tube immediately within the tympanic membrane is called the Tympanum, and the remainder the Eustachian

The

Tube.

The
open.

Eustachian tube leads into the pharynx, that

is,

the

cavity behind the tonsils

and uvula,

into

which the

nostrils also

But the

orifice

of the Eustachian tube, though capable
It is

of being opened, is usually closed. in the act of swallowing, and can

opened involuntarily

be opened voluntarily by a muscular effort not easily described but easily made and the opening is accompanied by a slight sensation in the ear, due to
;

a temporary change in the pressure of the air in the tympanum. TITus the meatus on the one hand, and the tympanum and B

2

Structure of the Ear.
air, is

Eustachian tube on the other, always contain different conditions. The air in the meatus
directly affected

but under
to

liable

be

by every change, however slight and rapid, in the pressure of the external air, with which it is always in free Communication but that within the tympanic membrane, being
;

only occasionally put into communication with the external air by the opening of the Eustachian tube, is not liable to be

by slight and rapid changes, though it takes part in the slower fluctuations shewn by the barometer. 3. The second, or interior, part of the ear is contained
directly affected

within a cavity which is called the bony labyrinth, because it is of a complicated form, and is surrounded by bone except in

two

places.

These two places may be compared

to

windows,

looking into the tympanum, but completely closed by membranes, so that neither air nor fluid can pass through them.

One of these is called the oval and the other The interior of this bony labyrinth is

the round window.
filled

with

fluid,

in

which are suspended membranous bags, following nearly the same form, and themselves containing fluid.

The terminal fibres of the auditory nerve are distributed over the surfaces (or parts of the surfaces) of these membranous bags, and there are special arrangements of which the object
appears to be the communication to these nervous fibres of

any
4.

agitation affecting the fluid.

The tympanic membrane
'

is

connected with that which

closes the

oval

window

'

by a

link- work of small

bones con-

tained in the
that

open space of the tympanum,

in such a

manner
external

when

the former

membrane -is bulged inwards

or outwards
its

by an increase or diminution of the pressure on surface, a similar movement is impressed on the
although the fluid within
'

latter;

and

probably as incompressible as water which it chiefly consists), the membrane of the 'round (of window allows it to yield by expanding outwards when that
is

of the oval

window
is

is

forced inwards, and vice versd.

Thus

the motion impressed

on the tympanic membrane by
to the fluid contained in the

the external air
labyrinth,

communicated

and from

that to the fibres of the auditory nerve,

by

Curve of Pressure.
means of
It is

3

the apparatus

mentioned above, which need not be
1
.

further described at present

probable also that motion

is

partly propagated

from the

tympanic membrane through the air in the tympanum to the membrane of the round window, and so to the fluid. 5. The pressure of the air at any point must be understood
' '

to

mean, as

usual, the pressure

unit of surface

by

air

of the

which would be exerted on a same density and temperature as
varies with

at the point in question.

When
variation

the pressure at

any point

the

time, the
'

may

be graphically represented by means of a

curve

Fig.

i.

portional

is proof any point of pressure/ in which the abscissa to the time elapsed since a given instant, and the

OM

P

ordinate

MP to the

which

may

excess of pressure above a standard value, be taken arbitrarily. negative ordinate (as at P*)

A

represents of course a defect of pressure below the
value.

standard

As we

shall chiefly

have occasion to consider cases in which
unaltered,
it

the average (or

mean) pressure remains

will

be

convenient to assume that average as the standard value represented by the axis of abscissae OX.

Changes of density may evidently be represented in the same way by a curve of density/ in which positive ordinates repre'

sent condensation, and negative ordinates dilatation. The curves of pressure and of density will differ slightly in form, because
1

A full description,
known
'

with

illustrations,

of the structure of the ear, so far

be found in Helmhbltz, p. 198, &c., and in Huxley's Lessons in Elementary Physiology/ p. 204, &c., and other recent works on Anatomy and Physiology. But the reader is recommended to study the subject, if possible, with the help of anatomical preparations or models. For the purposes of this treatise, however, nothing is absolutely necessary to be known beyond what is stated here or hereafter in the text.
as
it is

at present, will

B 2

4

Noises

and

Notes.

pressure is not in general strictly proportional to density ; the reasons and consequences of this fact, however, do not concern us at present.

Although it is convenient to use the word 'curve/ it must be understood that the lines representing changes of pressure or density are not necessarily curved in the ordinary sense, but may consist either wholly or in part of straight portions.
in contact with the

and rapid changes in the pressure of the air tympanic membrane, which cause (Art. 1) the sensation of sound, do not in general alter the average
6.
slight
;

Those

so that they would be represented by a wavy curve including upon the whole equal areas above and below the axis of abscissae.
pressure

wavy curve may or may not be periodic. consists of repetitions of a single portion, thus

A

A periodic
:

curve

Fig. 2.

period or wave-length of such a curve is the smallest distance A which, measured from any arbitrary point along the has the ordinates at its extremities always equal in other axis, words, it is the projection, on the axis, of the smallest portion

The

B

:

which
7.

is

repeated.
:

Sounds are usually divided into two classes namely, unmusical sounds, Qijwises ; and .musical sounds, or notes.

As regards sensation, the distinction between these two classes of sounds is said to be that notes have pitch and noises have
and, as regards the ; curve of pressure (Art. 6)

not

mode
is

of their production, that the periodic in the case of a musical

But these sound, and non-periodic in the case of a noise. statements require more explanation and correction than might
at first sight

be expected.
place,
it

In the
few,
if

first

is

obvious to

common

observation that

any, noises are perfectly unmusical, that is, absolutely without pitch. Two noises of the same general character often

Generation of

Mimcal

Notes.

5

differ from one another in a way which we describe by calling one of them more acute or sharp, and the other more grave or flat ; for example, the reports of a pistol and of a cannon.

On
that
is,

the other hand, few,
absolutely

if

any, sounds are perfectly musical,
noise.
is

unmixed with

Hence
in 8.

the question presents itself whether there

after all
if

a real distinction in kind between noises and notes, and
is,

there

what

it

consists.

two

facts of
first

Before attempting to answer this question, we must notice fundamental importance.
is,

if repeated at equal of time, generates a note, of which the pitch depends upon the frequency of repetition of the original or elementary sound. This is easily verified by

The

that

any sound whatever,
intervals

and

sufficiently short

For instance, if the point of a quill pen, simple experiments. or the edge of a card, be held against the teeth of a wheel
which
is

sharp noise or

turned slowly, the passage of each tooth produces a ' click/ But if the velocity of rotation of the

wheel be gradually increased, the clicks gradually cease to be
heard separately, and are replaced by a sound which gradually acquires a continuous character, and a pitch which rises as the

The connection between the frequency of of the elementary sound, and the pitch of the resultant repetition note, will be considered afterwards.
velocity increases.

The second
at

fact
is

is,

that

more than one sound can be heard
But the following
it is

once.

This

familiar to every one.

considerations will
9. In the case

shew

that

very remarkable.

above supposed, each passage of a tooth of

the wheel across the quill or card produces a disturbance in the air, which is propagated in all directions (unless some obstacle
intervene) in the form of a wave.

The
after.

nature of sound-waves in air will be considered here-

At present

it

is

essentially different in

sufficient to say that though they are most respects from ordinary waves in

water, they have one important property in common, namely, that different sets of waves can be propagated at the same time,
either in the

same or

in different directions, without destroying

6 one another.

Composition

and

Resolution

And it results from the mechanical theory that the waves are very small, the different sets are simply superposed ; that is, the disturbance produced at any point, and
when
any given time, by the combined action of waves belonging sum of the disturbances which would have been produced by the waves of each set separately.
at

to different sets, is the

In this proposition the word sum is to be understood, according to circumstances, either in the ordinary algebraical sense, or in the extended sense in which the diagonal of a parallelo-

gram

is

called (in symbolical geometry) the

sum of two conthe disturbance at

tiguous sides.

Thus,

in the case of

sound-waves in

air,

ticles,

any point may or as an

be considered either as a displacement of paralteration ot

pressure and density.

And

the

whole change,

either of pressure or density, is the algebraical

sum

of the changes which would have been produced by waves

of each set separately ; while the displacement of any particle is the sum of the separate displacements in the sense just
explained.

Thus, suppose

A

is

the undisturbed position of a particle

which, at a given instant, would be displaced in by the action of a

P

wave belonging to one set, and Q by that of a wave belonging
another
set.

to to

Then
the

the actual disinstant will

placement
be to R,
Fig.
3-

at

same

AR

being the diagonal of

the parallelogram constructed

upon

AP,AQ.
tical in

This law of the composition of displacements, which is idenform with that of the composition of forces in Mechanics,
stated in another

may be
Each
causes ;

manner thus

:

of displacement acts independently of other a proposition which is to be understood as follows
:

separate cause

The
were

actual displacement

AR

is

the

same as

if

the particle

first displaced by one cause P, and then by the along other along a line PR, equal and parallel to the displacement

A

of Disturbances.

7
if

A

Q, which the latter cause would have produced

acting

alone.
' important to recollect that this law of the superposition of displacements is not a universal law in the same sense as

It is

'

that of the composition of forces.

It

depends, in

fact,

upon

the condition that the force which tends to restore a displaced
particle to its undisturbed position is directly proportional to

the displacement;
it

and

this condition, in

most cases

in

which
small

subsists at

all,

subsists rigorously only for

infinitely

displacements.

The

law, however,

is

sensibly true, so far as

most of the

phenomena

of sound are concerned, in the case of the greatest

disturbances produced by ordinary causes. 10. This being premised, let us consider a continuous noise,
lasting say for a small fraction of a second, in

which the ear

can recognise no definite pitch.

And

suppose the curve of

Fig. 4.

the curve representing in the way above exthe changes of pressure close to the tympanic plained (Art. 5) D, Fig. 4. membrane) to be the black line

pressure (that

is,

ABC

Suppose a different noise, of the same duration, to have for its curve of pressure the dotted line in the same figure. Then, if

the causes producing such noises both act at once, the resultant variation of pressure will be represented, as in Fig. 5, by a

8
curve, of

Power of Resolution
which the ordinates are the algebraical sums of the

corresponding ordinates in Fig. 4. Now in such a case the two noises do not in general coalesce into one, but are heard distinctly, though simul-

when the two curves of Fig. 4 are nearly the two noises are very like one another, is, that the ear does not easily resolve the resultant sound into its
taneously.
It is

only

similar, that

when

two components.

On

the other hand, there

is

nothing

in the

curve of Fig. 5

which can suggest to the eye the process of composition by It looks quite as simple as either which it was generated.
of
its

components

;

and although

it

might be

arbitrarily

re-

solved into two in an infinite variety of ways, there is nothing in its appearance to indicate one way as more natural than

any other *.
It is evident then that the ear has a power of resolution which the eye has not or rather, that the ear resolves according to some law peculiar to itself, whereas the eye either does
;

not resolve at
11.

all,

or resolves arbitrarily.
is
still

This phenomenon

more remarkable when
Let

the

component curves are

periodic.

A B C D E F G,
'

Fig. 6,

represent two periods of a periodic change of pressure; the curve consisting of repetitions of the portion A D. Similet abcdefg represent three of another periodic larly periods

BC

change, occupying the same time as two periods of the former.
curves in the above figures are represented as made up of straight merely for convenience of drawing. Whether their forms be or be not such as could really occur, is quite immaterial to the argument. The that whatever be the forms of point essential to be understood is this the component curves, the eye cannot in general distinguish them in the
lines,
:

1

The

resultant curve.

peculiar

to Ike

Ear.

9

The

resultant

curve consists of repetitions of the portion
is

P Q,

Fig. 7,

and

therefore also periodic.

Fig.

7.

If the periods

be

sufficiently short,

each of the curves in

Fig. 6 will correspond to a musical note; and the curve in Fig. 7 represents the variation of pressure which takes place

when

the

two notes are heard simultaneously.

Now,

it

is

a well-known fact that in such a case the ear in general distinguishes both notes ; that is, it resolves the resultant curve of
Fig. 7 into the

two components of Fig.
in Fig. 7

nothing more

6. But the eye sees than a curve having a period repre-

sented by the abscissa

P Q,

and

entirely fails to distinguish the

different periods of the

component

curves.

Here

again, then,
its

we

find that the ear resolves according to a law of

own.

12.

PQ

But a new question now presents itself. If a curve like is resolved by the ear into two components, why is not
?

each component similarly resolved

If the repetition of

PQ
itself

represents two simultaneous but distinguishable notes, why may not the repetition of represent two notes in the same

A B CD

way; and why may not each component of again resolved, and so on ad infinitum ?

A B CD

be

The answer
and

is,

that

all

this

that a perfectly simple musical tone, that
is

does in general really happen ; is, a tone such as

the ear cannot resolve,

rarely heard except

when produced
a piano-

by means

specially contrived for the purpose.

Thus
forte

the sound produced
violin

by a vibrating
is

string, of

or

for

instance,

in

general

compounded of

simple tones, theoretically unlimited in number. Only a few of them, however, are loud enough to be actually heard. These few constitute a combination which is always heard from the

same

string

under the same circumstances

;

hence

we

acquire

io

What

is

a Noise?

a habit of associating them together and perceiving them as a single note of a special character ; and it requires an effort
of attention, which
unassisted
ear,
is

difficult

when

first

to

analyse the

compound

sensation.

attempted by the In the

case of a string this difficulty is increased by the circumstance that the audible component tones form in general an agreeable consonance. When, however, two strings, not in unison,
vibrate at once,

we

distinguish their notes

perfectly;

partly

because there

is

in this case

no habit of

association,

and

partly

because the component tones of one dp not in general form a consonant combination with those of the other.

The sound
tones,

of a large bell is compounded of many simple some of which combine agreeably and some produce

harsh dissonances.

In this case every one perceives easily the character .of the sound. Still the habit of association complex prevents us from mistaking the sound of one bell for the sound
of two
once,
;

we

and on the other hand, when two bells are struck at distinguish the two compound sounds more or less

perfectly;

notwithstanding the very confused combination of simple tones. 13. We can now give at least a partial answer to the question,

//
.

What is a noise?/ It is in general a combination of a number of -musical tones too near to one another in pitch
to

?

be distinguished by the unassisted

ear.

'

The
forte

effect

produced by ringing

all

the bells of a peal at

once, or striking
at

tends to
the

all the twelve keys of an octave oft a pianoshews how a confused combination of tones once, become a noise. And it may be easily conceived that

twelve notes intermediate between

change would be much more complete if, for example, C and Gjf were heard at
appears, then, that a noise

once.
It

cases of sound.

The former
fail

is

and a simple tone are extreme so complex that the ordinary
it.

powers of the ear

to resolve

The

latter is

incapable

of resolution by reason of its absolute simplicity 14. It is evident therefore that the question,
absolutely simple tone ? or rather,

What

is

an

What

is

the character of the

Notes and Tones.

n

sound-waves which produce such tones, and of the corresponding curves of pressure ? is of fundamental importance.
is required to the musical notes have statement referred to above (Art. 7), that Strictly speaking, only an absolutely simple tone has pitch. When we speak of the pitch of the a single determinate pitch.

It

is

evident also that

some correction

note produced by a string or an organ-pipe, we mean in fact This the pitch of the gravest simple tone in the combination.

component is in general louder than any of the and is that on which attention is fixed. The others others, become associated with it by habit, and seem only to modify
particular
its

character, without destroying the unity of

its

pitch.

be necessary to distinguish between and compound musical sounds, we shall always use simple
15.
it

As

will

often

(as in the preceding articles) the

words

tone

and

note for this

purpose.

Objections
the

may
is

easily

be made to both these terms.

In

fact

word

tone

often used with express reference to that very
;

complexity which it is here intended to exclude as when we say that the tone of a violin is different from that of a clarinet,
or that any instrument has a good or bad tone. Again, note properly signifies the written mark which indicates what musical sound is to be played or sung, and not the sound itself.

But
hnston,

it

may

r3e

answered that
of tension
is

tone (Gr. rovos)

really

means

and the

effect

to determine the pitch of the

sound of a
to demote a

string.

Hence

the

word may

naturally be used
;

sound with reference only to its pitch and therefore, in particular, to denote a simple sound which has a single ^ pitch, and has (as will be seen hereafter) no other distinctive
quality except loudness or softness.
I

And
ition

with respect to

note, it

may be answered

that the trans-

from the written mark to the thing signified is in fact habitually made, as when we say that a person sings wrong
notes.

Again, the written note is a direction to sing or play, not a simple sound, but that particular complex sound which is produced by the voice or by the instrument intended to be

is

Notes and Tones.

used; and the particular sound produced is in fact a note or characteristic mark of the kind of instrument. In this sense

we speak of the note of
16.

the blackbird or of the nightingale.

shall henceforth denote a simple musical sound by the word tone, and the elementary sound of any instrument, such as that of a violin string, an organ-pipe,

For these reasons we

or the

human voice, by the word note. Thus a note will be in general a complex sound, though

through the peculiarity of a particular be simple, or nearly so 1 instrument,
it

may

accidentally,

.

1

simple musical sounds. We have followed him in adopting the latter term. But such a sound as that of the human voice could hardly be called in English a clang, without doing too much violence to established usage.

Helmholtz uses the words Klang and Ton to signify compound and

CHAPTER

II.

MISCELLANEOUS DEFINITIONS AND PROPOSITIONS.

THE
finitions

contents

of this

Chapter
fact,

will

consist

chiefly of de-

and statements of

which may conveniently be

introduced here, though partly belonging to a later stage of the subject.
17.

The word

vibration

may

be used to denote any periodic

change of condition ; especially when, relatively to appropriate standards of comparison, the change is small, and the period
short.

When

a change
is

is

called periodic,

it

is

in general implied

that a period

an

interval of time of constant length,
is

and

that

whatever condition exists at any instant,
lapse of a period. Thus the series of changes which
instants separated
tinually repeated.

restored after the

happen between any
is

1

by a

period, constitute a cycle which

con-

The
any
tion
is

particular stage of

change which has been reached

at

instant is called the phase of the vibration.

And

the vibra-

said to

go through
is

all its

phases in one period.
It

The
periods

period

also called the time of a vibration.

may,

and frequently does happen,

that

the changes in successive

grow successively

less,

though remaining similar in

Thus character, while the period continues sensibly unaltered. when a string is put into a state of vibration and the^i left
to
itself,

the
all.

same

the sound gradually dies away, but retains sensibly both pitch and the same character as long as it is heard at the other hand, the period

On

may

change, as

when

the

i4
tension

Pitch Dependent on Period.
of a
string
is

increased

or

diminished while

it

is

vibrating.

But when nothing is said to the contrary, it is always to be understood that the period is supposed to be constant. 18. When a musical note (Art. 16) is heard in the ordinary
way, the
ear
that
is

air in

in a state of vibration.

contact with the tympanic membrane of the But it has been already seen

the

several

general resolves a series of vibrations into component series having different periods, each of
ear
in

which

produces a simple tone with a determinate pitch. tone produced by the component vibrations of longest period, being the lowest in pitch, and also in general the

The

loudest,

is

called the

fundamental

toney

and

its

pitch

is

usually

spoken of as the pitch of the note.
shall, however, suppose at present that the vibrations are of that kind which the ear does not resolve, so that only one

We

tone

is

heard; and proceed to

state

certain facts relative to

the connection between the pitch of the tone and the period of the vibrations.

To

avoid circumlocution,

we may

call the vibrations

which

produce any particular tone the vibrations of the tone ; and the period of the vibrations may be called the period of the tone.
19. If the period of the vibrations be too long,

no tone

is perceived, but only a succession of distinct impulses which affect the ear with a peculiar sensation different both from

noise and tone.
short,

If,

on
at
all

the other
is

hand, the period be too
is

no sensation

produced; the sound

simply

inaudible.

Different observers have

made

various statements as to the

But period of the slowest vibrations which produce a tone. it is certain that to all ordinary ears the perception of pitch begins when the number of vibrations in a second is somewhere between eight and thirty-two. In experiments on this point there is an uncertainty arising from the doubt whether
the

tone heard

is

really

fundamental,

or only

one of the
and perhaps

component tones having a compound vibration. For it

shorter period
is

than that of the

certainly difficult

.

t

Comparison of Intervals.

15

as to be quite sure that impossible so to arrange the experiment is of that kind which the ear does not resolve^ the vibration

The extreme
no tone
is

limit

in

the
1
.

contrary direction

is

known

to

be different to different ears

In general it is probable that^ heard when the number of vibrations in a second

exceeds 40,000. 20. Difference of period causes a difference of pitch which

we

describe

by calling

tones of shorter period higher, or

more

acute, and those of longer period lower, or more grave. The change of pitch which takes place when the period is gradually altered, strikes us as having an analogy to the

Hence gradual change of position of a moving point. that there is an interval between tones of different pitch.
Suppose P, Q,

we

say

R
to

Then we
intervals

say that the interval from

are three tones, taken in order of pitch. is the sum of the to

P

R

from

P

Q

and from
in

Q

to

R;

or briefly, that

So

far as this

we might go

many

other cases of con-

For instance, we might speak of tinuously varying sensation. the interval between two pains of the same kind, but of different intensities,

and

.call

one

interval the

sum of two

others.

comparison of tones we can make a further step which we cannot make in the comparison of pains. For we

But

in the

can compare with precision the magnitudes of two intervals. The ear decides whether any interval Q is greater than,
equal
faculty
to, or less

than any other interval
intervals
is

P R S. How
it

far

this

of comparing

an absolutely simple and
is

ultimate property of the sense of hearing,
to decide, for reasons

not very easy

which

will

appear
it is

hereafter.

21.
is

But however
it

this

may

be,

certain that the

judgment

made;, and

interval

PQ

is

a fact ascertained by experiment that any S, judged to be equal to another interval
is

R

whenever the periods
1

(Art. 18) of the two tones, P, Q, are to

This appears to have been

first

observed by Wollaston.

See his

memoir 'On sounds
p. 306.

On
t.

inaudible by certain Ears,' Phil. Trans, for 1820, the audibility of high tones, see Savart in Ann. de Chim. et

de Phys.,

44, p. 337;

on low

tones,

Helmholtz,

p. 263.

1

6

Measure of

Intervals.

one another in the same

ratio as the periods of the tones R, S. proposition may of course be expressed by saying that the intervals are equal when the ratios of the numbers of

The same

vibrations in a given time

are equal; for the periods are in-

versely proportional

P,

R,
for

Q S

numbers of vibrations. Thus, if be produced by 200 and 300 vibrations in a second, and S are equal, by 600 and 900, then the intervals Q,
to

the

P

R
p

200

:

300

:

:

600

:

22. In general,

if

900. a tone

P

be produced by

vibrations in

a second, and another tone

Q

by q

vibrations,

the
it

ratio -

determines the magnitude of the interval

PQ

P
follows

;

for

from the proposition of Art. 21 that no interval can be equal to Q unless the numbers of vibrations of its tones have

P

the

same

ratio.

But although

this ratio determines the interval,

it

cannot be

taken as a measure of the interval, as we shall Suppose Q is higher than P, and let
higher than
interval

now

shew.

R

be a third tone

Q, having r vibrations in
is

a second.

Then

the

PR

the

sum

of the intervals

fore

any number taken as a measure

P Q, QR ; and thereof P R ought to be the

sum

of the numbers taken by the same rule as the measures of

PQ, QR.
intervals

Now

the ratios

- -

>

-

>

which determine the three
fulfil

P Q, Q R, PR,
not equal to -

p

q

p
this

do not

condition,

for

-

p

+

-

is

q

p

But

if

we

take for the measure of an interval, not the ratio

of the numbers of vibrations, but the logarithm of that ratio,
the required condition
fore
is

satisfied

;

for -

p
the logarithm of is

= xP q

and

there-

the

sum

and -

r

P

of the logarithms

of

-

P

23. If then p, q be the

numbers of

vibrations, in

a given

time, of two tones P, Q, the logarithm of

may

properly be

taken as a numerical measure of the interval

P Q.

And

in

Symbolical

Names of

Intervals.

17

order to compare the magnitudes of different intervals we must compare, not the corresponding ratios, but the logarithms of The base of the system of logarithms may be those ratios.

any whatever.
unity,

In fact the
shall

choice

of the

base

merely de-

termines what interval

be

represented
is i

numerically by
in every system.

since the logarithm of the base

Thus, if we took 2 for the base, we should have log 2 = 1; and therefore i would be the measure of the interval which
has 2 (or f ) for the ratio of the vibrations of
interval.
tically
it is

its

tones.

In

other words, the octave (see Art. 33) would then be the unit-

There would be some advantage
convenient to use the
10.

common

in this; but praclogarithms, of which

the base

is

24.
is

Though
it

the ratio

- cannot be used
it

as a measure,
interval

it

often convenient to use
is

as the

name of the

P Q.

When

so used

we

shall inclose

the fraction in brackets

thus, 'the interval

(-);'

the brackets being intended to remind
is

the reader that

the

measure of the interval

o not -

but

interval between two tones P, Q, may, like the between two points in a line, be reckoned in two to Q, or from Q to P; and this opposite ways, namely, from difference will henceforth be indicated by calling the same

25.

The

interval

P

interval

P Q or QP accordingly.
the

And
as in

if we introduce the in signs + and modern elementary Geometry, it is evident

same way

that the rules

for the addition

and subtraction of
be applied
at

straight lines (in the
to

same

direction)

may

traction of intervals.

And

if

P, Q,

Thus, QP PQ,orPQ+QP R be any three tones whatever, then PR = PQ+QR = QR-QP;

once =

the

addition

and sub= o.

PQ+QR+RP
as a
c

=

o,

&c.

26. In designating any interval by the corresponding ratio name, we shall put that number in the denominator which

1

8

Addition and Subtraction.

proportional to the number of vibrations producing the tone from which the interval is reckoned.
is

Thus, 'the

interval

(-)'

will

mean PQ,

while 'the interval

(^)'

will

mean Q P.
also log

Then
will

Jr

being taken as the measure of

P Q, log P =

be the measure of

QP
-

with

its

proper sign

;

for log

-K*JThe
=
equations

_ =

x
=

PQ+QR, PR

p

p

-> q

-

q

-i-

q

x

j

p

compared
that

with

QRQP,

shew

addition

and subtraction of

intervals

correspond to multiplication and

division of ratios ; the words addition and subtraction being no longer restricted to their arithmetical sense, but used in the same way as in the geometry of a straight line.

In fact

this is
is

of the ratio

only another way of saying that the logarithm a proper measure (both as to magnitude and

sign) of the interval.
It

follows,

intervals are to be considered positive

from the conventions above made, that those which are reckoned from
;

a lower to a higher tone than unity is positive.
27.
It

since the logarithm of a ratio greater

will

be

a

which determines an
the expression
is

convenient abridgment to call the ratio interval the ratio of the interval,' though
'

in itself

28.
tones

The
is

interval

unmeaning. between the lowest and highest audible

theoretically

interposition
to the

capable of unlimited subdivision by the of intermediate tones, though there is a limit

as there incident
*-"

power of the ear to distinguish nearly coincident tones, is to the power of the eye to distinguish nearly cotints.

A
some

series

of tones at

finite

intervals,

selected

according to

definite law, is usually

and appropriately

called a scale ;

for the selected tones are the steps of a ladder

by which we

ascend from a lower to a higher pitch. A scale formed by taking an unlimited succession of tones,

Harmonic

Scale.
(in

19
a given time)

produced by vibrations of which the numbers
are proportional to
i, 2, 3, 4,

&c.,

is

called the scale of
it

Natural

Harmonics,

We

shall

henceforward refer to

simply as 'the

harmonic

scale.'

The

different notes

which can be produced from a simple

tube, used as a trumpet, belong to a scale of this kind.

And

each note of the trumpet, of the
string, in short

human

voice, of a vibrating

usual ways,

is

every musical note produced in any of the most compounded of simple tones also belonging to

a harmonic
chanical
state

scale.

The
will

explanation of these

facts at

on me-

principles

be given afterwards;

present

we

them

as a reason for giving here a general view of this

primary and fundamental scale. 29. The absolute pitch of the lowest or fundamental tone

may

be any whatever.

If

we choose

the thirty-third part of

a second for the period of this tone, it will have the same pitch as the lowest C of a modern pianoforte, according to a standard

now very commonly adopted 1 (If we chose a we should of course merely transpose the scale
.

different period without altering

the intervals.)

The

series of tones will
i

then begin as follows

:

2

456,7
G
11

C
C,
10

c

e

g

bb

c'

d'

12

13

14

15

16

&
e'

M^-^~

(^
e'

^
~r^
a'

H

*-*

~~ir~
l?b'

If
written

V
are the

c"

The numbers

above the notes

numbers of

vibrations in the thirty-third part of a second.

1

This

is

the

German

pitch.

In England there

is at

present no uniform

standard.

C 2

2o

Names and
are

Ratios
asterisk

Those notes which

marked with an

do not

exactly represent the corresponding tones, but are the nearest
representatives

which the modern notation
below the notes
writers.

supplies.

30.

The

letters

are, with
this

a

slight alteration,

those used by

German

In

system of notation, C,

D, E, F, G, A, B, represent the seven notes beginning with the second C (reckoning upwards) of a modern pianoforte, or the
lowest note of a violoncello.

The

letters c, d, e,

octaves above these notes are represented by the small f, g, a, b. Thus, c is the lowest note of a viola,
;

and the lowest c of a tenor voice
a violin.

and g

is

the lowest note of

the small letters

Higher notes than b are represented by putting accents above and lower notes than C by putting accents
;

below the

capitals.
;

Each accent above a

small letter raises the
capital lowers the

tone by an octave tone by an octave.

and each accent below a

Thus, g"
the lowest

3 2 -foot
fortes is

C

the highest g of an ordinary soprano voice, C, is of a modern pianoforte, and C,, is the so-called The compass of the newest pianoof an organ.
is

C

from A,, to a"", &c.
notation for the future, the reader
familiar with
it.

As we shall use this recommended to become
(German
our b b.)
31.
scale

is

writers use

h instead of our

b,

and b instead of

The

intervals

between the several tones of the harmonic
derived from the

have in a few cases received names

places of the tones in the diatonic scale (Art. 35). The most important of these intervals, with their ratios, are

:

Octave
Fifth

C,

C
c
e

.

.

C

G..
.

j

f
|-

Fourth

G
third
third

.

Major Minor

......e
g bb*

c

g
t>b* c

.. ..
. .

f I
f

of Important Intervals.
Major second Minor second
Diatonic semitone
c'

21
. .

d'
e'

f

d' b'

.

.

V
yf

c"

.

.

The two
modern

intervals (), (f) are not formally recognized in music, though they are probably often used both by

singers and by players on instruments not restricted to a finite number of notes. The major and minor second are often called major and minor tones ; but it is desirable to avoid the use of the word

tone in two senses.

Other intervals (such as the

sixth, &c.),

formed by addition and subtraction of those in the above list, may be omitted for the present. 32. TLe second and all following tones of the harmonic
scale are

often called the 'harmonics' of the

first

or funda-

mental tone.
tone
If
is

The second

tone

is

the first harmonic, the third
on.

the second harmonic;

and so

take any tone of the harmonic scale as a new fundamental tone, the whole series of its harmonics will be found in

we

the original scale.

Thus

the series 3, 6, 9,
;

1

2

.

.

.

.

,

gives the harmonic scale of

the third tone

and

in general the series
n, 2n,

$n,

4*1,

,

gives the

harmonic

scale of the

th tone.

any discussion of the character of other intervals, we may here notice a peculiar property which distinguishes the first interval in the harmonic scale, the octave.
33. Omitting for the present

two tones which differ by an octave, we are by a certain sense of sameness, which we do not feel in the case of any other interval unless it be a multiple of an
affected

When we compare

octave.

A

cussed hereafter

supposed explanation of this property will be disbut, whether it be explicable or not, it entitles
;

the octave to be regarded as a natural unit (see Art. 23) with

which other

intervals

may be compared.
:

At

the

same time

it

gives a periodic character to the scale

every tone which has

occurred once seems to occur again and again at equal intervals.

22
34. If

Bisection of Intervals.

we compare

sive octaves of the

every interval
into

the intervals into which any two succesharmonic scale are divided, we see that between consecutive tones in one octave is divided

two

intervals in the next higher octave.

The law
tl+ n
1
:

of this subdivision

is

worth observing.
is

The

ratio

of the interval between consecutive tones

always of the form
;

now

-

+
n

I

27*+ 2n

2
-

-

2

#

-f-

I

2n
(

2 -x 2H+ 2 +
i

in

other

words (see
two

Art.

26) the

interval

-)
and

is

the

sum
fact

of the

intervals

/272+Iv / 2H (- 2H - ) (), V \2H

-f-

2\ -

+

I'

),

it

is

in

divided

into these two in the next higher octave; for in that octave occur three consecutive tones corresponding to the numbers 2n, 2n+i, 2/Z+2, of vibrations.

Thus, the
octave,

first

octave, C,

C.
fifth

is

undivided.
fourth,

The second

C

c, is

divided into a

and a

}-*-|x|.:
In the third octave the
fifth,

c

g,

is
;

divided into a major

and a minor

third,

f=f
g
c',

=

x -f

whilst the fourth,

divided into two intervals, (), (^-), which have not received names. In the fourth octave the major
is

third, c'

e', is

divided into a major and a minor second,

i=v=ixv.
Thus every
the
interval

word

half

may

divided into a major and minor half (if be so used), according to a law which may
is

be called the law of natural
always the lower.
35.
but
it

bisection,

the major

half being

The
will

theory of

artificial scales

cannot be discussed here

;

be useful to

state,

without reference to theory, the
diatonic
fifth,

actual construction of the

modern

major

scale.

If

we

take two tones at an interval of a

and

the intermediate

tone which bisects the
c,
e,

fifth

naturally (Art. 34), for example,

g^

we

obtain three tones which

produce a triad or
triads
is

common

chord.

And

when sounded together if we take three such
first

one above another, so

that the highest tone of the

the lowest of the second,

and the highest of the second the

Diatonic Scale.
lowest of the third,

23
above

we

obtain seven tones, rising one
:

another by alternate major and minor thirds, thus

F~^T
Lastly,
if
5

A

5

~^T
5.

e
6
5

~JT
T
S

b
6.

i'
5

6.

4

we

the so-called tonic or

take the lowest tone (c) of the middle triad as first tone of the scale, and bring all the

other tones within the compass of an octave by substituting f, a, d, for F, A, d', we obtain the seven tones of the diatonic
scale, to

which an eighth
:

(viz.
f,

c',

the octave of the tonic)

is

usually added, thus

c, d, e,

g, a, b, c'.
let

Returning, however, to the above system of triads,
the other tones.

us find

the ratios of the intervals from the lowest tone, F, to each of

This

will

be done by successive multiplication

of the ratios

j-,

4, &c. (Art. 26),
:

and thus we obtain the

fol-

lowing ratios for the intervals
F,
1

A,
5

1>

T>

"a"*

315 T> T3T> 8 94527
is

c,

e,

g,

b,

d'.

Here the
from
If

ratio written

under each tone

that of the interval

F

to that tone.
all

we reduce

denominator,

viz. 16,

these fractions to the least possible common the numerators will be the smallest whole
to the
:

numbers proportional
responding tones, thus
F,
16,

numbers of

vibrations of the cor-

A,
20,

c,

e,

g,

b,

d'.

24,

30,

36,

45,

54.

Recollecting 'now that the number of vibrations of f is double that of F, &c., we obtain the following series for the diatonic
scale
:

c,

d,

e,

f,

g,

a,

b,

c'.

24,

27,

30,

32,

36,

40

45,
all

48.

36.

The

tones of the diatonic scale have
it

received technical

names, of which
or
first

is

sufficient to

mention

three, viz. the tonic
fifth

tone of the scale, the dominant or

tone,

and the
is

subdominant or fourth tone.
tonic,

g

the dominant,

and

f

Thus, in the above scale c the subdominant.

the

24
37.

Relation of Diatonic

The

numbers of

tones of a diatonic scale, having for their actual vibrations those given at the end of Art 35, belong

evidently to the harmonic scale (Art. 28), of which the fundamental tone has one vibration. This fundamental tone is five
5 3 octaves below the subdominant, for 3T = (f ) Hence, neglecting the difference between tones which differ
.

by a whole number of octaves, we may say that the diatonic scale is selectedfrom the harmonic scale of its subdominant. This proposition is to be understood merely as the statement
of a mathematical fact,

and not as involving any theory of the
represented in whole numof its tonic is divisible both

actual derivation of the scale.

bers

The diatonic scale can only be when the number of vibrations
8.

by 3 and
tones
(or

Hence we may say
their

that

any harmonic scale contains the
all

amongst its no others.

octaves) of the diatonic scales of tones which correspond to multiples of

those

3,

and of
gives a

The

series of multiples of 3, viz. 3, 6, 9, 12,

.

.

.

.

,

harmonic scale which has
tone of the original scale.

for

its

fundamental tone the third
be said to contain the
all

Thus, every harmonic scale
diatonic scales of
that tone.
its

may

third

tone,

and of

the harmonics of

38. Returning

now

to

the series of whole

numbers which

represent the diatonic scale (Art. 35), we find for the intervals between successive tones of the scale the following ratios
:

c

.

.

.

.

d,
e,

f |f

=

f

(major second).

d
e
f
.

=

.

.

.

f,

if =
%% =
TTF
,

V T

(minor second).
(diatonic semitone),

g>
a,

1=1
y
= f If = TT
the octave
g,^a, b, c',

(major second), (minor second),
(major second),
(diatonic semitone).
is

g ....
a ....

b,
7

b
39. In

.

.

.

.

c

this

scale

divided into two so-called

tetrachords,

c, d, e, f;

separated by the major second

to
f

Harmonic

Scale.

25
;

.

.

.

.

g.

These tetrachords are

nearly, but not exactly, alike
:

for the intervals in the lower

and upper tetrachords are (lower) major second, minor second, semitone; (upper) minor second, major second, semitone.
is

Hence, the upper tetrachord of the scale of c
in the latter scale
is

not exactly
;

identical with the lower tetrachord of the scale of

g

for the

^

a major second above g, and in the former a minor second only. The a of the scale of c is therefore

flatter

a major

than that of the scale of g by the difference between and a minor second. This difference is called a
the ratio of a

comma ; and

comma

is

(Art.

26)

*-*=
A comma
tone
;

is
5 )

nearly equal to the
is

fifth

part of a diatonic semi-

for (f

nearly equal to -Jf .

belong more properly to another chapter; but they have been given here in order to shew at once, by a simple example, the imperfection of the ordinary musical notation for
details
all

These

but practical purposes.

The

letter

a and the note
g, to

are

made

to serve for the scales

both of c and

say nothing of other scales; whereas in fact the letters, as ordinarily used, and the notes on the stave, are capable of representing accurately one diatonic scale and no more.

The whole
on
ignore,

structure, however, of

modern music
take

is

founded

the possibility of educating the ear not merely to tolerate or

but even in

some degree
between

to

pleasure

in,

slight

deviations from the perfection of the diatonic scale.

4O. The

relation

intervals

and numerical

ratios

may

be

illustrated

by the curve called, the logarithmic (or equi-

This curve (see Fig. i) consists of convoluangular) spiral. of which the number reckoned from any point, either tions,
inwards or outwards, is infinite. Inwards, the curve approaches continually nearer to a point (called the pole), which it never reaches. the pole without it recedes from Outwards, actually
limit.

These two properties are

common
to

to

many

spirals.

But the curve

in question has this particular property, that if

straight lines be

drawn from the pole

any two points on the

26

Graphic Representation

to the angle between them.

curve, the logarithm of the ratio of their lengths is proportional It follows (Art. 23), that if the

lengths of any two such lines, as
sent

OA, OB, be taken

to repre-

may

a given time, the angle be taken as a measure of the interval between the tones
vibrations in
vibrations.

numbers of

AOB

produced by those

Fig.

i.

The
Thus,
its

curve can be so drawn, and

is

so

drawn

in the figure,
pole.

that a complete revolution doubles the distance

from the

Oa

is

double of

point, starting

from

A

of Oa, &c.; so that a and following the curve outwards, doubles
it

OA, and Oa

distance from

O

whenever

crosses the line

OA

produced,

of
that
is,

Scale.
But,

27

whenever

it

completes a revolution.

when

the

number of vibrations is doubled, the tone is raised an octave. Hence the angle described in a complete revolution, that is, and any fracfour right angles or 360, represents an octave tion or multiple of four right angles represents the same fraction
;

or multiple of an octave.

may, therefore, consider a point, following the curve outwards, to represent a tone continually rising in pitch; and successive passages of the point through any given line drawn from the pole will represent passages of the tone through successive octaves.

We

Thus

the geometrical periodicity of the curve

presents to the eye a sort of picture of the periodicity perceived by the ear in a continuously rising tone.

The
scale

angles

representing the intervals used in the diatonic

cannot (with the exception of the octave) be exactly expressed in degrees, minutes, and seconds ; but, to the nearest
1 second, they are as follows
:

,

Octave
Fifth

Fourth

360 o o 210 35 ir 149 24 49
.
.

Major Minor

third

.

.

.

.

115 53 38

third

.

.

.

.

.

.

Major second Minor second
Diatonic semitone
.

94 41 33 61 10 22
54 43
1

6

.

.

.

(Comma)
B_

33 31 6 27
if r,

n
6

The equation to the curve is r tores in the ratio of n, we have
3

a

.

2 *

*

;

m

hence,

r\ be two radii vec-

:

n
hence

=2
log
2

- 0' =

2

which gives the angular measure of the corresponding = - ; hence the the fifth, is
angle (in degrees)
.

interval.

Thus, for

The

log 2 angles being known for the fifth and the fourth, the rest of those which occur in the diatonic scale can be found by addition and subtraction.

28

Division of Octave into Atoms.
i

41. In Fig.

the letters represent the tones of three octaves
It

of the diatonic

scale.

may

be observed that the same figure

might be used to represent a descending instead of an ascendThe distances from the pole would then be proing scale.
portional
to

the periods* of the tones,

or (as will be shewn

hereafter) to the lengths of the strings, of given kind

tension,

which produce them.

The

and given angles would then have to
intervals graphically

be taken in the reverse order. 42.
is

A

more usual mode of representing

by parts of a straight line, of which the whole is assumed to When this method is adopted it is conrepresent an octave.
venient to divide the octave line into equal parts, of which the

number

is

approximately the product of some power of 10 by
2.

the logarithm of
3 being io

Thus,

if

we

divide

it

into

301 parts (301

x

log 2

the

interval

nearly) the logarithm of the ratio defining measured by n divisions will be, approximately,

'..

Conversely, the

number of

divisions representing

any

interval will be

of that interval.

1000, multiplied by the logarithm of the ratio Thus, a comma will be represented by
divisions nearly.

1000 x log|ny = 5

A

division

on

this

scale corresponds to

something more than
Dr.

a degree

on

the scale described in Art. 40.

Young

divided

'

and Mr. De Morgan has proposed An atom would be very to call each of these parts an atom/ (See De Morgan, nearly equal to 43" on the scale of Art. 40. On the Beats of Imperfect Consonances/ Camb. Phil. Trans.
the octave into 30,103 parts,
'

vol. x. p. 4.)

CHAPTER

III.

COMPOSITION OF VIBRATIONS.
simplest type of periodic motion is afforded by a For this is point describing a circle with a constant velocity. the only kind of motion in which the velocity and the change

43.

THE

of direction are both uniform.

Such a motion may be considered as the simplest possible
vibration of a point (Art. 17).

We

shall call

it,

for the present,

a simple circular vibration. 44. The vibration of a point, in a velocity which
curve.

its

most general form, may
itself,

be denned as motion in a curve which returns into
is

with
the

always the
to

same

at the

same point of
for instance,

Suppose the curve
i.

be plane, such,

as in

Draw arbitrarily any Fig. two axes, OX, OY. (It is immaterial whether they

meet

From P, the curve or not.) the position of the moving
point at any time, draw

P M,
will

PN,

parallel

to

OY, OX.

AsP moves round and round
the curve, the point

M

move backwards and forwards
in the line

OX

with a peFig.
It

riodic rectilinear motion; that

perform rectilinear In the same way vibrations.
is,

M

will

N

will

perform

rectilinear vibra-

tions in

O Y.

30

Composition and Resolution
curvilinear vibration of

The
In

rectilinear vibrations of
fact, if

M and N.
P as

P

is

said to be compounded of the

we

consider
is

placement

P

a point displaced from O, the disM, compounded of the two displacements
It is evident that

O N,

in the sense explained in Art. 9.

any

given vibration of a point in a plane may in this manner be resolved into two component rectilinear vibrations, in an infinite
variety of
in general

ways

;

and the character of each component depends
the directions of both the axes.

upon

When nothing is said to the contrary, it is assumed that the axes are rectangular. In this case is perpendicular to O ; and the vibration of (the orthogonal projection of P}

X

M

PM

is

O X,

then called absolutely the rectilinear component, in the direction of the vibration of P.
45.

Any

vibration of a point, whether plane or not,

may

be

similarly resolved into three

component

rectilinear vibrations

by
in

YOZ.
the

taking three arbitrary axes, OX, OF, O X, is then determined by drawing The projections of on OF,

P M parallel
OZ,

O Z.

The

point

M,

to the plane

P

are to be found in

same way, mutatis mutandis.

46.

We

will

now

return to the case of a simple circular
is

vibration (Art. 43). Such a vibration when four things are given :
(1)

completely determined

(2)
(3)

The period, or time of describing the whole circle. The radius of the circle. The position of the moving point at some one
instant.

given

(4)

The

direction

^ of motion (whether right-handed ~-^, or

left-handed

The
an
any

phase of the vibration

arbitrary fixed radius
time.

is defined by the angle between and the radius of the moving point at

Hence, the

third of the
is

above data

may

be expressed by

saying that the phase

given at a given instant.
to.

The

fourth

datum

will

seldom have to be referred
the

Through

centre of the circle (Fig.

2)

draw any two

of Circular Vibrations.
rectangular axes,

OX, O Y,
any
time,
is

and from P, the position of the

moving
the axes.

point at

draw

P M, P N,

perpendicular to

(The

origin

taken

at the centre for

convenience,

but

it

might

be any-

where.)

Then, as

P de-

scribes the circle with a

uniform motion,
brates in the line

M
A

vi-

and

N

A',
it is

in

B I?,

and

evident

that

these

two

rectilinear vibrations are

perfectly similar.

Vibrations of the kind

performed by
that
is,

M

or

rectilinear

N, comcir-

ponents of simple

cular vibrations, are dis-

tinguished by many remarkable properties, and may properly be considered as the This will appear more simplest kind of rectilinear vibrations.
clearly as

we

proceed.

47. Let an arbitrary radius, K, be taken as a fixed direction from which to measure the angle P) described (or and suppose the direction of the motion to be such by OP,

K

that

increases with the time.
circle,

of the

and a

for the angle

K O A, we have
+
a).

Then, putting a

for the radius

ON =
P

#sin(0

Suppose the time, /, is reckoned from the instant of a pasthrough K, and let r be the period of the vibration, sage of

Then the time or time of describing the whole circumference. a is of describing the arc -r, and when the moving point

KP

27T

a
is

at

P

the value of

/

must be

/

r
27T

+ nr,
21T/

n being some
2

whole number

;

whence we have

= -

mi.

Intro-

3^
ducing
this value

Rectilinear
of 6
irt

Vibrations.

the above value of

ON =y, we find
y
=
<zsin(

N, and

putting

+

a)

(i)

as the equation

which determines the position of

N

at

the

time

/.

In

like

manner, putting

M = x we
t

should find
\
,
.

x
and,
if

=

f2ltt -

acos(

+

a);

(2)

the latter equation be put in the form

x
it is

= a

sin ( x

1

T

h
2

V /

seen that both (i) and (2) represent vibrations of the same kind, but that x and y take the same values at different times^
fact,

In
t
-\

the value of

x

at

time

/ is

the

same as

that of

y

at time

>

so that the

first

vibration

may be

said to be a quarter

of a period behind the second.

48. Vibrations of the kind considered in the

last

article,

namely, rectilinear vibrations in which the displacement of the moving point at the time / can be represented by an expression
of the form
.

/27T/

aswV

+

V

,

*)'

fe)

may be conveniently called rectilinear harmonic vibrations. The constant a is called the amplitude, because its value
that of the greatest displacement.

is

The
The

angle

-

-

-f

a

is

called

the phase of the vibration.
if

constant a

is

therefore

known

the phase at any given

time be given.

49.

A

rectilinear

harmonic vibration can be resolved into

two others of the same kind

in an infinite variety of ways. Usually the directions of the two components are taken at right In this case the component of (3) angles to one another.

Composition of Vibrations.
(Art. 48), in a direction

33

making

the angle

co

with the direction

of

(3),

is

evidently

/27T/

a cos

o>

.

sin

--

v

H a

)

Composition of Vibrations.
50.
Rectilinear

harmonic vibrations

may

be compounded

according to the general law of the superposition of displace-

ments explained
(i) in tne

in Art. 9.

The two
in

cases of most importance
to

are those in which the

two vibrations

be compounded are,

same

direction, (2)

directions at right angles to

one another.
First,

then, let the vibrations be in the
is

same

direction; in

this

sum
tions

case the resultant displacement of the component displacements.

simply the algebraical

If the

component
v

vibra-

be represented by the expressions
/2TT/ asmf
.

--

,

1-

N CM

z

sm(

.

X27T/
-r

+

J

5

the resultant displacement will be represented

by the sum

This expression

is

periodic if the periods r

and

r'

be com-

mensurable; be increased by any common not in general admit of any useful reduction.
If,

for its value will then

evidently be unaltered if / But it does multiple of T and T'.

however, the periods

r, r',

of the

component

vibrations be

equal, the resultant motion

the

same

period.

a harmonic vibration having For in this case the above expression may
is itself
_X

be written in the form
(a cos a

+ o cos p) sin

.

--

,

.

1-

(a sin a

+ o sm

/3)

cos

2 --/
77

;

and

this is

identical with

A
provided

sin

(^ +
D

),

A

and

,

A A

B be so taken that cos B = a cos a + b cos sin B = a sin a + b sin

/3,

/3,

34

Composition of Vibrations
satisfied

which equations are

by

A
D ^

= v
.

+P+
a sin a

2ab cos

(a
>

-

j8),

= tan" 1

a cos a

+ +

b sin

cos /3
to

where we may suppose the square root
tively.

be

taken posi-

amplitude of the resultant vibration, both on the amplitudes a, b, of the component vibradepends
tions,

The

value of A, the

and

also

on the angle

a~*~/3,

which

is

the difference of their

phases.
If

a

(3

same phase, and
is

the

sum

= o, the component vibrations are always in the A = a + b ; or the amplitude of the resultant of the amplitudes of the components.

If a-*~/3

=

TT,

one of the component vibrations

is

half a

period behind the other, and A = a~r*b; or the amplitude of the resultant is the difference of amplitudes of the components.

In

this latter case, if

a =

b,

then

A.

=

o,

and the component

vibrations completely destroy
51. Next, let the

one another.
vibrations be at right angles to

component

one another, and
nience

let

their periods
n',

be

r, r';

putting for convethe equations

=

#,

j =

we may represent them by

x

= a

sin (nt

+ a),

y
at

= b

sin (n't
/,

+

),

and these are the co-ordinates,
point (see Art. 48).

the time

of the

moving

The

equation to the locus of the point would be found by
these

eliminating / between

two equations.

The

elimination

can, theoretically, be performed so as to lead to an algebraical equation between x and j;, whenever r and T' are commensurable,

though the process
simplest case of
all

is

impracticable except in simple

cases.

The
/

is

that in

which the periods of the
have, then, to eliminate

component

vibrations are equal.

We
y

between the two equations

x

= a sin (nt -fa),

= b sin (nt

+

0)

;

(4)

at Right Angles.
from them we have
_

35

cos a sin

/

+

sin

acos/
j3

= -> a

cos

j3

sin nt

+

sin

cos

/

= -

f
i,

and

if

the values of sinw/, cosw/, be found from these equa-

tions,

and the sum of

their

squares

be equated to

the

result is

52. This equation always represents an ellipse, which may however degenerate into a circle (when the axes are equal), or a straight line (when the length of one axis is o).

The dimensions and position of the ellipse depend only on the amplitudes (a, fi) and the difference of phases (ct-*~/3) of If the component vibrations are the component vibrations.
always in the same phase, that
is,

if

a

/3

=

o,

the equation

becomes

/* (

y^
-j)

=

o,

and the
into
is,

ellipse

degenerates into a straight
straight lines.

line, or,

more

strictly,

two coincident

if

Again, if a-*~/3 = TT, that one of the component vibrations be half a period behind

the other, the equation

becomes

and the locus
If a ~*~
/3

is

again a straight
,

line,

= - or

,

that

is, if

o one component be a quarter

of a period behind the other, the equation becomes

and the axes of the

ellipse coincide

with the directions of the

component
53.
It is

vibrations.

evident from equations (4) that the ellipse described

D

2

36

Case of Equal Periods.

by the vibrating point is always inscribed in a rectangle, of which the sides are 2 a, 2 3, since the extreme values of x and

D

Q
Fig- 3-

D

y

are

a,

6 (see Fig.
;

3).

This

may be

from equation (5)
result is

for if in that equation
2

we put y =

formally proved b, the

(f
shewing that the
points (as at
larly,

_- COS

(a-/3))
line

=

o,

ellipse

meets the

y

- b in two coincident
is

Q\

of which the abscissa

a cos (a
j3)

(3).

Simi-

a, by putting of the point of contact R.

x

=

we

find b cos (a

for the ordinate

When

a =

/3,

Q

and

R

coincide at C, and the ellipse degea-*~/3
'.

nerates into the diagonal
rates in like

CC"; and when

=

TT, it

manner

into the diagonal

DD

degene-

An
mined
if

ellipse inscribed in
if

a given rectangle

is

completely deter-

one point of contact be given. Hence, it follows that the angle a /3 varied continuously from o to TT, the ellipse

would pass continuously through every form capable of being C C*, including the two diainscribed in the rectangle

D

U

gonals as extreme cases. 54. Let us
cylinder, of

now suppose

B 2?

(Fig. 3) to

be the axis of a

C' I? are the circular ends seen edgewise by an eye placed at a distance in a line through per-

which

DC,

General Case.
pendicular to the plane of the paper.
to be transparent,

37.

Suppose also the cylinder
its

and

to have

marked on

surface the trace

of a section

made by a plane touching

each end.

This section would

the circular edge of be an ellipse, which, as seen by

the eye, would be orthogonally projected into another ellipse I/ C'. And if the cylinder were inscribed in the rectangle turned uniformly about its axis, this inscribed ellipse would

DC
its

evidently

go through

all

possible forms in such a
to

manner

that the distance

BQ

would be equal

a multiplied by the

cosine of a uniformly varying angle* Comparing these results with those of the last article,
that
this

we

see

construction

gives

a perfect representation

of the

change undergone by the ellipse which is the resultant of two rectilinear harmonic vibrations at right angles to one another,

when

the difference of phase of the

component

vibrations varies

uniformly; equal to the rate of variation of the difference of phase. a cos (a #)). similar construction may be employed in the 55.

the angular velocity of the rotating cylinder being

(For

BQ

A

much
which

more general case of any two
the periods are commensurable,

rectilinear

vibrations of

and of which one,

at least, is

harmonic
(Art. 50).

;

a case which could rarely be treated algebraically

For the sake of clearness, let us suppose the direction of the harmonic vibration to be horizontal, or in the axis of x. This vibration will therefore be represented (Art. 47) by an equation of the

form

x

= a

sm

.

--

h a

^
.

.,.

J
is

(6)

denote any periodic function, which Let and such thaty~(0) - f(z + 277). Then the may be represented by an equation of the form

f

always

finite,

vertical vibration

Let us also suppose the ratio of the periods nr = mTy m and n being integers.

T,

T to be such that

Now

let

a curve be drawn in which the abscissa of any point

38
is

Representation by
proportional
to

\

the time

/,

and the ordinate

is

the corre-

sponding value of y given by equation (7). (Fig. 4, in which = T', may be taken to represent two periods of such a And suppose the unit-line to have been so chosen curve.)

AB

A

\

IB

Fig- 4-

that a line equal

to n x A shall be equal to circumference of a circle of which the radius is

B

m
a.

times the
If,

then,

slip of paper were cut out, containing exactly n periods of the curve, it could be rolled m times round a We should thus obtain a complicated cylinder of radius a.

a rectangular

curve on the surface of the cylinder. Suppose the whole to become transparent, and to be viewed in the manner explained in Art. 53; then if a point were to describe the curve in

P

such a manner that the projection of on the base of the cylinder should describe the circumference of the circle uniformly, the horizontal motion of

P

be a harmonic vibration, while
identical with that defined

P, as seen by the eye, would its vertical motion would be
(7).

zontal vibrations
vertical vibrations.

by equation would be completed

Moreover,
the

m

hori-

in

same time

as n

Hence
tical

the apparent co-ordinates of would be always idenwith the values of x and y in equations (6) and (7), pro-

P

vided the cylinder were turned (if necessary) about its axis into such a position as to give x andj/ corresponding values at any

one instant

;

and thus we should

get, as before,

a perfect repre-

sentation of the resultant vibration.

56. An alteration in the value of either of the angles a or /3 (equations (6), (7)) would alter the time at which the corresponding vibration passes through a given phase, and cause And different values of x and^ to become contemporaneous.

transparent Cylinder.
the

39

effect would be produced to the eye by turning the about its axis into a new position. cylinder Thus, if a were changed into a -f e, the effect would be the

same

same as

if

the cylinder were turned backwards (that

is,

with a

motion contrary to that of the projection of P) through an since in either case the passage of the horizontal vibraangle
,

tion through a given phase

would be accelerated by a time

r,

2TT

A

retardation of the vertical vibration

effect as
if ft

would have the same an equal acceleration of the horizontal vibration; now,
ft
e',

were changed into
this
,

the retardation would be
if

r',

and
or
e

would be equal

to the former acceleration,

cY = e r,

=

T
-,e.
e' is

Hence, a change of /3 into
of a into a
-\

equivalent to a change

',

that

is,

to a turning of the cylinder

backwards

through an angle T

e',

or

e'.

n
consists of

57. Since the curve rolled on the cylinder
similar

n

portions,

the angular distance between
.

corresponding

points on two consecutive portions

27T
.

is

Hence, if the cylinder were turned continuously, the projected curve seen by the eye would go continuously through
all its

possible forms during a rotation of the cylinder through
,

27T
.

the angle

n
,

We

see also that a uniform variation either of a, or of

would have the
1

same

effect

as

a uniform

rotation

of the

cylinder

.

58. The results obtained in Arts. 52-55
to the eye.

may

be exhibited
so,

But before explaining the mode of doing

we

1 This mode of representing stereoscopically the composition of vibrations due to M. Lissajous. See his memoir ' Sur 1'Etude optique des Mouvements vibratoires,' Ann. de Ch. et de PAys., t. 51, p. 147.

is

40
will

Case in which the Periods
consider the case in which the ratio of the periods of the is nearly, but not exactly, expressed by a given
before, that r, T' are given constant

two vibrations

numerical fraction.

tities,

Suppose then, as such that mr

quanlowest

=

T' (the ratio

m

:

n being in

its

And suppose that the vertical vibration is the same terms). as before (see equation (7), Art. 55), but that the horizontal
(harmonic) vibration
is

now

defined by the equation

x
so that
slightly
its

=

asm

(

v

r

(i

period
T, if

is

no longer

r,

but
i

+k

,

>

which

will differ

from

If

now we

k be a small quantity, positive or negative. 2 TT k / = a', the above put a + equation becomes

x
and the

a sin

/27T/
(

-f

a

,\

h
equation and

result of eliminating /

between

this last

(7) into a', that

would be the same as
is,

before, except that a

would be changed

into a uniformly varying instead of a constant

quantity.
still

We

may,

therefore, consider that the vibrating point

describes the

same curve

as before, but that the curve

is

disturbed

by the variation of a', just as we consider a planet to an ellipse disturbed by the variation of one or more describe
of
its

elements.
It

59.

has been

seen (Art.

of a would have the
cylinder with

same

effect as a

57) that a uniform variation uniform rotation of the
2

an angular
in the case

velocity equal to the rate of variation
Tt

of

a, that

is,

now supposed,
eye,

k
;

to

and
all

also that
its

the curve, as seen

by the

would go through
* .

forms
the

while the cylinder turned through an angle

Hence

curve would go through
:

all

its

forms

in

a time equal to

n

,

or

r

nk

Suppose that

M. N*

are the actual

num-

are not exactly Equal.
bers, in a unit of time, of the horizontal

41
;

and

vertical vibrations

then

M=
__
the

- +k
i

>

and JV =

.

-r

r

T

i ->

=

n

wr
cycles of change of the curve

Now

number of complete
of time
is
5

in the unit

and

this is

equal to
(8)

nM-mN.
This expression
is

worthy of remark, especially in connection

with the theory of the so-called beats of imperfect consonances, as will appear afterwards.

The
less
is

sign of

nM

'

mN,

being the same as that of

positive or negative according as the ratio

M N
:

k,

is

is

greater or

than

m

:

n.

In the former case, the rotation of the cylinder
latter,

backwards ; in the
or

forwards.

In the particular case in which the periods of the vibrations
are nearly equal,

simply of time

M
is

m
the

= n =

i,

the

N.

Or

number of

expression (8) becomes cycles of change in a unit

the difference of the actual numbers of vibrations.

60.

The two

Figures, 5, 6, illustrate the case in which both

vibrations are

harmonic and have the same amplitude, while

Fig. 5-

Fig. 6.

the periods are such that two horizontal vibrations

same time as three
periods
;

vertical.

occupy the Suppose 37, 2r, are the two
is

then the curve in Fig. 5

defined by the equations

x

= a sin

27T/
?

y

= a

.

7T/
9

sin

42

Particular Case discussed.
first

while in Fig. 6 the

x

=

equation is changed into /2TT/ 7I\

sm

.

(

>

3r

6/

V

(The origin is in each case These two curves are

at the centre

of the square.)

particular cases of the appearance

presented to the eye by a transparent cylinder having a curve traced upon its surface in the manner above described, that is,
in the present case, as follows.

Let three complete
j

'

waves/ or

periods of the curvej/ = a sin
slip

be drawn upon a rectangular

of paper, so that the axis of x is parallel to a side of the rectangle; the length of a rectangle which will just contain

them

will be 471-0, and such a rectangle can therefore be rolled twice round a cylinder of radius a. Suppose this to be done, and the whole to become transparent. Then, if the cylinder be held vertically at a distance from the .eye, and turned about its

axis, the

curve

will

appear to go through a
in the figures.

series

of forms of
is

which two are represented
into Fig. 6

Fig. 5

changed

by a rotation through 30; a second rotation through 30 brings back Fig. 5, with those parts of the curve in front of the cylinder which were at the back, and vice versd ; a third similar rotation produces Fig. 6 reversed right and left, and a
fourth reproduces the original Fig. 5.

Thus

a whole cycle of
-

forms
Art.

is

completed in a rotation through 120, or
o

(see

A greater number of the forms belonging to' this 57). and other cases of composition of vibrations may be seen figured in Tyndall's Lectures on Sound,' p. 319. They were in the memoir of Lissajous above cited. originally given
'

61. If the periods of the component vibrations were nearly, but not exactly, in the ratio of 3 to 2, then (as in Art. 58) the locus of the vibrating point might be represented by the equations

x
where
a' is

flTSt = a sin (

1-

a

,\

)

5

y

= a sin

.

Ttt
>

an angle which

varies slowly

and uniformly with

the time.

Wheatstones Kaleidophone.

43

In this case the path of the point never actually coincides with any curve corresponding to a constant value of a', just as the path of a disturbed planet is never actually an ellipse; but if the variation of a' be sufficiently slow, the path during one or
if

more repetitions of the period 3 T will be sensibly the same a were constant, and during a longer time will appear

as
to

undergo a continuous change through all the forms corresponding to constant values of a', that is, through all the forms presented by the curve on the rotating cylinder.
62. These
trivances,

phenomena may be
is

exhibited
the

by various conThis

simplest instrument, invented by Wheatstone

of which the

kaleidophone.

and improved by Helm-

holtz, consists of two thin and narrow rectangular slips of steel, or other elastic material, joined together in such a manner that their longitudinal central axes are in the same straight line,

while their planes are at right angles to one another. Thus a compound elastic rod is formed, of which one part can easily vibrate in one direction, and the other part in a direction at
fixed in an upright a stand, and a small bright object (such as a silvered bead) is attached to the top of the other.
right angles to the former.
is

The whole

position

by clamping one of the

slips in

If

now
will
is

parts are bent,

the rod be disturbed in any manner, so that both its and then left to itself, the motion of the free

end
tion

be compounded of vibrations which (when the deflec-

not too great) are sensibly rectilinear and harmonic, and at right angles to one another. The period of one component
is

fixed, depending on the length of the upper part of the rod; but the period of the other component may be altered within certain limits by clamping the lower part at different points.

If the

mr,

r,

where the

two periods are commensurable, suppose them to be n is in lowest terms. Then mnr ratio m
:

(the least

common

multiple of

mr and

nr)
free

is

the period of the
is

resultant vibration,

and the path of the

end

a re-entrant
sufficiently

curve, described in this period.
small, e.g.

If then

mnr
bright

be

not greater than about one-tenth of a second, the

impression

on the

retina

made by

the

bead in any

44

Vibration Microscope.

position has not time to fade away before the bead comes into the same position again, and the eye sees a continuous bright curve, more or less complicated according as the numbers

m

and n are greater or
surable, or
if

smaller.

If the periods of the

component
is

vibrations are

incommen-

their ratio is expressible

then the real path of the bead
very complicated
is

only by high numbers, a non-re-entrant curve, or a

But, in either case, if the approximately expressible by low numbers, the actual appearance to the eye will be that of a curve gradually going through all the forms which would be possible if the approxiratio

re-entrant one.

mate

ratio

were exact, in the manner already explained

(Arts.

56-59). 63. Another method, due
ceiving
sively reflected

to M. Lissajous, consists in reupon a screen a beam of light which has been succes-

by two small mirrors fixed

to the ends of

two

tuning-forks vibrating in planes at right angles to one another. It must be observed that the effect in this case depends, not

on

the motion

of translation of the mirrors, but upon their

angular motion, which, though small, impresses on the reflected beam a sufficient deviation to produce a considerable displacement of the spot of light on a distant screen.
64.

The methods

described in the last two articles are useful

for illustration;

but, for the

purpose of exact observation, the

is much better adapted. of a microscope is attached to one prong of object-glass a tuning-fork, so as to vibrate with it, the other prong being counterpoised the axis of the object-glass is at right angles to

following, also devised

by M. Lissajous,

The

:

the plane of the

vibrations.

The

eye-piece

is

fixed.

When

any stationary luminous point, formed by the object-glass, performs also vibrations which are
the fork vibrates, the image of
is

very approximately linear and harmonic; this vibrating image viewed through the fixed eye-piece, and (the vibrations being But, sufficiently rapid) appears as a continuous straight line.
if

the luminous point

itself,

instead of being stationary, performs

rectilinear vibrations at right angles to those of the fork,

and

in

the

same

plane, the

image

will

appear as a curve, either inva-

Imaginary Unrolling.
riable in

45

form, or changing according to the conditions ex-

Let us suppose, for clearness, that plained in Arts. 55, &c. the vibrations of the object-glass are horizontal, and those of
the luminous point vertical.
vibration of the

Then the horizontal component image being harmonic, and of given period,

the form of the curve will depend upon the character of the vertical component, and upon the ratio of its period to that of the horizontal component ; hence, if the ratio of the periods be

known, the character of the

vertical vibrations

(i.

e.

the actual

vibrations of the luminous point) can be inferred from the observed form of the curve.

In

fact, it

has been seen that in order that the curve

may be
vibra-

distinctly observable, the periods of the two

component

tions

must be

to

one another

either exactly, or very nearly, in

some simple ratio. The curve may then be supposed to have been formed by rolling on a transparent vertical cylinder a plane curve in which the (horizontal) abscissa is proportional
to the time,
is equal to the actual (vertical) ordinate of the vibrating point, at the given time, from its displacement

and the

mean

position.

We

have, therefore, to reproduce this plane

curve, which completely defines the actual vibration of the point, by imagining the cylinder to be unrolled. It has been re-

this unrolling

marked by Helmholtz that it is easier to see what the result of would be, when the ratio of the periods is not
quite exact, than
to turn about to see
it,

when

it is

;

because then the cylinder appears

axis (Art. 57) so that the observer is enabled so to speak, on all sides, and to disentangle from one
its

another those parts of the curve which are on the front from those which are at the back, through the contrary directions of
their motion.

following a useful exercise.

65. In reference to this subject, the student will find the Draw on a slip of paper two com-

plete waves of a harmonic curve (Art. 66), choosing the wavelength so that the double wave can just be wound once round a glass cylinder (e. g. a common lamp-chimney). Cut the paper

of which one edge has the form of the curve; and then, having rolled this on the glass

along the curve, so as to obtain a

slip

46
cylinder,
glazier's

Experiment
mark
diamond

described.

the glass along the edge of the paper with a

This is very easily done, and the pencil. curve on the glass is distinctly visible both in front and at the back. If now the cylinder be held vertically at a moderate distance from the eye, and turned about its axis, the series of
will

forms

be seen which would be produced

if,

in

an observa-

tion of the kind described in the last article, the

luminous point

performed simple harmonic vibrations with a period nearly
equal to half that of the vibrations of the microscope. Then vary the experiment by substituting for the harmonic

and

curve on the paper either one or more waves of any other kind, particularly of a zigzag formed by portions of straight
thus:

lines,

Fig.

7-

The same
cylinder.

thing

that the paper will

The

be done with a wave-length so chosen go two, three, or more times round the curve on the glass then becomes more and

may

more complicated, and the marking with the diamond pencil not so easy, on account of the over-lapping of the paper.

is

The

object

of the exercise

is

to

practise the

eye in the

imaginary unrolling, which is necessary in order to infer the form of the plane curve on the paper from that of the curve
as seen

on the

cylinder.

(See Helmholtz, p. 139.)

CHAPTER

IV.

THE HARMONIC CURVE.
66. IF the motion of a point be compounded of rectilinear vibrations, and of uniform motion in a straight line
direction of those vibrations, the point a plane curve which is called the harmonic curve. Let the straight line be taken for axis of x, and let v be the

harmonic

at right angles to the
will describe

then we may suppose the it; be so taken that the abscissa of the moving point at any time / shall be given by the equation x = vt. The ordinate^y will be given (Art. 47) by the equation
velocity

of the motion along

origin to

y
vibrations.

= <zsin

h

a,

where a and r are the amplitude and period of the harmonic
Eliminating / between these two equations, and then putting A, we obtain

VT =

y
for the equation of the

=

<zsin(^^

+ a)

(i)

monly
and

harmonic curve. (It was formerly comcurve of sines/) If a wheel were to turn uniformly about a horizontal axis,
called the
'

at the same time to slide uniformly along it, the projection of any point in the wheel upon a horizontal plane 'would describe such a curve. Or if a wooden cylinder, terminated at one

end by an oblique plane section, were smeared with printer's ink, and then rolled over a sheet of white paper, the line bounding

48

Harmonic Curve.
would be a harmonic curve.

the blackened part of the paper

(The proof of this proposition, which has in fact been already
implied (Art. 53),

may
of

be

left

to the reader.)

If in equation (i)
integer),

we put

x

lA instead of

x

(i

being any

the value

y

is

unaltered.

The

curve, therefore,

consists of

an

infinite series

of similar waves, thus,

Fig.

i.

which are divided symmetrically

into upper and under portions by the axis of x. The distance between corresponding points of two consecutive waves is A, which is called the wave-length ; and the constant a, which is the greatest value of the ordinate,
is

called, as before, the amplitude.

The

value of a has
its

no

effect

on

the form of the curve, but

position ; so that a change in a would shift the whole curve along the axis of x.

determines

67.

A

harmonic curve

is

most

easily

drawn

in practice

by

determining a number of points and drawing the curve through them by hand. The points may be found by erecting ordinates
at (arbitrary) equal distances,

ordinates of points

on a

circle of arbitrary radius,

and making them equal which

to the

divide

the

circumference into

The

an arbitrary number of equal parts. radius of the circle determines the amplitude, and the
between

distance

two

consecutive

ordinates

of

the

curve,

Composition of
multiplied
divided,
is

Harmonic
into

Curves.
which the
circle

49
is

by the number of parts
the wave-length.

Composition of Harmonic Curves.
68. The formation of a resultant curve, in which the ordinate of any point is the algebraical sum of the corresponding ordinates of the component curves, has been already explained
(Art. 10, &c.).

The

case in which the

component curves are

harmonic

is

specially important.

harmonic curves which have equal wave-lengths can be compounded into another harmonic curve with the always

Two

same wave-length. For let the component curves be

y
the value of

y

in the resultant curve

is

the

sum

of the values

given by

these two equations,

and

this

can be put

in the

form

y
if

=

c sin

(2

77-

x

+

y)
to
satisfy the

c

and y be determined
c cos
|

(see Art.

50) so as

equations

y = a cos a + b cos /3, c sin y = a sin a + b sin /3.
is

The

value of

c,

the amplitude of the resultant curve,

v
which
a
j8,

+ b* +

2

ab cos (a

/3),

may vary from a + b to a^-b, according to the value which determines the relative position of the compo-

nents.

(a 0) the resultant curve degenerates into a straight line coinciding

In the particular case in which the amplitudes of the components are equal, and one of them is half a wave-length before = the other, so that cos or i, the value of c is o;

E

50

Composition of Harmonic Curves.
.r,

with the axis of
another.

the components completely neutralizing one

68 a. By means
draw any
described,

of a mechanical contrivance
i.e.

it

is

possible to

resultant curve of this kind,

formed, as above
curves.

by compounding two simple harmonic

The

tude

components may be chosen in various ways and wave-length, and the number of compound curves that can be drawn will be limited only by the mechanical
as regards ampli-

conditions of the apparatus \

Thus,

if

the

component curves be
f-

y = a sin ( 2 IT
we can vary
at

a

)

j

j;

=

sin ( 2

ir

{-

/3

J

?

pleasure

the

amplitudes a and

b,

and the

quantities a and /3 on which the phases of the two curves, We can also give different relatively to one another, depend. values to the ratio m n, and it is on this ratio that the form of
:

the resultant chiefly depends, though

it

should be observed that
or a and
b,

an

alteration in the values of

a and

/3,

modifies

it

in

one way or another.
are shewn.
ticular

In the accompanying diagrams some of these resultant curves No. i gives the simple harmonic curve of a par-

wave-length and amplitude, and No. 2 one of the same Now (Art. 79), if amplitude but of half the wave-length. we choose to look upon No. i as the curve of pressure
' '

(Art. 5) corresponding to a simple

tone of any given pitch, then No. 2 will be the curve of pressure for a simple tone an octave above. This will be so whatever the amplitude may be, for this affects the intensity of the sound only, and not the
pitch.

If we now compound these two simple harmonic curves we obtain the curve of pressure for the consonance of two simple The general form tones an octave apart, as shewn in No. 3.

of the resultant

is,

as

we have

already said, the

same whatever

be the amplitudes and phases of the components, but (Art. 70)
1 For a description of the instrument the reader No. 150, 1874.

is

referred to Proc. R. S.

Composition of

Harmonic

Curves.

51

4

\

IWvw

E

2

52

Composition of

Harmonic

Curves.

21

Composition of
is

Harmonic Curves.

53

in the four forms given, Nos. 3-6,

This is shewn modified by alterations in the values of either. one of which may be any

is

taken as representing the effect on the ear sounded.

when

this interval

In Nos. 7-10 are shewn the curves of pressure for some of
the intervals

whose
fifth

ratios are given in Art. 31.
:

we have

the

(3
:

2), in

No. 8 the fourth

(4

Thus, in No. 7 3), in No. 9
: :

the minor third (6 In these four curves

5), in

No. 10 the minor second (10

9).

we

notice that the nearer the ratio approxito periodically enlarge and Thus in seen in Nos. 11-13. better or almost exactly 16 15, (if it were 76
:

mates to unity, and therefore the corresponding interval to a
unison, the
diminish.

more the curve tends
This
is
still

No. ii the

ratio is

81

:

exact the narrowest parts of the curve would all be similar), in No. 12 it is 55 80, or (Art. 39) 54, and in No. 13 it is 81 the ratio of a comma.
:
:

Now
is

it

nearly in heard,

is a well-known fact that when two simple tones unison are sounded together, a peculiar throbbing

and the two notes are

said to produce

'

beats.'

These

beats are represented by these enlargements, each beat corresponding to the wide, and each interval of comparative silence
to

the

narrow, part of the curve.
in

This

is

seen to greatest
is

advantage perhaps
sented.

No.

13,

where a single 'beat'

repre-

We

saw above

that the wave-lengths of the

components

in

Nos. 3-6 were in the ratio 2:1; but if this ratio be slightly altered we have a curve of pressure for the octave when thrown

we

somewhat out of time. Thus, changing the ratio to 19 get in No. 14 such a curve, and it is noticeable that
:

9,
it

passes approximately through all the forms given in Nos. 3-6, In and, of course, through all the intermediate ones besides.

Nos. 15,
the

1 6,

similar curves are shewn,
viz.

but the ratios being
:

40 respectNo. 17 gives periods are correspondingly longer. the same curve again, but with one component of very small No. 18 shews the curve corresponding to the amplitude.
39
:

nearer that of the octave,
ively,

20 and 81

interval

of a

twelfth

thrown a

little

out of tune,

and No.

54

Composition of Harmonic Curves.

19 the same, but with one component of half the amplitude of the other. Nos. 20, 21 give the curves corresponding to
the intervals 81
respectively.
:

55 and 80
that in

:

61, or nearly 3

:

2

and 4

:

3

We may
marked

remark

all

these

cases (Nos.

14-21) a

difference exists between the curve of pressure for an interval (such as the octave) somewhat out of tune, and that for

former case
(cf.

an imperfect unison such as is given in Nos. 12, 13. In the it would appear from the nature of the curve

No.

1

6) that

no 'beats' would be

noticed,

i.e.

crescendos

and diminuendos such as occur when two notes nearly in tune are sounded together, for the width of the curve remains practically constant, nevertheless
it

is

well

known

that in general

such are heard when any simple interval or fifth) is thrown a little out of tune.

(e.g. twelfth, octave,

The
as

explanation

is

probably to be found in the fact that

all

these curves are

compounded of

simple harmonic curves such

correspond (Art. 14) to simple tones. Now, it is almost impossible to obtain such tones, for the sounds produced by
all

when a
either

instruments are (Art. 12) more or less compound; thus, fifth is played on a violin, besides the two fundamentals

there are also heard the harmonics of each.

When,

therefore,

harmonics belonging to it are also changed, and the beats that ensue are caused by an harmonic of the one string beating with an harmonic of the
is

fundamental

slightly altered the

'

'

other with which

it

had previously been

in unison.

If

we could

hear two absolutely simple tones nearly an octave apart played together, there would, no doubt, be heard a kind of undulation,
but probably of a different nature to produce if nearly in unison \
the

beats

they would

69. It evidently follows from Art. 68 that any number of harmonic curves having equal wave-lengths may be compounded into a single harmonic curve with the same wave-length, and of

which the greatest possible amplitude
tudes of the
1

is

the

sum

of the ampli-

component

curves.

by

further discussion of this question the reader is referred to a paper Bosanquet. Phil. Mag., fifth series, xi, pp. 420, 492,

For a

Composition of Harmonic Curves.

55

they can no longer be
curve;

70. If the component curves have different wave-lengths, compounded into a single harmonic
though,
is if

the wave-lengths be commensurable, the re-

sultant curve

periodic.

Suppose \

to

be the least

common

multiple of the wave-

lengths, so that their actual values are

m

->> &c. where m,

n

3

,...

are integers.

The
,

equation to the resultant curve

is

then

y
of ~y
is

= a

/

mx
2
IT

\

7

.

/

nx

sin

^

|-aj-|-sin^2'n--r-

+ pj +

_\

which does not admit of reduction; but we see that the value
unaltered by putting x A for x, so that the period or of the resultant curve is A, that is, the least comwave-length

+

mon

multiple of the wave-lengths of the components.

If the

component wave-lengths are incommensurable, they
finite

have no

common
is infinite
:

multiple,

so that the

period of the
is

resultant curve
periodic.

in other words, the resultant

non-

The forms
on upon
shifts

their amplitudes

of the component harmonic curves depend only and wave-lengths ; but their positions depend
a,
/3,

the constants

&c.

A

variation in

the corresponding curve along the axis;

any one of these and any such

shifting will evidently alter the

form of the resultant curve, and

the positions of
altering
its

its

points of intersection with the axis, without

wave-length.
resultant be given,

71. If the wave-length only of the

the

wave-lengths of the components may be all possible aliquot parts of it, including the whole as one case of an aliquot part; and the number of the possible components is therefore unlimited.

Thus every curve which could be constructed in this manner, so as to have a given wave-length A, would be found amongst those produced by placing along the same axis an unlimited
number of harmonic curves
A, JA, JA, &c.
It is evident that

as components, with wave-lengths

components, and

shifting

by varying arbitrarily the amplitudes of the them arbitrarily along the axis, an

56
infinite

Enunciation of
number of
resultants could be produced, having
A.
all

the

same wave-length
produced.

But

it

could not be assumed without

proof that every possible variety of periodic curve could be so
This, however (with a limitation to be mentioned below), is Before true, and constitutes the celebrated theorem of Fourier.
giving a formal enunciation of it, we will define precisely the meaning of the word axis as used above. Corresponding points of a periodic curve a fixed direction. Any
rection
lie

upon a

straight
parallel

line

parallel

to

straight line

to
it

that diis

may be
on
of a

called

an axis of the curve; but

conve-

nient to call the axis that line which cuts off equal areas from

the
the

curve
axis

its

y

= asin(nx

+

Thus, the axis of x is opposite sides. harmonic curve, as defined by the equation This being premised, we proceed to a).

enunciate

Fourier's Theorem.
72. If any arbitrary periodic curve be drawn, having a given wave-length A, the same curve may always be produced by compounding harmonic curves (in general infinite in number)

having the same
wave-lengths.

axis,

and having

A,

JA, JA, .... for their

The only limitations to the irregularity of the arbitrary curve are, first, that the ordinate must be always finite; and secondly, that the projection, on the axis, of a point moving
so as to describe the curve, must
direction.

move always

in the

same

These conditions being satisfied, a wave of the curve may have any form whatever, including any number of straight
portions.

Analytically the theorem
It
,

is

possible

to

may be expressed as follows determine the constants C, Cv

:

C

2,

&c v

a p a 2 &c., so that a wave of the periodic curve defined by the

equation

=

C + CBm

Fourier s Theorem.
or
shall

57

y

=

C + V?/=oo C,sm( 2. =1

/

have any proposed form, subject to the conditions mena change of notation, we may write the above equation more convenient form, viz.
:

tioned above.

By

in the following

y

=

^ +

2

^1 = 2. =1

00

A

2

ITtX

-4,

cos

+

2

= OD 2,.=1

^
>

.

2

ITSX

.

,

sin

~x

(

'

(For a demonstration of the theorem, see the Appendix to
this chapter.)

73.
includes

The
a

demonstration
determination

of of

the

theorem just enunciated
values

the

of

the

constants.

But we may observe here that, assuming the truth of the theorem, we can obtain the expressions for these values at
once, by

means of the following simple
2Z7TX
2/TTX -~ dx,
,

propositions.

If tjjt be integers, all the integrals

C
I

.

lillX

cos

cos

sin

dx sm ZJTiX,
.

^

.

2ZTTX
7

I
the third integral

sin

A

cos

2JTTX -

A

ax

,

t

taken between the limits o and A, vanish unless
still

j

vanishes, while the

first

- i. If/ = i two have the
according as

common

value -, or the several values

X and

o,

/ is different from, or

equal

to, o.

Hence,
cos
-

if
_

we

multiply both
_

sides of the

equation (2) by

A

dx> or by sin
limits,

-

A

dx ana
t

integrate in each case
all

between the above
cluding o,

we

obtain,

for

values of

z",

in-

58

Enunciation of Fourier s Theorem.
74. Thus, whatever the function f(x)

may

be (the pro er

limitations being always supposed), the expression
'

2 +-

-v*= 2 i=1

cos

i* * _2

C

K

*i

J/(

X) cos
\

2

dx

,

represents a periodic function of which the value coincides with that of f(x) for all values of x between o and A, but not for

other values, unless the function f(x) be itself periodic, and have A for its period, so that f(x + A) = f(x) ; in which last

case alone the expression (3)
as equivalent tof(x).

may be

taken without limitation

75.

When

the actual values of the coefficients

A

4,

B^

are

required, they have to be found
tegrals (Art.

by

evaluating the definite in-

73) by which they are expressed. as in Art. 74, that y = f(x) from x = o to x = Suppose, This equation may subsist in two different senses, which it
important to distinguish.
(l)j>

A.
is

may be

braical sense;

that

a given function of x in the ordinary algeis, it may be possible to assign a rule by

which the value of y can be calculated for any assumed value
of x. Or (still using the word function in the same sense), y may be a given function from x = o to x = a, another given function from x = a to x = d, &c., a, b, &c., being given
values between o

and

A.

In these cases the ordinary methods of the integral calculus But are applicable to the evaluation of the definite integrals.

may be a given function of x only in the more general (2) sense (including the former as a particular case) in which the word function should always be understood in mathematical

y

physics; value of

viz.
t

that for every value of
it

x

there

is

a determinate

y though may be impossible to assign any rule for calculating it, in which case it is only to be ascertained by actual observation or measurement.
Thus, if we draw by hand upon paper an arbitrary curve between two points, we can measure as many ordinates as we

Illustrations of Fourier s Theorem.
please, but
for

59
y

we can

give

no

rule for calculating the value of

an assumed value of x.

In such a case the values of the definite integrals can only be found approximately, by measuring a sufficient number of values of jy, and applying the method of quadratures. We can
thus obtain, by

means of equation

(2),

calculating the value of
limits.

y

for

any value of
if

an approximate rule for x between given

The

rule

would be exact
but,

the coefficients

A B^
{,

were

exactly

order to calculate them exactly, must be in possession of such a rule to begin with.

known;

in

we

Since, however, the coefficients actually exist, though

we may

not be able to ascertain their values rigorously, the abstract truth of the theorem is in no way interfered with ; and its great
value consists partly in
this, that
it

furnishes

an

analytical ex-

pression (within finite limits) for any function whatever, whether it be a function in the ordinary algebraical sense, or only in
the physical sense explained above.

When

the coefficients

A^ B^

are considered as having arbi-

trary values, the expression (2) (Art. 72) evidently represents

a completely arbitrary periodic function of x. 76. The following is a simple and useful example of the application of the theorem.

Fig.

2.

Let OA,
the origin

A,be
and

two

straight lines, cutting the axis of

x

at

O

at a point

B, such

that

OB

=

A.

It is required to determine the coefficients so that the expression (3), Art. 74, shall give the value of the ordinate at any = o to x = A. point of the curve OAB, from x
' '

Suppose
from

a, 6,

are the coordinates of A.

Then y (AT)
A)

is

-

x
to

x

=--

o to

x

=

a,

and

is

a

A (x

from

x

= a

x-*

60

Illustrations
= A.

of
-

x

Hence, putting

for the present -

=

A

n,

we have

(Art.

73)
{

\A

a b = - C xzvsnxdx

+

b
-

TK
r

ajo
b Ca \B: = - / x$mnxdx-\aJ o

a-XJ a
b
-

/

(x ^

-

TK
(x
a

a

AJ

X)s
easy reductions,

Performing the integrations, we

find, after

=
=
'

b

\a
b

"

a(i

coswA)

A(i

cosna)

\-a
most simply obtained
at

Xsmna
is

The

value of

A

directly

from the

expression

-

i

r*
/

Ajo

f(x) dx, which gives

once

A, = 4 x A
But
it

(area

0,4^) = -. 2
=
to

may also

be found by evaluating in the usual way the above

expression for

A when
j}

i

(and therefore

)

o.

Only

it

is

be observed, that for

purpose we must not assume i to be an integer before putting i = o. The same process gives, of
this

course,

B^ =

o.

If

now we

introduce the value of n
i

=
(
-^-- J

we

find, for values

of i from
b
7 2

to oo

,

A2
r

.

a

N

i

2

4z

7r

a (A

B
f

=

b 4z
-z-7 2 2
7r

A2

i

^(A

7T

-

a)^

A
A

a rSin2Z7T-.

a)

These expressions
(2), Art.

(with

A Q =-)
wave
is

are to be introduced in the

equation

72, which then becomes the equation to a

periodic curve, of which one

O A B.
form
,

The

result is easily reducible to the following
.

:

a -2

) 1
.
.

Fourier s Theorem.
It

61

may

be observed that

all

the periodic terms

on the
:

right

of (4) vanish for v '
it

x

= 2

and

also for

x

=
2

from which

follows that every one of the harmonic curves represented
several terms passes through the

by the

two points C, D, which
b

bisect the lines

O

A,

A

J5, since the abscissae of these points

are ->
2

>

and
'

their ordinates are
'

both
2

It

is

also

2

(Art. 71) of the whole locus represented A S) is the line C of repetitions of by (4) (consisting

evident that the

axis

D

indefinitely produced.

77.
is

The following simpler example is also instructive. It required to find a periodic function, of which the value shall

coincide with that of

m (x
v

2

} '

from

x

o to

x

= A.

In

other words, to find the equation to a periodic curve consisting

//

62

Illustrations of
"

m\ ^,2=00

V
I

i

.

'- 1

7

S1

A
2TIX

or

m\(\
which
is

.

21TX

.

2'TT^f

I

.

the required equation.
that, if

Here we may observe

the locus be considered

as

consisting of the detached lines

A

B, B' E,

&c., the value of

undergoes a sudden alteration from

m

-

to

m-

when

y x

passes through o or any multiple of A, while for these critical values of x the equation (5) givesj/ = o, that is, the arithmetic

mean
is

of the two values just mentioned (see Appendix to this On the other hand, since every term in the series (5) chapter).
continuous,
it

is

impossible that the

sum of

the series can

undergo an absolutely sudden change of value, without passing through the intermediate values. This subject cannot be fully
discussed here
varies
;

but the true view seems to be that while
'

x

from a value

to a value infinitely

infinitely near to a critical value, but less, near, but greater, y passes instantaneously

through

all

values from

m

to

m-

Or, geometrically, the

the portions

locus of the equation (5) ought to be considered as including A' A, &c., which are inclined at an infinitely

BB

',

small angle to the true perpendiculars drawn through O, C, &c., and cut them in those points.

Assuming
=

that

we may
2-TIX
r

differentiate equation (5)

we
-

obtain

dx
Now,

2m\

2TtX
h cos 2
1-

2

TUX

cos

cos 3

+

considering the series
i

+

2 (cos

+ cos 20 +

cos 30

+

...)

(6)

as the limit of

that

is,

of the fraction
i,

i
it

i

r
cos

2

2 c

+

c

2

,

when

c (increasing)

becomes =

we

see that

must be taken as representing o

Fourier s Theorem.
for all values of 6 except the critical values o, 277, &c.,

63
which

give cos

=

1

3

in

which case

it

becomes

oo

.

And we

avoid, as

before, the difficulty of attributing a

sudden change of value to

a

series of
it

which

all

the terms are continuous,
all

that

from

oo

passes through to o, while x varies from being infinitely
,

values from o to oo

by considering and back again
little

less to
it

being infinitely lows that the series within brackets in the above
for

little

greater than a

critical value.

And
=

fol-

expression

-dx

has in general

\ for

its

value, so that -=-

dx

m

;

but,

while

x passes through the critical values of the series passes instantaneously through
to oo
.

o, A, &c.,
all

the value

values from

\

and back again 1 Hence A\ A, B, B', &c. in Fig. 3, are to be considered as not with points at which the tangent changes its direction, So those points. absolute suddenness, but by turning round
that if

we suppose a moveable

locus

A B B',

&c., the

to be describing the point until coincides with tangent

P

AB

P

approaches

infinitely

near to B, and, while

and B B' with B, turns through all directions between which last it coincides as soon as P has passed through B. In other words, the two lines A B, B If, are to be considered not as making an angle at B, but as being connected by an
',

P AB

is

passing through

infinitely short
1

curved arc, of which the radius of curvature

purposely avoid here all discussion of the legitimacy of differenand of the logical validity of reasoning founded upon the have properties of the series (6). What is certain is, that it is impossible to clear notions of the true nature of Fourier's series, especially in its application to the representation of discontinuous functions, without some such For a view of the various methods which illustrations as those in the text. have been proposed in order to treat the subject with perfect rigour, and of the theoretical questions connected with it, the reader is referred to Stokes, On the Critical Values of the Sums of Periodic Series. (Camb.
tiating
(5),

We

Phil. Trans., vol.

viii.)

De Morgan,

Diff. and Int. CaL, p. 605, &c. Price, Infinitesimal Calculus, vol. ii, 197. Thomson and Tait, Nat. Phil., vol. i, 75. Boole, On the Analysis of Discontinuous Functions.
vol. xxi, pt. i.)

(

Trans, of R. I. A.,

But Fourier's original work, Theorie analytique de la Chaleur, which unfortunately is now rare, should be consulted by all students who can obtain
access to
it.

64
is oo

Illustrations of Fourier s Theorem.
at the extremities
is

and

infinitely small at the middle.

This

remark

of course equally applicable to the angular points in

In general, we may say that Fourier's theothe locus, Fig. 2. rem evades the difficulty of expressing analytically the abrupt

changes of value which may, and do, occur in nature, by substituting for

them continuous, but

infinitely rapid,

changes.

physical condition (such as density, pressure, velois measurable in magnitude or intensity, and city, &c.) which which varies periodically with the time, is expressible as a

78.

Any

function of the time by

means of Fourier's

series.

For

in the

case of actual physical changes, the conditions which

make

the

theorem applicable are necessarily fulfilled. In other words, every actual vibration can be resolved mathematically into har-

monic vibrations. If y represent the magnitude in question, and T the period of its vibration, then y is expressible by an equation of the form

J^=^o+2 /=1 C>n(
where
j/
is

,

=> _

.

/2

Z'TT/

+

N

a
i)>

the

mean 1 value of _y, and each of the
r.

variable terms

represents
is

by

itself

a harmonic vibration, of which the period

an aliquot part of the whole period
79.

Thus every

periodic disturbance of the

air,

and

in par-

such vibrations as excite the sensation of sound, can be Now we know as a fact that a vibration of the so resolved.
ticular

general the sensation of a musical note, which is not a simple tone (Art. 12, &c.), but a combination of tones corresponding in general to vibrations of which the periods are
air excites in

(The exaliquot parts of the period of the original vibration. The ceptions to this statement are apparent rather than real. so-called vibration of a tuning-fork, for example, is not a single
' '

vibration

in the strict sense of the term, but

is

of vibrations of which the periods are incommensurable.

compounded Hence

1

The value

of}'<>, viz.

-

/

ydt,
by

is

the average of

all

the values which

y

J has, at instants separated
infinitely

small equidistant intervals, during

the period r.

Demonstration of Fourier
the whole

s

Theorem.

65

motion

similar cases,

is not really periodic. In this and other component tones are heard which do not belong

to the

The
the

harmonic scale of the fundamental tone.) ear, therefore, resolves a note into simple tones
in

after

same manner

which Fourier's theorem resolves a vibra;

tion into

harmonic vibrations

and the question naturally

arises

whether each simple tone perceived by the ear is really caused exclusively by the corresponding harmonic component of the

complex

vibration.

We

shall

believing that this

soon be able to assign a conclusive reason for is so; and we shall thus obtain an answer

to the question suggested in Art. 14.

APPENDIX TO CHAPTER
FOURIER'S THEOREM.
THE
equation
i i

IV.

-?
'

2ccos(x

a)

+

c

2

which may be also written

c being any constants, represents a periodic curve of which the ordinate is always positive if c be numerically less than i. In what follows this condition will be supposed, and

a and

also that c

is positive.

Then y will have i

j

c

i

+
= a
F

for
c

maximum and minimum

values, corresponding to

x

+

2*V,

x

= a

+

(2 i

+

1)77,

66
i being

Demonstration of
any integer;

of corresponding
iS 27T.

and the distance between the ordinates points on successive waves of the curve

R

c

=

P M^
*-

Fig. 4 represents a portion of the curve in the case in which R, are two of the maximum ordinates, and Q, f. a minimum ordinate. It is evident that if the value of

A

B

c

be increased, tending towards

i

as

a

limit,

the

maximum

and minimum ordinates will tend towards oo and o as limits. At the same time if a fixed point M, or llf', be taken, however or M' P' will tend to o as a near to A, the ordinate

MP

limit.

the

Hence, if the curve be considered as described by a point P, motion of tends, as the value of c approaches i, to become that of a point which moves along except when infinitely near to one of the points A B, &c., but passes those points by going up the left side of the ordinate to an infinite distance, and down again on the right side.

P

OX

,

The

values (a

+

22*77)

of

x

at

A,

,

&c.,

will

be called

critical values.

The area included between the curve, the axis of x, and two or consecutive corresponding ordinates (as M, P" Q, ', This is easily found by integrating directly the JR) is 277. but it is most simply obtained by first deexpression

P

M"

A

veloping

ydx; y in a series
=
i

:

thus,

y

+

2 (c

cos (x

a)

+

c

2

cos 2 (x

a)

+

.

),

Fourier s Theorem.
from which, observing that
r+2ir

67

cos
for all values

i

(x

= o, a) doc
find at
2TT

of i except

o,

we
X+

once

ydx fJx
The
area between a
ordinate, (as obvious inferences
If

=27*.

QA

MP
Q
:

maximum and
),

is

next following minimum The following are of course = 77.

M P,

M' P
it

r

maximum
tends to 2

ordinate

be any two fixed ordinates, including one between them, the area

AQ

MPQM'

the value of c approaches to i. This is true however near either or both ordinates may be to Q absolutely. Q, so long as neither of them coincides with tends to become = 77. Each of the areas P" be any two fixed ordinates, both inAnd if

as a limit

when

A

A

M'f,

MPQA,AQP'M' M"
,

cluded between two consecutive maximum ordinates, the area And this is true M' P' P" tends at the same time to o. P" may be to the maximum ordinates P' however near A Q, R, so long as there is not absolute coincidence with

M"

M"

M"

B

either.

And, however small the

may
areas
77,

be,

it

is

and the area

MPQA, A QP'M', M" P" RB, shall each differ from M'P P M from o, by quantities less than any
f

fixed quantities AM', possible to take c so nearly equal to i that the
,

A

M

M" B

ff

f/

assigned quantity. These conclusions may be expressed analytically as follows. If x x v be two values of x, including between them only one critical value (say a), with which neither of them absolutely 1 coincides, and if e, e be any positive constants such that a + 1 e are also both included between XQ and x v then the a and
, ,

four integrals
/*a
I
e1

ra.
I

Ta
I

-f

e

Px^
\ ydx, Ja+e

J OCQ

ydx,

ydx,
e1

ydx,

Jo.

Jo.

have for their limiting values o, 77, 77, o, when c approaches to i, however small e and e 1 may be. The sum of the four integrals
r*i
is /

ydx, J XQ

and, supposing x^

XQ

to

have the greatest admis-

sible value (277), this is equal to 277; and in The for its limit when c approaches to i. / a + e

any case has

277

sum of
its limit.

the two

middle integrals

is /

Ja

ydx, and
e1

this

has 277 for

F

2

68
Let us

Demonstration of
now suppose
not
for

that

x
is

x^ x:
let

l

x^
finite

is

>277; and

(y having

all values of x the value (i) as before) the integral

have any values such that /"(*) be any function which from XQ to xl inclusive. Then

J(*)ydx,
since j>
is

(2)

always positive,

is

equal to the product of the integral
(algebrai-

/ydx,
r

by some quantity intermediate between the
to

o

cally) least

from

XQ

and greatest values which_/(jtr) takes while

x

varies

xv

There are three cases to be considered. (1) There may be no critical value (0
to

+ 22*77)

from
of
/

x

=

XQ

x

=

x

l

inclusively.

In

this case the limiting value
is

y dx,

and therefore of the
(2)

integral (2),
critical

There may be a

and

but not coinciding with either of those limits. In this case the integral (2) may be considered as the of the three integrals ra - el ra + e

xlt

o when c approaches to i. value, say x = a, between x^

sum

f*i

I f(x)ydx, J XQ

I

Jo.
third

j(x)ydx>
e1

I

c/a

f(x)ydx,
+
e

of which the
the
first

first

and

have o for
is

their limiting values (by
/*a

+e
e1

case), while the

second

equal to

by some quantity

intermediate between the least and greatest 1 e e. to a values which f(x) takes while x varies from a But and e 1 may be as small as we please ; they may therefore shall differ infinitely little from /"(a). be taken so small that

M

ydx Ja
/

multiplied

+

M

ra + e
a
e1

Also, the limiting value of

/

J

ydx

is

277,

as

was shewn above.

Hence we infer that in this case the limit of the integral (2), when c approaches to i, is
277/(a).
(3)
critical

One

or both of the limits,

XQ xv may
,

coincide with a

value.

Then by
J
it

instance, x = a, x l considering the integral (2) as the sum of

Suppose,

for

= a

+

2

TT.

/

f(x}ydx>
XQ

J x +e
is, 77

I

f(x)y dx
(/(a)

>

J xie
the
2
77) ).

I

f(x)ydx,
l

will

be

seen without
;

difficulty

that

limiting

value

is

*/(*o) + V(^i)

that

+/(a +

Fourier's Theorem.

69

If only one of the limits x^ v coincided with a critical value a, the result would evidently be 7r/(a). The above conclusions require modification in the case in which the function y%r) is such as to undergo a sudden finite change of value when x passes through the critical value. If a sudden change take place for any value of x not absolutely coinciding with the critical value, however near to it, the rea-

x

soning

is

not affected, because
in

we may
not

take
lie

and

e

1

so small

that the value

question

shall

between a

+

e

and

But suppose
nitely little less

(in

case (2)) that /"(.*:)
a,

than

than

Ja limit iif(a), that the limiting value of (2) will be
J
a. .

/a + e Then, considering the integral / f(x)ydx, as the Pa. Ja el fa + e sum of / f(x]ydx and / f(x)ydx, we see that the first of
a.
e1

is = f(a) when x is infiand =f(b) when x is infinitely little greater

these will have for

its

and the second

Ttf(b}

;

so

that

is, half the sum of the values given by the general rule for the two values otf(x). may enunciate these results in the form of the following

We

Theorem.

X-^

XQ xl be two values of x such that XQ < a < x^ and XQ be not > 277, and if f(x) be any function which is finite for all values of x from x = X Q to x = x^ inclusively, then
If
,

the value of the integral
i
v
'

cz

i

2c

cos (x

a)

+

2
<r

when
for
its

c (increasing) approximates indefinitely to i, has in limit 2 Trf(a). But if (x) undergoes a sudden

general

f
a,

change
a,

of value from a to b when the value of
the limit
is 77

x

passes through

then

If either

XQ = a,
=

(/(a) +/(&) ).
or

x

l

=

while

x^

XQ <

2

77,

then the

limit is Trf(a).

XQ a, 1 -f 77, then it is 77 (/"(a) +f(a 77)). these last suppositions we may provide for the case of sudden changes of value of the function by understanding (if
But
if

x

= a

2

+

2

On

necessary) f(a)

to

mean f(a + e), and f(a +
is

2 77)

to

mean

y(o

+

2

77

e),

where

an

infinitely small positive quantity.

70

Demonstration of
,

Since the value of a must not transgress the limits _r xv and XQ must not be > 2 TT, we shall give the greatest possible extent to the theorem by supposing xl XQ = 2-77. The notation used above was convenient in the course of demonstration but in actual applications it is better to change it by writing a for x and x for a, so that a becomes the variable The principal result may be then stated as in the integration.
Xj_
;

follows

:

The

limit

of the integral
ai

J
where a t
in

y v ' /(a)
OO

i

i

cz
r
,<Ja,

a
2
f

=

27r,

zc cos (x a) + r and x has any value between a and o lf

is

general

The
If

nf(x), when c approximates indefinitely to i. special cases are of course to be stated as before, mutatis

mutandis.

now

in the

above integral we substitute
(x
a)

for the fraction its

development,
i

viz.

+
a

2

(c cos

+ c- cos 2
?

(x

a)

+
-

.

.

.

.),

(3)

we

obtain the series
=0
2

J

f f(a)da +

2*
is

/(") cos i(x

a) da,

and we may therefore
the limit of this series

between a and a p x + ing to a sudden change from a to b in the value vif(x\ and 7r (/( a o) +/( a i)) for x = a or jr = o r
Assuming, then, that when
c

affirm, that when c approximates to i, in general 2 isf(x') for any value of for a value of but is TT (a ft) correspond-

x

=

i

the

value of the series

becomes equal

to

its limit *,

we may

write the result as follows
:

(excluding of course the exceptional cases)

2Ttf(x} =
for values of
Li

2'~
i:
-

fa

x

between a and a r
2

-Vof(a)cosz(x
/
.
.

a) da,

now we
o,

x'

2

write
27T,

a

=

ax =

the

A above equation becomes
cos

A

for x,

and

TT -

a

.

for a,

assuming also

2t-n(x' -

a}

,

This assumption appears to be the only point in the demonstration is open to objection. But we cannot here discuss the proposition, is true up to the limit is true in the limit.' On the convergence of the series (3), see the demonstrations of Tait and Thomson and of Stokes, referred to above (Art. 77).
'

1

which what

Fourier s Theorem.
or,

71

omitting accents, and writing/"(.r) instead

of/(

-

which is now true for values of .r between o and A. This equation may, by an obvious transformation, be written
thus
:

X
.

cos

x

/(a)cos
sin

+
,

x

=1

sin

-^a
is

<a, 4

usually most convenient. A further transformation, which gives an expression for/(x) by means of a double definite integration, and which is also
in

which form

it is

often referred to as Fourier's purposes of this treatise.

'

Theorem/

not required for the

= = +TT, we should have If we had taken above TT, c^ found in the same way a series only differing from (4) in having

2

5

-f

2

for limits in the integrations, instead of o, A.

Sup-

pose
is

this alteration

an odd
it

function,

made, and then suppose further thaty(:r) that is, that/"( x) = f(x). In this
2

case

is

easily seen

that the integral

/

/"() cos

J

^

da

vanishes for all values of z, including * = o, since it may be divided into pairs of equal elements, but with opposite signs.

But

C?

..

.

2 lira

J_A

/

f(a)

sin

-

A

, da =

2

/**
/

.,

x

.

JQ

f(a)

sin

-

A

da

since the integral elements with the

on the left may be divided same sign.

into pairs of equal

Hence,

if

we

put

- =

/,

we

obtain instead of (4)
x () sm -7- ^ a
.
.

. '

.

/=1

(5)

/ to .r = + / for any function f(x) which is true from ^ = which is odd between those limits. And it will evidently be true from x = o to x = I for any function. waveIf/X-ff) besides being odd, is periodic, with period (or length) 2 /, then (5) will be true without limitation. The case in which/" (x) is an even function (/(x) =f(x})

may

be

left

to the reader.

CHAPTER

V.

VIBRATIONS OF AN ELASTIC STRING.
80.

OF

the various

modes

in

produced, one of the most usual

which musical sounds may be in practice, and simple in

theory, consists in the vibration of elastic strings. The term 'elastic string' is to be understood as implying
ideal qualities,

which do not belong absolutely to any actual namely, non-resistance to flexure, and extensibility according to the law that extension is proportional to tension.
string;

According to
(or
its

this law, if /

length

when not

length

when

it is

be the natural length of the string subjected to any tension), and /' the stretched by a force T, then

r-iwhere

T

E

rs

a constant, of which the value depends on the

nature of the string. Since the homogeneity of the above equation requires that

T

should be an abstract number,

E

is

a quantity of the same

kind as T, that is, a force. = T, we see that gives

And

E

E

since the supposition

t=

2 /

may be

defined as the force which
string to twice
its

would be required
length.

to

stretch the

natural

No
sible,

actual string

is

perfectly flexible, nor indefinitely exten-

according to the above law.
it

But when the changes of

proved by experiment that they are senAnd when the sibly proportional to the changes of tension. tension is considerable, and the thickness of the string very small
length are small,
is

Vibrations of a String.
in

73
is

comparison with

its

length, the resistance to flexure

very
are

small in comparison with the resistance to extension. Under these conditions the phenomena with which

we

concerned are so nearly the same as they would be in the case of the ideal string, that for most purposes they may be considered identical.

The

case in which imperfect flexibility must

be taken into account
81.

will

be considered apart.

Supposing the two ends of an elastic string to be fixed at points of which the distance from one another is greater
of equilibrium

than the natural length of the string, its form in the condition will be a straight line, and its tension will be the

; namely, that with which the string would have to be pulled at any point in order to maintain the equilibrium, if it were cut there.

same

at all points

1

Suppose now the

string to

be

slightly disturbed

by any forces

whatever, which, at a certain instant, cease to act.

The

sub-

sequent motion of the string will depend upon the positions and velocities of its particles at that instant ; and the mechanical theory shews that it will vibrate, that is, will go through a series

of periodic changes, which, theoretically, would never cease. The vibration actually does cease because the string gradually
gives

up

its

motion to the surrounding
its

air,

to the bodies

which
its

sustain the tension of

ends, and, in a different form, to

own molecules. The condition

of the string at the instant
is

when

the disturb-

ing forces cease to act

called

its

initial condition.
all

When

the

initial

displacements of

the particles of the

string are lateral, that is, at right angles to its original direction, and when the initial velocities are lateral also, the vibrations

are sensibly lateral.

When

the

initial

displacements

and

velocities

are

longitu-

dinal, the vibrations are necessarily longitudinal,

and the form
best to con-

of the string remains a straight line. Vibrations of both kinds can coexist, but
sider

it

is

them

separately.
is

Longitudinal vibrations of a string are
neglected, being insensible in all cases of the

1 The effect of gravity kind here considered.

74

Vibrations of a String.

treated of in another chapter.
practically unimportant.

of the same kind as those of a straight rod, which will be In the case of a string they are

At

present, therefore,

we

shall

only

examine the

lateral vibrations.
initial

82. Lateral

not in one plane,

displacements and velocities, if they are may be resolved into components in two

arbitrary planes, at right angles to

one another
its

;

and each

set of

components gives
resultant.

rise to

vibrations in

own

plane, which
is the.

coexist independently,

and of which the actual vibration

It is sufficient, therefore, to

ments and
83.

velocities,

suppose that the initial displaceand therefore the subsequent vibrations,

are in one plane.

The
is

true nature of the vibrations of a finite string

may
;

be best understood by considering them under that aspect

which
in

which the string

suggested by the dynamical theory (see Chap. VII) is regarded as infinitely long, and out of

the various possible forms of motion of an infinitely long string, those are selected which are characterised by the existence of
nodes^ that
is,

of motionless points.

Any two

such motionless

points of the string might evidently become fixed without disturbing the motion; and then all the string not included be-

tween them might be removed, so as to leave a
as

finite

string,

with fixed ends, which would continue to have the same motion
it would have had under the original conditions. therefore begin with the case of an infinite string.

We

shall

84. It must be always understood that though the following propositions, in so far as they are merely geometrical, are true
without limitation,
nitely small that they are rigorously true mechanically

displacements are infibut they ; are sensibly true within limits wide enough for the most imit

is

only

when

the-

portant practical applications.

85.

The

simplest form of motion of an infinitely long elastic

string consists in the transmission

of a single wave.

represent part of the string in its undisturbed conbe a line parallel to A JB, of which any arbiand let C dition, is bent into an trary portion arbitrary curve. Imagine

Let

AB

D

QR

CD

Transmission of Waves along a String.
to be

75

moving with a constant

velocity, in the direction of its

the right or towards the left, and that length, either towards which at any time is opposite to R, to of the string
part

AB

Q

Fig.

i.

be always bent into the same form by a lateral displacement of
its

AB

being always straight. Then the string be transmitting a> wave. When a single wave is thus transmitted, any particular particle of the string is disturbed
particles, the rest
will

during the passage of the wave, and

is

at rest at all times before

and afterwards.
86. It is necessary, however, to explain how such a wave could originate. Q, to Suppose a portion of the string, which we may call be bent into any arbitrary form, and a determinate lateral velo-

P

city to

be then communicated to each particle of

P Q, according P

to

any arbitrary law consistent with the continuity of the string. The subsequent motion will depend on the form of Q, and
these
initial velocities

on

of

its

particles.

Now

the form of

P Q being
in

given arbitrarily,

it

is

possible to

assign the

initial velocities

the form

P Q shall
the

one way so that a single wave of be transmitted to the right, and in another

way

so that a similar
if

wave

shall

be transmitted to the

left.

were assigned arbitrarily, the wave P Q would in general be resolved into two components, of which one would travel to the right, and the other to the left.

But

initial velocities

At

present, however,

we assume

that the initial velocities

have

been such as to give

rise to

a single wave.

Any number

of similar or dissimilar waves
the

may be

trans-

mitted at the same time, either in

same or

in contrary

76

Transmission of Waves along a String.
It
is

directions.

convenient to

distinguish

the

direction

of

transmission

of waves, by calling

them

positive
left

or

negative

according as they are transmitted from
right to
left.

to right, or

from

87.

The

velocity of transmission
string,

and tension of the
wave.

depends only on the nature and not on the form or length of the

otherwise

now suppose two waves of equal length, but of arbitrary forms, to be transmitted in contrary directions so as to meet. After passing one another they will
88. Let us

their original forms. But during the passage a part of the string will be disturbed by both waves at once, and the displacements of its particles at any instant will be the sums of

proceed in

the displacements due to the separate waves.
string will evidently have for
its

This part of the length the length of a wave, and for its middle point the point at which the ends of the waves first meet.

Let

PQ, P*Q[

(Fig. 2) represent the positive

and negative waves

the point at which they will first meet. And let us now further suppose that each wave is (as in the Figure) a reversed copy of the other, so that the figure would not before meeting,

and

A

be altered by turning the paper upside down.
the

(We may

express

same condition by saying that every straight line through A which cuts one wave, cuts the other also at a point equidistant
from A).

Two

such waves

may be

called contrary waves.

Now
The

pm, p'm be any two ordinates equidistant from A. corresponding points p, p' of the two waves will arrive
let

opposite to

A

at the

same

instant,

at that instant will be the algebraical
is

and the displacement of A sum of pm and p'm, that
opposite
in

zero,

since

pm, p'm'

are equal in length, but

Nodes.
direction.

77
is

Hence, since the same thing

true for every pair

not of corresponding points, the point at all; in other words, the string be displaced will have a node at A.
will

A

Thus, when an infinite stringMransmits^Jtwo there is contrary waves in opposite directions, -'"" * ~ at which they first meet. a node at the point
'
.

~f

.

*

.

89. Let us Let

now

inquire

what conditions are

necessary in order that there

may
first

be two nodes.

A

be the place of the

node and

B

of

the second;

and suppose
meet
at

that a positive

wave

PA, and

a contrary negative wave

beginning to

A.

AQ, are just The wave PA, pass-

s

ing on to the right, will after a certain time arrive at the position P'B, and will then begin to disturb

r

B unless

it

meets at that instant a contrary

wave BQ' moving towards the left. But this new negative wave BQ, when it arrives at the

AQ, will begin to disturb A unless it meets a new positive wave. And, continuing the same reasoning, we see that there must be
position

an

infinite

series

of positive waves meeting an

infinite series

of negative contrary waves. There will then be nodes at A and at
is

B;

but

it

evident that there will be also an infinite
at equal intervals.

number of other nodes
an
infinite

Hence

string cannot have more than one node without having an infinite number.

The distance between corresponding points of consecutive positive (or negative) waves is eviFor when the positive wave dently twice AB.
which
at
at

any

instant

is

at

PA

shall

have arrived

P'B,

the next following one will not be at

PA,
at

but so far behind that position as to meet

the negative

wave

BQ
I

when
fix

the latter arrives

AQ.
90. Let
us,

however,

our attention upon

78

Reflection of Waves.

the portion of string included between two consecutive nodes be hidden from view, and con-#, supposing the rest of it to

A

y

sider

its

condition at the instant

when

the positive

and negative
of the

waves have
visible

another at A. just passed one string will then be this,

The form

Fig.- 4

.

and the
will
It

positive wave, of which the left-hand end is now at A, be transmitted unaltered until its right-hand end reaches B.

then begins to

invisible part of the string,

meet the negative wave coming from the and to be compounded with it; by

this composition the disturbed part of the visible string undergoes a change of form, until the positive wave has passed completely out of sight, and is replaced by the negative wave,

thus,

Fig- 5-

which is transmitted to A, where it meets a new positive wave, and a converse series of changes takes place ; and so on indeThus, a wave will appear to pass backwards and finitely.
forwards between

A

and B, and

to

be

reflected at those points.

Each

reflection consists in a shortening of the

wave

to half

its

an equal lengthening; and during this and lengthening its form is changed into that of shortening
length, followed by

the contrary wave. 91. During motion of this kind, both the whole string and are in a state of vibration, that is, undergoing

the portion

AB

a periodic change of condition ; and the period of a vibration,

Nodes and Waves.

79

or the interval of time between the recurrence of similar conditions, is evidently the time required for the transmission of a wave through twice the distance (AB} between consecutive nodes.

92. Hitherto we have considered a wave as consisting only But we will now of the bent or curved portion of the string. call the whole portion included between two consecutive similar
points a wave, as we have always done before in treating of periodic curves, so that a wave-length is now twice the distance

In the preceding illustrations we have supposed only a small portion of this wave to be curved, in order to make the process of reflection clearly intelligible;

between consecutive nodes.

but since the length attributed to the curved portion was arbias it generally does in fact, trary, we may suppose it to occupy,
the whole wave-length.

Let

AC

be a wave-length, the figure representing part of

a series of positive waves, and also of the contrary negative The waves, in the position which they have at a given instant.

Fig. 6.

actual form of the string at that instant (which is not drawn) would be found by compounding the two curves. Thus the middle point of any ordinate Pp would be a point on the
string.

The
at
this

nodes are the points
instant,

A, B, C, D, &c. on the
others,

axis,

as

at

all

bisect

the

ordinates

which drawn

through them.

Now suppose Pp, P'p' are any two ordinates from any node A ; it is evident that the middle* equidistant points of these ordinates lie upon a straight line which is
bisected at

A ; in other words, every straight line drawn through a node at any instant and terminated both ways by the string, is
bisected by the node.

8o

Finite String.

93. Hence, considering a whole wave-length of the resultant curve, occupying two nodal intervals, we see that the half wave

on one
(Art.

side of the middle
to the other half.

node

is

always contrary in form

88)

the whole infinite string will always have the form of a series of similar waves divided into contrary halves by alternate nodes ; and the two halves will have exchanged their forms
after

Thus

every half period.
string will therefore appear to oscillate, but there will be

The
either

in general

no

visible

appearance of transmission^ of waves in
positive

and negative series completely disguising each other except in the case in which a considerable portion of each wave is straight : in this case only, the
direction,

the

appear to be transmitted in contrary direca portion of string between two consecutive tions; only nodes be looked at, to be reflected backwards and forwards
curved portions
or, if

will

from node to node
94.
It

in the manner explained in Art. 90. has been already explained that, in order to pass from an infinite to a finite string, we must suppose two nodes to

1

become

fixed.

of nodes between them.

But these may, of course, include any number Hence the most general form of the
with

vibration of a finite string, fixed at both ends, consists in an

fj*

')

oscillatory motion,

\

aliquot

parts.

The form

nodes dividing the string into equal of the part included between any

two consecutive nodes will always be contrary to that of the adjacent intervals; and any two adjacent intervals exchange
N/t'*

The wave-length is twice the disafter half a period. tance between consecutive nodes ; and the period of a vibration is the time occupied by the transmission of a wave over this
forms
double distance.

Hence

length of the string, the transmission.

the period is known if we know the number of nodes, and the velocity of

When

there are
is

no nodes between the extreme

points, the
is

wave-length
'

twice the length of the string, and the period

the time of transmission over this double length.

This

is

called

simply

the time of vibration
1

'

of the string.
are often called stationary.

Hence such waves

:~r

"

L

Time of
the tension by which it same unit as W), and
is

Vibration.

81

If / be the length of the (stretched) string,

g

its weight, stretched (expressed in terms of the the so-called accelerating force of

W

T

gravity (that is, the velocity acquired by a falling body at the end of a unit of time), then the velocity of transmission of a
lateral

wave
I

is

v ^W
here

,

and the time of a

vibration

is

there)

fore 2

V -jIt

IW
(see below, Art. 123).
said,

95.
is

may be

once

for

all,

that the term

'

'

vibration

always to be understood as implying a complete cycle of changes. In many of the most usual cases (as in that of a string) the

vibration

may be

converse in character;
(especially of

divided into two parts, equal in duration and and it has been the practice of some
call

French) writers to

each half a single vibration,

and the two together a double vibration ; or, what is much worse, to use the term vibration without distinctly explaining in which
sense
it is

to

be understood.

In the case of a

common pendulum
is

the habit of giving the

name
one
In

vibration to

what

only half a cycle, namely, a swing in
inveterate.

direction, has
this

become

work, however, the term will always mean what Prof. De Morgan has proposed to call a swing-swang. Thus, the time of vibration of a so-called seconds' pendulum
is

two
It

seconds.

must be remembered also
'

that a vibration in general
'

is

not necessarily divisible into a swing duration and opposite character.

and a

'

swang of equal

'

96.

We

will

now proceed

to the analytical expression of the
articles.

results obtained in the

preceding

If f(x) be

any function which has one
oc,

real

and

finite

value

for every value of

the equation

the form of a string which is = f(x), supposing the latter to be of a curve

vt) will represent always bent so as to follow that

y =f(x

y

moving

in the

positive direction of the .r-axis with a constant velocity v.
if

(For

in the former equation
z>/,

we remove

the origin along the axis
=

to a distance

the equation

becomes jy G

/(*))

82
Similarly^

Analytical Expressions.
=

formj/ =
city.

F (x\

F(x + vf)
=

represents the transmission of the

in the negative direction, with

an equal velo-

Hence

the equation

f(x-vt) F(x vt) represents the form of a string in which the displacement of any particle at the time / is the sum of the displacements due
And if f(x), F(x) are both periodic the last equation will represent the transmission of functions, two sets of waves in opposite directions.
to both these causes.

y

+

+

Supposing, then, these periodic functions to be expressed by means of Fourier's series (Art. 72), and to have the same
wave-length
2
/,

the equation will take the form

(The constant term is omitted, because it could be got necessary, by removing the origin along the axis of'y.)
97.

rid of, if

We
;

ence of
origin

have not yet introduced the condition of the existLet us now suppose that there is a node at the that is, that when x = o, y = o for all values of /. When
nodes.

x = o,
written

the terms of the order / in the above series

may be

sin

j

(

C

t

cos a^

+ +

C't cos a^)
C"< sin a^),

+ cos y- (C
and
it

t

sin a^

is

evident that the coefficient of each must vanish sepais,

rately; that

C C

{

cos a t
sin

C'i cos a't

=
=

o, o.
f
'

i

at

-

+

'

C"t sin a
-

i

These equations are satisfied by assuming C i = C{ a i = a{ and if we introduce these conditions in the value ofj at the end of Art. 96, and put 2 C{ cos at = A i} 2Ci sin c^ = JBit 2l-vr
,

;

y

we

obtain

ZlTtt

,,

.

2

z'-TT/x

.cos^^ +^.sin
in

J,

(i)

which r

is

the period of vibration.

Since

y

vanishes not

Initial Circumstances.
only

83
/,

when
/,

x = o,
we

but also

when

x

is

any multiple of

for all

values of

see that the condition of the existence of a

node

is satisfied

not only at the origin, but also at an infinite number of points separated from one another by an interval / (or half a wave-length).

Hence this equation represents in the most general manner the oscillatory motion of an infinite string described in Art. 93.

And
it

if

we

confine our attention to values of

x

between o and
/,

/,

represents the vibration of a finite string of length its two ends.

fixed at

98. If the
cities

initial

form of the

finite string,

and the

initial velo-.

of

its particles,

are given, the values of the constants

B

{

are determined.

Suppose,

for instance, that

when
and

/

=

A o, y is
t,

to be a given function /(JF)

from

x = o to x =

/,

another
^j-

/=o

given function $(x) within the same limits. Putting, then, in the equation (i), and in its differential coefficient with
respect to
/,

we must have

2. =1
2z=oo /=1
from

^z = oo
.

.

.

ITiX

..

A- sin
7}

^

-/(*),

i^s
Hence, multiplying each
.

x=o

to

x=

/.

side of these

iisx
equations by sin

dx, and integrating from

x

= o to

x=

/,

we

obtain
2
-J *

f
J

sin

by means of a

should be observed thaty(^r) is necessarily expressible series of sines only (see Appendix to Chap. IV, adftn.) ; for the form of the string is at any time half a wave
(It

of a series in which the alternate values are contrary (Art. 93), so that the function f(x), besides satisfying the conditions

f(mt] = o

for all integer values of

m including

o,

must

also satisfy

the conditions

f(x+ 2 ml)

=/(x) and/(2w/
sin

x) =
* 2 rrr
>

/(x);

and these

are satisfied

by every such term as
G
2

j- but not

84
by cos

Particular Cases.
The same remark
h priori, ought to
is
is
its initial

j-

applies to

<

(x), which, as is

easily seen

satisfy the

same

conditions.)
is initially

A

case frequently useful

at rest,

and

form

which the string given by an equation
that in
.

y
In this case
<

ITTX ~ = --^=00 Qsm
5,. =1

.

= (x)

o,

and f(x) and
is

is

the series just given for

y

;

and therefore

B

=

i

o,

A
x,

=
i

2

C^
j/sin

ITTX

-= I

'Jo
.

dx = Q;

hence

the subsequent vibration
-

given by the equation
2lTlt

y- 2 =1 Qsm
Z

--,=00

cos-^-,

where r =
v

as before.
is

99. Another useful case

that in

the string is a bent line where coordinates of Q reckoned from A.

AQB^

which the initial form of = /, and a, b are the

AB

Fig.

7.

zero.

Suppose, further, that the initial velocities of all points are This is the case of a string made to vibrate by being

pulled aside at one point

and then

left

to

itself.

Here
-

<f>(x) is o,

andy%r)

is-.*-

from

x=o

to

x = a,
o,

and

(x

/)

from

x = a to x = /;
sm
.

and therefore

S
.

i

=

and

A<

=

2b( C a -T

U

x

iitx

-T dx + -Z3j<r-y*
,

.

if

1

A

iifx

dx

.

)

\

nta
if
2

a (I -a)
that the

(The reader should observe

problem here solved

Variations of Form.
differs

85

from that

in Art.

76

in this respect, that the bent line is

here half a wave, whereas there it was a whole wave.) Introducing this value of A i in equation (i), we obtain
.

zira

sin

2Z7T/

.

.

which gives the form of the vibrating string
a particular case of
this

at the time

/.

(On

formula see below, Art. 118.)

It is easy to trace geometrically the variations of form a vibration. The equation during

1OO.

and

its differential

coefficient with respect to

/,

^give,

when

/

=

o,

(/'(*)-*'<*));
and these expressions must coincide, from x = o to x = /, with the given functions which define the initial positions and velocities. Hence, supposing the initial value ofy to be (x\ and
<

of

-

to be v ^' (x),

we have

whence

/(x)F(x) =

C-ty(x).

These equations give (the /(*) - J (*<*)-* (*)),

arbitrary

C

being taken

= o)

/(*) -!(*(*) +

* (*)),

That so that/"(^) and -^(^) are known from x = o to .* = /. and one half of the negative wave is, one half of the positive are given in the position in which they produce by composition
the
initial

form of the
its

string.

And

since, in order to

maintain
to the

the nodes at

extremities, the half of the negative

wave

right of the string

must be contrary

in

form

(Art.

88) to the

wave

given half of the positive wave, while the half of the positive to the left of the string must be contrary to the given half

86

Particular Case.
is

of the negative wave, a whole wave of each

determined.

And

we have only

to shift the positive

wave

to the right

and the

negative to the left, through equal distances, and compound those parts which fall within the limits of the string, in order to
find the
shifting.

form

at

the

time corresponding to that amount of

101.

The
o,

case treated in Art.

99

affords

teresting example.
*//

The

initial

velocities
\|r

(x)

=

and we may therefore take

(jr)

an easy and inbeing zero, we have = o ; hence

that
cide,

is,

the given halves of the positive
at

and negative wave coinis

and the ordinate

any point of each
string

half the ordinate
its

of the corresponding point of the
following forms and

in

initial

form.
the

Hence, completing the waves as in the last article,
initial

we have

positions

:

Fig. 8.

A PB
and

represents the halves of the positive and negative waves, = o. ap is the other half of the positive, coinciding when /

A

Bqb of the negative wave. of the string, and the initial form
the two
'

A,B
is

are, as before, the

ends

that given

by compounding
is,

curves

'

which coincide

in

A PB

;

that

by doubling

the ordinate at every point. After the lapse of a quarter of a period, the waves will have been shifted (one to the right and the other to the left) through

a distance equal to half the length (A
that part of the figure

)

of the string

;

and
have

which

is
:

within the limits

AB

will

been changed into the following

Fig. 9.

Sudden Changes of Direction.
And from
this

87

we

obtain by composition the following as the
:

form of the string

at that instant

Fig. 10.

At
and

the

trary to the initial form, the
at the

end of half a period the form will be evidently contwo half waves again coinciding
;

end of three-quarters of a period, the form will be that of the last figure reversed right and left (as it would be seen through the paper from the back).
If the original point of flexure be at the middle of the string, the form at the end of the first, third, &c. quarter of a period But in other cases the string will always will be a straight line.

be divided into

either

two or three

straight portions, viz. three

the instants when the positive and in general, but only two^at waves coincide, and also at the instants when a summit negative

of each

is opposite the times in each vibration.

same end of the

string,

in

all,

four

The

value of

~

at either

end of the
This
the

string varies discon-

tinuously in a remarkable way.
trically

may

be traced geomeof proof

without

affords a

good

following mode example of the use of Fourier's series.
difficulty,

but

Putting
at that

x=o
dy

in the value of

dy ~

derived from (2),

we

have,

end of the

string,

zbl

^-,=00

i

.

iTta

2t-nt

.

.

Now

the series 2*.~"

Q cos

~~

~~

evidently represents

a pe-

which the period is r, and which satisfies the with condition f(f) (r /); and any such function can, the addition if necessary of a constant term, be represented by
riodic function of

=f
i

such a

series.

We may include
=
o.

the constant term

by extending

the summation to

88

Sudden Changes
Consider, then, a function/^/) of which the value
c
is

from

/=o

to

/=a;
/

k from /= a to
c from / = T

=

T
/

a;

a to

Assuming^/)

2]-~*

Q cos

-

=
>

r.

'

we sna ^ nave

and
i/u

for

all

values of i except o.

Performing the integrations in
i

separate parts (as in finding

A

in (2)),

we

find

sm
Z7T

.

when
T

i

is

not o.
represented by the

Hence
series

the discontinuous function f(t)

is

which

will
2

be identical with (3)
Q
.

if

we assume
(Z

a, k,

and

c so that

2

CL

bl

from which we find
b

*

~j

>

u a-

ar
zl
/ a

I

a

and

it

follows that the string, at the point
its

A

(Fig. 7, Art. 99),
/

maintains

initial

direction

AQ

from

/

= o to

=

-.

(that

is,

during the time of wave-transmission along a distance a), it then suddenly becomes parallel to and maintains that direc-

QB

tion until /
until

=

(

i

-

) r,

when
r,

it

resumes the

first

direction

the

end of the period

and so on

successively.

The

representation of these

changes by a diagram in which the

of Direction.
abscissa

89
and
to the value of

and ordinate are proportional
(ory(/))
is

to /

-

ax

at

A

obvious,

and may be

left

to the reader.

diate

(See Helmholtz, p. 93, where a greater number of intermeforms of the string is given, and a diagram representing

the values of

dy

at

one end, which

is

taken as the curve of

pressure (or rather of variation of pressure) posed to support the string at that end.

on a bridge sup-

The
dy

variations of

pressure are sensibly proportional to those of -~y

as will

be

seen in Chap. VII.)

CHAPTER

VI.

VIBRATIONS OF A STRING (continued].
102.
(in

THE most

one plane) of a

general form of the infinitesimal vibrations string is given by the equation (i) of
to that

Art. 97, which,

by a transformation inverse
written thus :
.

employed

in Art. 72,

may be

y
where

~ = ^/=o> C^sm =1

2

lt

(lTt
cos(-

-

-

r

+

\

,

a.),

(4)

x

is

end, and^j/

is

the distance of any point in the string from one the lateral displacement of that point at the time /.

This displacement is therefore the sum of the displacements, in general infinite in number, represented by the several terms of the series; and the vibration of the whole string may accordingly be said to be

compounded

of the vibrations represented

by those terms.
the term of the order

Let us then consider separately the vibration represented by i. Supposing this term to exist alone,
have, instead of (4),
.

we

ITTX

/2/7T/

\

and the form of the

string at

any time

is

therefore a

harmonic

curve cutting the axis in fixed points or nodes, which divide the whole length into i equal parts, while the amplitudes of the waves of the curve vary periodically with the time, and every
individual point (except
tions with the
string
is

the

nodes) performs harmonic vibra-

same period oscillation with

Thus, the motion of the whole
nodes, of the kind described in

an

Harmonics of a String.
Art. 93, but with this
distinction, that

91

the waves are of the

harmonic form.

Now
all

if,

the coefficients preceding arbitrary, there will still be the

returning to the general equation (4), we suppose to vanish, the rest remaining t

C

same number of nodes, and the
be
;

period of the vibration will

still

but the form of the waves

may

be any whatever, as in Art. 93. CT is not zero, there are no actual nodes (except the fixed ends), and the first component of the vibration consists in an
If

oscillation of

which the period
a

is

r and the wave-length

is

twice

the length of the string.

103.

When

string, vibrating

without nodes, produces
is

an

audible note, the lowest
that of

component tone heard

in general

vibration,

which the pitch corresponds to the period r of the whole and this is called the fundamental tone of the string.

But other

tones, belonging to the harmonic scale of the fundamental tone, are in general heard also. (If, however, the period r is so long that the fundamental tone does not fall within the
limits

of

audibility, the

lowest tone heard will of course be one

of the higher components.)
If there is one

node, the period becomes

- and
>

the lowest

tone heard

is

the octave of the fundamental tone.
z

And

in general, if there are
is

i

nodes, the period is->and

the lowest tone heard

the

(z'

i ) th

harmonic of the funda-

mental tone.
in each case higher harmonic components are in general so that the sound is a compound note. heard,

But

The

nodes, are called

notes produced by a string vibrating with one or by musicians the harmonics of the string.

more

104. Now, when the string vibrates without nodes, so as to produce what is called its fundamental note, the series of har-

monic component tones

is

in general complete so far as

it

can

be traced by the ear; and a practised ear, properly assisted But (see below, Art. 115), can easily distinguish ten or more.

we

are able, as

we

shall see presently, to

make a

string vibrate

92
in such a

Vibrations
manner
that
, ,

how Propagated.
any proposed value of
i all

for

the

Csi &c. in the series (4) shall vanish; so coefficients C^ zi that the component harmonic vibrations of which the periods T T are &c. are extinguished. And it is found, as a fact, i 21 that when this is done, the corresponding tones become either quite
.

C

or nearly inaudible. 105. From the facts

stated in

the

last

two Articles

it

is

obvious to infer that each component tone actually heard, is produced exclusively, or at least mainly, by the corresponding 1 component harmonic vibration of the string
.

But

to appreciate the force of this conclusion,

we must con-

sider the

phenomena more precisely. 106. The vibrations in the ear which

sense of sound, are very remotely In the first place, the sound-waves in string.

ultimately produce the derived from those of the

the

air

are

This may excited in a very slight degree by the string itself. be shewn by stretching a violin or pianoforte string between two very firmly fixed supports for instance, iron pegs in a

when it will be found impossible to make it yield a note of any considerable strength. In all actual stringed instruthe supports of the string are so arranged as ments, therefore,
wall

to

communicate a
wood.

state

of forced vibration to a considerable
this vibrating surface originates

surface of
in the air
;

Then
put that

waves

and
ear,

these, being

propagated to the
itself into

tympanic

mem-

brane of the
vibration,

membrane

a state of forced

which is further communicated, by means of the linkwork of small bones mentioned in Art. 4, to the membrane of the oval window; and finally, from that, through the fluid of
the labyrinth, to those parts of which the vibrations ultimately affect the auditory nerve.
Evidently, therefore, it is essential to inquire, by what law the form and period of vibrations excited at any part of a material system by given vibrations maintained at any other
part are connected with the form and period of the latter. 1 For a discussion of the question, What sort of vibrations produce simple tones ? see the Memoirs of Ohm and Seebeck, in Poggendorf, vol. lix, p. 497 ; Ix. 449 ; Ixii. i.

r

Law! of Forced y

Oscillations.

107. The answer\|o this question is contained in a statement of the law offorced oscillations. (See Appendix to this chapter.) If a material system, acted on by a conservative system of
forces
1
,

be very

slightly disturbed
left

equilibrium,
velocities (or

and then

to itself after having
its

from a configuration of stable had very small
particles,
it

none) impressed upon any of
such as
will

will

continue for ever to execute small oscillations; that
particle (except

may

remain

at

rest) will

is, every describe a

path in which
it

it

had

in the condition of equilibrium.

always be very near to the position which The motion may or

may

not be a vibration, in the proper sense.

That

is,

the

system may, or may not, pass again and again at equal intervals of time through the same configuration. 108. If, however, the displacements and velocities are always
so small that their squares and products
insensible, then the

may

be treated as

motion

is

sensibly either a true vibration,

or else

is

by

itself,
;

compounded of vibrations each of which might subsist but of which the periods are in general incommen-

so that by their superposition they produce a nonperiodic motion, or more properly, a vibration of infinitely long
surable
period.

We may
tions

call these

component

vibrations the natural vibra-

tions of the system, to distinguish

them from

the forced vibra-

which are now to be considered.

further suppose, either that certain points

109. In addition to the suppositions just made, let us now of the system are to small obligatory periodic motions, or else to the subjected
forces;
that
is,

action of small periodic
intensity
is

forces

of which the

expressed by which may be either constant or dependent on configurations, and the other is a periodic function of the time.

the product of two factors, one of

In either case, provided that all the displacements and velocontinue to be of the order of magnitude above supposed, the whole motion is compounded of two sets of vibrations:
cities

That is, a system in which, the mutual action between any two particles independent of the velocities of those and of all other particles. (Thomson and Tait, 271.)
is

1

94

Hypothesis of Resistance.

one which as before
might be

may

are independent of the imposed motions or forces,
entirely extinguished

be called natural, of which the periods and which

by a proper choice of the disand velocities and another set displacements posable which are forced by the imposed motions or forces, and which are permanent, and in no way dependent on initial circuminitial
;

stances.

/
I

/

And it can be shewn that no forced vibration can have any harmonic component of a period which does not exist among the periods of the harmonic components of the imposed motions or forces. 110. We have so far supposed the original system of forces
to

would continue

be conservative, so that the natural vibrations, if once begun, for ever. But in all actual cases there are
kinds, which sooner or

resistances of various

the natural vibrations.

There
is

of energy ; but the energy
into other forms,
heat, &c.

later extinguish thus an apparent destruction not really destroyed, but changed
is

which can

in general

be assigned, such as

When, however, we only wish to take account of the energy of the system in the ordinary mechanical sense, we have to introduce these resistances under the fictitious form of forces
of the non-conservative class, that is, forces which are not independent of velocities; and on a particular hypothesis, which there is reason to believe gives sensibly correct results for small
velocities,

namely, that the motions of the particles are resisted
directly proportional arises

by forces
tional

to

their

velocities

1
,

no addi-

difficulty

in
is

the mathematical treatment of the

problem, but the result
1

modified in the following manner.
' '

must be understood that the word resistance is here used to denote any cause which tends to extinguish that particular kind of motion which
It

In the case of a vibrating string, for one such cause another is the communication of motion from the ends of the string to the bodies which support its tension and a third is probably the conversion of part of its energy into heat. The hypothesis is, that the combined effect of these causes may be represented by assuming a retarding force to act on each
constitutes the vibration considered.
instance, the resistance of the air
is
; ;

particle, directly proportional to its velocity; and it is at any rate certain that results calculated on this hypothesis agree in general much better with

Any experience than those obtained by neglecting resistances altogether. other law of resistance would introduce insuperable difficulties into the mathematical treatment of most cases.

Second Approximation.
The

95

periods of the natural vibrations are altered (in general

without ceasing to be constant ; but their amplitudes diminish rapidly, so that the system is soon brought sensibly to rest, if there are no obligatory motions or periodic forces.
slightly),

however, there are, as we have above supposed, small periodic forces or obligatory periodic motions, the system soon assumes a permanent condition of motion, consisting of vibraIf,

which the periods those of the imposed motions or forces according to the law already stated; and there is no trace of the natural vibrations except this that the amplitudes and phases
tions (which
will call forced, as before) of

we

are connected with

:

of the forced vibrations depend upon the relative magnitudes of their periods and those which the natural vibrations would

have

if

they existed.

111. If

any harmonic component of one of the imposed

motions or forces have a period nearly equal to that of a harmonic component of any one of the natural vibrations, then
there will be

amplitude.

On

a corresponding forced vibration with a large the supposition of no resistances, and of abso-

lute equality of periods, the amplitude in question would go on increasing with the time, so as soon to violate the supposition of small motions. But in all actual cases the effect of the

resistances

is

to limit the increase of the amplitude to a definite

magnitude, which, however,
112. In fact, in a great
the squares

may

still

be larger than

is

con-

sistent with the supposition referred to.

number

of cases, the supposition that

and products of displacements and velocities may be neglected leads to results which agree well, as a first approximation, with experiment, but fail to explain phenomena of a delicate but still perceptible kind, which can be accounted
for

by a second approximation.
result of this

second approximation shews that there are in general forced vibrations of which the amplitudes are small magnitudes of the second order, and of which the harmonic

The

components have periods which are either the halves of the periods of harmonic components of the imposed motions or forces, or are such that the numbers of vibrations in a given

96

Experiments.

time are the sums or differences of the numbers of vibrations of the
113.
latter

taken two and two.
shall

We

shew afterwards how

this result

accounts for

the

remarkable phsenomena of so-called 'combination-tones.'
see that, so far as the
first

At present we

approximation goes,

assume that the vibrations which ultimately affect the auditory nerve have no harmonic components differing in period from those of the vibrations of the body from
are entitled to

we

which the sound
retical

originates.

And when we compare

this theo-

conclusion with the observed fact that the extinction of
string

any harmonic component of the vibration of a
if

extin-

not entirely) the sensation of the corguishes (very nearly, the inference appears unavoidable that the responding tone,
sensation
vibration.

of simple
will

tone

is

produced by simple

harmonic

114.

We

now

describe

some simple experiments which

exhibit the accordance of the theory of vibrating strings with
facts.

In the
is,

first

place, the isochronism of small vibrations (that

the independence of their periods on their amplitudes) is shewn by the familiar fact that a given string produces a note
it

of sensibly the same pitch, whether
or
softly,

be made to sound loudly

provided the variations of loudness do not exceed the limits usually allowed in music.

much
com-

The The

pound character of
following
principal

point next in importance is the verification of the the note usually produced.
is

harmonic component tones sensible

an easy method of making some of the to an unpractised
that
it

ear; or, rather, of
Strike

making the ear conscious

hears them.

any note of a pianoforte rather strongly, say c, and hold the key down so that the vibrations may not be stopped by the damper. (The two or three strings belonging to the
note should be tuned well in unison.) Immediately afterwards strike very gently any note belonging to the harmonic scale of
c,

holding the key also down.

Then,
note as

if
it

the attention be
dies

fixed

upon the sound of

this latter

away,
first

it

will

be heard to remain as a component of the note

struck;

Resonators.
and so
what
is

97

distinctly, that

it

will often

appear quite surprising that

a conspicuous phenomenon should have entirely 1 escaped observation before attention was thus directed to it In this way eight or ten harmonic component tones may
.

now

An ear which has been musically generally be distinguished. trained will soon acquire great facility in tracing these harmonic
tones,

up

to

a certain

number varying with circumstances,

without any assistance.

and

fainter ones,

it is

But, in order to distinguish the higher necessary to put the ear in communica-

tion with resonators, the action of

which

may be

here briefly

explained.
115.

They

are usually

of nearly spherical bottles.

made of glass or The neck of
it

brass, in the

shape
short,

the bottle
it

is

and so formed

that

by coating

with sealing-wax

may be
ear.

made
There

to

fit

closely into the outer part of the
orifice,

meatus of the

is

another
is

opposite to the neck.

When

such

applied to the ear, it forms, with the meatus as far as the tympanic membrane, a cavity with one opening ; and
the air in such a cavity is capable of vibrating with a determinate period, which depends on the form and size of the
cavity

a resonator

and of the opening.

that there is an external vibrating body in the the air in the cavity will be put into a state of neighbourhood,

Suppose now

forced miration, of which the component periods will be those of the harmonic components of the vibrations of the external
body, but of which the amplitudes will in general be inconsiderable. But if the period of any one of these harmonic

components coincide
natural

exactly, or very nearly, with that of the
cavity,

vibration of the

vibrations will be large (Art. Ill),
particular

the amplitudes of the forced and the ear will hear that

component with great

distinctness,

and indeed often

with unpleasant loudness. In order to obtain this effect in the highest degree, the other ear should be closed.
116.
ciples

We

shall

of resonance,

have to refer afterwards to the general prinand to the use of these resonators in
1

particular.

Helmholtz,

p. 86.

H

98

Resonators.

Imperfect substitutes for them

may

be

made

of paste-board,
illustrating their

and the following
action.

is

an easy way of roughly

If a

stiff

paste-board tube, of about i^ inch in dia-

meter, and of any length, from three or four inches upwards, be pressed with one end closely upon the ear, the tube and ear together form a cavity open at one end; and the note cor-

responding to the natural vibrations of this cavity is easily ascertained by tapping the outside of the tube with the ends of

a mere

the finger-nails or with a pencil. The sound of the taps is not noise, but has a determinate pitch, which, however, an
If, now, and the

unpractised ear is liable to estimate an octave too low. the corresponding note be struck on a pianoforte,

coincidence of pitch be nearly exact, the effect of the tube in strengthening the fundamental tone of the string is very conspicuous, and may be made still more striking by alternately

removing and replacing the tube. And if any other note be struck of which one of the stronger harmonic components has
the pitch corresponding to the natural vibrations of the cavity, the strengthening of that component may be made more or
less strikingly sensible in the

same way.

By tilting the tube, so that it ceases to touch the ear all round, the pitch of the natural vibrations is raised, and can
therefore be brought into coincidence with that of a
tone.

higher

In this manner, by different angles of tilting, the same tube may be made to strengthen several harmonic components
of the same note; and so, by tilting it backwards and forwards between complete contact and a considerable opening, this series of tones may be heard upwards and downwards several
times before the vibrations of the string once struck cease to produce audible sound. This experiment requires a little care

and

practice, but

when

successful

is

very striking.
is easily

117.

The

vibration of a string with nodes
violin species, or

shewn on

any instrument of the
forte.

on a

horizontal piano-

In the

latter case, if

a key be struck and held down,

while a finger is lightly applied at a nodal point, the string will sound the corresponding harmonic instead of its fundamental
note.

Or

the finger

may be

applied after the key

is

struck, in

Experiments on Harmonics of String,

99

extinguished,

which case the fundamental tone, which is heard at first, is and the harmonic remains and is heard alone.
if

Thus,

the fundamental note be

c,

and the

finger be applied
string, the

at one-third of the distance

from

either

end of the

harmonic note g' will be heard. In this case there are two nodes, and the existence of that one which is not touched by
the finger

may be shewn by
if it

placing on the string a small bent
it it

be placed at any point except the node, strip will -be shaken when the key is struck; but if at the node, will remain undisturbed.

of paper:

The harmonic
by harp players.

same way, and the

notes of a harp string may be produced in the first of them (or octave) is sometimes' used

The
cello,

production of harmonic notes on the violin or violonby touching the string lightly with the finger at the place
is familiar to

of a node,
It is

players

on those instruments.
harmonics that

obviously essential to the production of
is

the point at which force

applied to
c-r

make

(whether by a hammer, the finger, a node.

the string vibrate a bow) should not be

118. It was stated above (Art. 104) that a string

may be

made

to vibrate in such a

manner

component

vibration, with all

any proposed harmonic those whose periods are aliquot
that
if

parts of the period of that one, shall be extinguished. This follows from the formula (2) of Art. 99; for

in this

formula

we

suppose a =
is, if

/ (

being a proper fraction in
that the string
is

lowe"st terms), that

we suppose

made

to

vibrate
it

into
i

by being plucked at any one of the points which divide n equal parts, all those terms in the series vanish for
is

which

a multiple of

n,

and therefore the component
5 5 ?

vibra-

tions of which the periods are
It

n

2n

&c. do not

exist.

%n

was

series
1

also stated that when this is done, the corresponding of harmonic tones becomes nearly or quite inaudible \
fact

This

Inquiries respecting

was discovered by Dr. T. Young. See his Experiments and Sound and Light,' Phil. Trans, for 1 800, p. 1 38.

'

H

2

ioo

Experiments on Harmonics of String.

119. To shew this experimentally, it is only necessary to pass the point of the finger very lightly across a pianoforte or violin This should be first done at a point not coinciding string.

with a node in some proposed division, for instance, at a point
not dividing the string into three equal parts,

and the

attention

directed to the corresponding harmonic (in this case the third component, or 'twelfth' above the fundamental tone), so that
it

may be

heard

distinctly.

Then,

if

the

finger

across a node, the

absence of the same harmonic

be passed will be

unmistakeable.

The

following

is

an easy and

striking

way of making

this

experiment. Pluck the string alternately, with a finger of each hand, at its middle point and at a point one-third of its length from either end. These points must be taken very exactly,

and the
with

fingers passed lightly across the string.

Then along
distinctly

the fundamental tone will

be heard very
at
its

the

twelfth when the string is plucked octave when it is plucked at the
third
*

middle point, and the

other point.

Thus,

if

the

or d' string of a viplin be used, the tones, a", d", will be
alternately.

heard
1

The fourth string, which is covered with The wire covering appears to have the effect
the component vibrations which the pluck.

at the first instant

wire, does not answer so well. of immediately re-establishing were extinguished by

APPENDIX TO CHAPTER
ON FORCED OSCILLATIONS.

VI.

is to be taken only as a slight sketch of the which many points of interest are omitted. For more complete details on that part which relates to natural The process here oscillations, see Thomson and Tait, 343. given only differs from that employed by those authors in modifications of detail, and in the extension to the case in which the system is subjected to obligatory motions.)

(THE

following
in

subject,

If x, y, z be the coordinates of any point of a material system referred to fixed rectangular axes, the differential equations which define the motion of the system under the action of given external forces are to be derived from the formula

201 (*" Sx +S'ty

+ sf'&z) = *(Xtx + rby + Z&g),

(i)

where accents signify total differentiation with respect to /, and the summation extends, on the left hand to every particle m, and on the right hand to every point at which an external force
are the components of the force applied X, Y, x,y> z. This formula expresses the proposition (known as D'Alembert's theorem) that the system is at every instant in a conis

applied.

Z

at the point

figuration of equilibrium with respect to the applied forces and the resistances to acceleration arising from the inertia of the

When the system is not entirely free, the possible motions of the particles are limited by equations of condition ; and dx, dy, &c. in (i) represent any arbitrary infinitesimal alterations which could, at the time /, be made in the coordiIn other nates x, y, &c. without violating those equations.
particles.

words, the equation (i) must at every instant subsist for values of &r, &c. corresponding to any arbitrary infinitesimal displacement which the system could at that instant undergo

io2

Forced

Oscillations.

without violating the conditions which limit the freedom of its motion. When the equations of condition contain the time / explicitly, the expression configuration of equilibrium at any proposed time is to be understood as meaning that which would be a configuration of equilibrium, if /, in the equations of condition, became constant, with the value which it has at the instant in (Thus, if a particle be constrained to move on a question. surface which is continually changing its form, it is in a conif the force applied to figuration of equilibrium at any instant it is in the direction of a normal to the surface at that instant.)
' '

We may
Our

call the equilibrium relative
/ explicitly,
is

condition contain

and

absolute

when the equations of when they do not.
which the equa-

present object

to consider the case in

tions of condition contain / explicitly, only because given points of the system are subject to obligatory motions, so that the

coordinates of those points are given functions of /. should be observed, is only a generalization of the case in which given points of the system are fixed.

This,

it

common

In either case the terms referring to those points disappear from both sides of the formula (i), because, whether a point is fixed, or subject to an obligatory motion, it could not, at any proposed time, receive any displacement without violating the condition imposed upon it hence 8 #* = o, &c. for all such points. Suppose, now, we refer the system to a set of independent coordinates f,, f2 .... of any kind, that is, quantities of which the values at any time would determine the configuration of the system at that time, but could be all assumed arbitrarily without violating the equations of condition. The transformation to the Lagrangian form 1 of the differen;
,

tial

equations
that

is

in

no way

affected

by the suppositions now

equations of the second order as there are independent coordinates, viz.

made, so

we

shall

have as

many

,dTS

dT
to

(w)~*i~*&'
on which equations, however, the following observations are be made.

T

is

the expression, in terms of the

new

variables

,

&c. of

the summation extending to all coordinates which appear on the left-hand side of (i). The coordinates of those points
1

See Price, Inf. Cat., vol.

iv.,

302.

Forced
which are subject
in

Oscillations.

103

to obligatory motions therefore do not appear expressed in terms of x,y, z, &c. Let us denote by x, y, z, &c. the original coordinates of those Then the points which are subject to obligatory motions. relations between the old and new variables will enable us to express each of the other coordinates x,y, z, &c. as a function

Tas

f fi>

&>

an d

x, y, z,

&c.; suppose, for instance,

*=
then

*(>&,
+
...

x y,z>---);
j

x

,

dx

,.,

~K s
is
.

>

dx dx +~+ *lJ'

TS + ,

&c>;

and when these values are
for T, the result

substituted in the original expression

evidently a function
y',

which
to \,

is

homogeneous,
2
,
. .
.

and of the second degree, with respect

f

x', y',

.

.

.

Now

x,

y,

.

.

x',

...

are given functions of / ;

and when

their values are introduced

T

is

no longer homogeneous with
/ explicitly.

respect to

\

,

f

2

>

an(^ a ^ so contains

is value of merely the kinetic energy (or half vis-viva] of the whole system expressed in terms of the independent coordinates.) For the present, however, we will suppose Tto be expressed in terms of \ x', ---- , so that we may assume
,
. . .

(This new

T

,

where the
contain
all

coefficients

P, Q, &c. are given functions which may the coordinates, but not their differential coefficients

f,,&c.

The

functions

S 19 S2

,

...

in equations (2) are to

be found

by means of the equation

^8^ + ^5j/ + Z5 Z + ...=S
which gives

1

8f1

+S

2

^+
2

...,

(4)

so that
nates,

X, F, ... being given functions of the original coordiS l &c. are known functions of the new coordinates, con,

taining also in general x, y, &c. have now to introduce the supposition that the obligatory motions consist of small vibrations. Let us assume, for in-

We

stance, that the point (x, y, z)

is

subject to a vibration, so that

x = x

+
y

aw,
,

y=y
are

+ a^,
u,
v,

z = z

+ aw;
periodic

where x

,

z

constants,

w

are

given

104
functions of

Forced
is

Oscillations.

y z ) the mean position of the point (x, y, z) (the point (x, y, z) would become fixed at (x y z ) if a were =o). Next we will suppose that the system is always nearly in
first

/, and a a small quantity of the

a constant which
order.

We may
;

may

be considered
,
,

call (x

,

,

a configuration of absolute stable equilibrium; that is, that the values of the coordinates j, 2 ... only differ by quantities of the first order from values (which we will denote by (j) &c.) which would belong to a configuration of stable equilibrium if
,

a were =

o.

The excursions of the particles being of the first order, we make the further assumption (which must be justified 1 a posteriori) that the differential coefficients
first

^, &c. are also of the
7

order.

Hence
first

T

rp

is

of the second order.

But

-

&c.

are of the

order, while -=j
in the

dT
>

&c. are of the second (since

fu &c. only occur

coefficients

P,

&c.).

Hence,

if

we

retain only terms of the J rrt
j

first

order,

we must

reject the terms

&c. in the equations (2).
is

evident that in the coefficients P, Q, &c. we and the equilibrium values for fis &c., so that those coefficients will receive constant values. Hence we may take

may

Moreover, it put x for

x, &c.

+

terms in

x',

y',

...

only,

which

will

disappear in forming
first

equations (2). Hence the left-hand

member
[i,

of the

of equations (2)

becomes
[i,

i]r,

+

[i,

]r, +

sir,

+ +

+ v" + +
2

w

+ v",

and of the second equation
[2,

i]fx

+ [, a]f, +

[2,

3]f,

x"

+ tt y + Cl z",

and so on.
flj,
1

In these equations the symbols [i, i], &c. as well as = &c. merely denote given constants, and [i, 2] [2, i], &c.

of the particles consist of isochrofollows that the velocities may be diminished The supposition of small veloindefinitely by diminishing the amplitudes. cities therefore merely implies a certain limit to the allowable magnitude of the amplitudes.
is this
:

The justification

The motions

nous vibrations, from which

it

Forced Oscillations.
With respect
that,
f,

105

to the right-hand members of (2) we observe as before (), &c. for the equilibrium values of putting &c. we shall have, by Taylor's theorem, as far as terms of
first

the

order,

where brackets signify values corresponding to equilibrium values of the coordinates. Now, when the variables have equilibrium values,
^

(Xbx + Fby + Zbz) =

o,

and therefore
But since b
(*i)

lt

(S 2 ) Further, it is coordinates values (), &c.
,

=

o,

=

&c. are independent and arbitrary, this implies o, &c. evident that we may assume the zeros of the &c. in such a manner that their equilibrium shall = o. Hence, if we denote the constants
first

(^?)>
become

&c. by letters A, B, &c. the

of equations (2) will

have also x" = a", &c. are periodic functions of /, and therefore supposed each of them may be expressed as a series of simple harmonic terms by means of Fourier's theorem. Suppose sin (nt+fi) occurs in the value of x, then it will also occur in x"; and we
&c., so that

Now

x=x

+ aw,

We

that u, v,

w

now

see that, putting

D for

,

we may

write the above equa-

tion in the

form

the

right-hand side consisting entirely of harmonic terms of by small coefficients. The second equation will be of the form
different periods, multiplied

and so on.

Thus we

shall

have a

set of

simultaneous differential

io6

Forced

Oscillations.

equations of the second order, as

many

in

number

as there are

independent coordinates. We will now, however, introduce the further supposition of
small resistances varying directly as the velocities of the parThis does not add any difficulty to the integration of the equations, and leads to results more in accordance with
ticles.

experience.

This supposition
instead of

is

equivalent

to

writing

Xe,
f
,

&c.

X, &c. in some or all of the terms of the original formula, e being a small constant*; and it is evident that the effect of this will be, when terms of the second order are &c. with neglected, to add to S l &c. linear functions of fj, 2 constant coefficients; and transposing these terms to the lefthand side of the differential equations, we shall have (using a1} &c. in a new sense),
,

D-A

1)

1

+ ([i 2]& + a,I)-A
)

2)
/

2

+ ...
(;*

=

sin

which are the differential equations of the problem. This system of equations may be treated in several different ways, of which the following appears most convenient for our
present purpose. Adopting abbreviations for the operative symbols, write the equations thus
:

we may

(where it is to be observed that [ab\ Let V be the determinant
[aa],

is

not the same as \ba\).

[ab],

\_ac\...

[ba\,
r
~~\

[bbl
r
7~i
,

[be]..,
i~

n

\c a\,

\c o\

[ffj...

Now if we operate upon the differential equations respectively with the minor determinants
'

d\aa\

d\ba\

d\ca\

just as in a system of algebraic linear equations,

fa fs &c.
,
,

will

Forced

Oscillations.

107

be eliminated; and, observing the effect of differentiation on the periodic terms in the right-hand members, we see that the
result will

be

V
and
in like

= ,Srsin(/ + Z) +

..

(5)

manner

small. constants, and K, K' integrate these equations we first suppose their righthand members to be absent, so that all the variables fr f2 satisfy the same differential equation, which we may write

K, K? L, &c. being known

,

.

.

.

To

,

.

.

.

Vu
and which
is

=

o,

of the order 2 m, if be the number of the independent coordinates v &c. = If we put for a moment f(D), and call a v a 2 a 3 = o, then we know that a 2TO the roots of the equation (x) the general solution of V u = o is

m

V

,

,

.

.

.

f

Hence the values Cj, C2 ... 2m being arbitrary constants. of the variables are of this form, differing only in the f2 values of the constants v &c. but since the complete solution of the system can only contain 2 m arbitrary constants, those in the values of f &c. must be expressible as functions of those
,

C

,

,

.

.

.

C

;

,

in

relations necessary for this purpose would have to be ascertained by substituting the expressions for &c. in the

fr

The

?

,

original system of equations of the second order. occasion, however, to perform this operation actually.

We

have no

Considering

now

the value of

any coordinate, say

we

permanently small of the equation f(x) = o consist of imaginary pairs, and the real part of each pair be negative, so that the value of fj may be put in the form - 2< =
oscillations, unless the roots

see that the motion cannot consist of

f1

C -isin(w
1

1

/+/3 1 ) +

C2

sin(^ 2 /+ft)

+ ...

(6)

(where 04 &c. are used with a new meaning). The factors ~ ai ' &c. are introduced solely by the resistances, as is evident if we observe that the differential equations would only contain if there were no resistances. even powers of The above values of &c. determine the natural vibrations of the system, such as could exist if the obligatory vibrations

D

,

io8

Forced

Oscillations.

were suppressed by fixing the points subject to them and they are compounded of harmonic vibrations, each of which could
;

subsist alone.

We

see also that the effect of the resistances

would be gradually to diminish the amplitudes of the vibrations so that the motion would be ultimately extinguished.

We have thus obtained the complete solution of the system of equations (5) &c., on the supposition that K, K' &c. are And the solution of those equations in their actual form all o. may now be found as follows Assume, for the complete value of fj, the terms in the ex:

pression (6)

+A
where A,

B

.

.

.

sin (nt cos (nt Z) L) are constants to be determined.

+

+B

+

+

.

.

.

(A similar pair of terms is to be assumed for every term on the right-hand side of (5); but as the following process would merely have to be repeated for each pair, we shall attend only to the first.) in (5), and observing that the Substituting this value of
operation

V

destroys the part (6),

we

obtain the condition
(7)

for

A Vsin(w/+Z) + ^Vcos(w/+Z) = -ff sin (/+) the determination of A and B.
the operation V, consisting partly of even

Now

and

partly of

odd powers of

D Tor

\

>

may

be put in the form

where the second term is introduced entirely by the resistances, and if they are considered as small quantities of the first order l the terms depending on them in <$>(D ) will be of higher orders, 2 so that <I>(D ) may be considered as what V would be reduced The result of the operations on to if there were no resistances. the left-hand side of (7) is easily seen to be

and
have

this is to

be identical with

^sin (/+Z)

;

hence we must

from which we find

A

-B
A
and

and when the values of

B

thus given are introduced in

Forced
the expression assumed for

Oscillations.
,

109
(after

it

becomes

an obvious

reduction)

fi-Cicr*

1

sin

(%/+&)+*..
T

0)

+

....

(8)

being a constant of which we need not write the actual value. Thus we see that the effect of every harmonic term in the obligatory vibrations is in general to add to the value of each coordinate a term with the same period ; and these added terms

The other terms, represent the forced -vibrations of the system. = o, &c. give the natural vibrations, which are the same as if but these in general soon become insensible through the diminution of the factors e~ a i*, &c. introduced by the resistances, while the forced vibrations are permanent.

K

It is

important to observe that

the whole process that forced vibrations which

it follows from the nature of no periods will be introduced in the do not exist in the harmonic com-

ponents of the obligatory vibrations, so long as terms of the first order only are considered, because no periodic terms are
ever multiplied together. With respect to the amplitudes of the forced vibrations, we see that those will be large of which the periods are such that the denominators of the coefficients in (8) are small. Now in the expression

the second term
fore small ;
will

is

introduced by the resistances, and

is

there' n )

hence the vibration, (of which the period \
if

is

have a large amplitude

the roots of the equation

$

n be such that <>( n 2 ) = o 2 = o give the values of (j*r )
i,

;

but

+ m^ V
on the supposition
supposition
<$>(

&c.
resistances, so that

that there are
o, &c.

no

on

that

m*) =

Hence it follows that the amplitude of any component of the forced vibration will be large if its period coincide with that which would belong to a component of the natural vibrations if there were no resistances. And since the effect of the resistances in altering the periods of the natural vibrations is in general small, we may say in general terms that there will be forced vibrations of large amplitude if amongst the harmonic components of the obligatory vibrations there exist any with periods equal to those of natural vibrations.

no

Forced

Oscillations.

Lastly, we see from (8) that though the periods of the forced vibrations at all parts of the system are the same as those of the obligatory vibrations which give rise to them, the phases are in general different.

The process to be used in the case of periodic forces is nearly identical with that which has been just explained, but somewhat simpler, and the results are exactly of the same kind.
It is therefore

omitted.

CHAPTER
STRING.
120.

VII.

ON THE TRANSVERSE VIBRATIONS OF AN ELASTIC
(Dynamical Theory?)
differential

THE

rigorous
elastic

equations which define the

motion of an

string under given conditions can in be formed without difficulty, but cannot be integrated. general It is only when the circumstances of the problem are such that

may be neglected without sensible error, that an integrable approximate form is For our present purpose it will not be necessary to obtained.
certain quantities involved in the equations

form the rigorous equations; we

shall introduce

ab

initio

the

conditions of the actual problem, and neglect the small quantities mentioned above, so as to obtain the approximate equations directly.

Let us then consider an
fixed
at

elastic stringj

of which the ends are
/

two points A, B,

at

a distance

from one another,

greater than the natural length of the string. In the condition of equilibrium the form of the string will be

a straight line of length
stant throughout
its
it

/,

and

it

will

have a tension, T, con-

length,

extension to which
If
its

depending on the amount of the has been subjected.

now

the string be slightly disturbed
will

and then
will

left

to

itself,

motion

be
its

such that no particle
position of equilibrium,
:

displaced from

much make the and we
ever be

following assumptions
(i)

The

original disturbance

is

such that the vibrations are
is,

sensibly transversal;
particle

that

the projection of any

on

the line

AB

may be

regarded as a fixed

point.

1 1

2

Vibrations of a String.

(2)

The

inclination of every part of the string to the line
is

AB
its

sine or tangent

always an angle so small that the square of may be neglected.

(3)

The

extension of any portion of the string due to its change of form may be neglected; or the ratio of
the actual length
insensibly
to the length in equilibrio differs
unity.

from

(This

is

evidently

a

con-

sequence of
(4)

(2).)

The

tension

is

sensibly constant,

and may
(This
is

therefore be

taken as always equal to T. of (3)-)
121.

a consequence

Now

let

referred to rectangular axes having their origin at
axis of
It

the position of any element of the string be A, and the

x

coinciding with

AB.

follows

from

(i) that, for a given element,

x

is

to

be
z

regarded as constant,

and from

(2) that
is ds,
it

dx =

ds.

Consider
let

now
_y,

an element of which the length
be the coordinates of that end of

or dx, and
is

x,

which

nearest to A,

and

x + dx,y + dy, z + dz
If

of the other end.

of, the element is only acted on by the tensions at its extremities and the components of these, in the directions of the coordinate axes, are
;

no external

forces are taken account

-T^> ds

-T^-> ds
dt'
ds

-T~ ds
\

at the

end next A,

dsJ

ds

at the other

end; so that the whole components are

But since

T

is

constant and ds = dx, these
o,

become

Td(\, 7V(^> \dx/ \dx'

Hence

if

dm

be the mass of the element, we have

^

=

^=

o

Vibrations of a String.

113

unit of length in

Let p be the longitudinal density of the string, or the mass of a its actual state of extension. (The string
will

being supposed uniform, p

be constant.)

Then

and

if

we put

T=

dm = pds = pdx,
# 2 and take
,

dx

constant,

we

obtain from

(i) the equations

The

integrals of these equations will determine

y

and z
that

as
is,

functions of the two independent variables

x

and

/;

they will give the position, at the time /, of any proposed particle. (The value of x defines the particle, and the values of jy, z
its displacement from the position of equilibrium.) 122. Since the first of equations (2) does not contain z, and the second does not contain _y, it follows that the motion of the

determine

projection of the string
that of
its

on

the plane of

xy

is

independent of

projection on the plane o>{ yz\ so that it will be sufficient to discuss one of these equations ; and we will suppose

for simplicity that the

motion corresponding

to the other

does

not

exist.

This

is

displacements and original disturbance were
to be that of xy.

evidently equivalent to supposing that the velocities of the particles produced by the
all in

one plane, which we

will take

We

have then the single equation

of which the general solution

is

y=f(x-at} + F(x + at).

(4)

This equation represents the transmission of two arbitrary forms along an unlimited line, with the same velocity a, (corresponding to the v of Art. 96), in contrary directions and we have already shewn (Arts. 88, &c.) what must be the general character of these forms in order that the resultant curve may
;

have

nodes, so that

a portion of the

infinite string

contained
string

between any two nodes may be considered as a
i

finite

ii4
fixed at clusions
its

Solution of Equations.
two ends.

The mode

of obtaining the

same con-

from equation (4) in a more analytical manner may be

seen in treatises

on mechanics.
t.
ii.

(See, for
viii.

example, Poisson,
iv.

Traite de Mecanique,
281.)

chap.

Price, Inf. Cal. vol.

was also shewn how the most general solution of (3) in and satisfy the conditions imposed by the problem, may be expressed in the form
It

which the functions

f

F

> = 2,=1
where ar =
123.
2
1.

^1=00

sm

ITSX f A (.4,cos

2 tiff

+^sm

.

2t'irt\

),

(5)

The

value of a 2

is

T ;

let

W be the weight of the
r,

string,

then

W=gpl, and
2

a z = T=~I and

fa I

the time of a vibration,

is

therefore

A /

/Wl
~^-

For a

string

of given material

and

thickness,

Wx

/,

and

therefore r varies directly as the length
If the material

and

inversely as the square root of the tension.

is proportional to the length and to the only be given, square of the thickness, so that r varies as the length and the thickness

W

directly,

If c be the length of string of

and the square root of the tension inversely. which the weight would equal

the tension

T

t

then

T=gpc, and

therefore

r=

2/

Hence

if

g

be expressed in the usual manner, the number of vibrations in
is

a second
124.

The form (5) may be arrived at The form of equation (3) suggests
solution

directly as follows
at

:

once as a particular

y = smmx(A cosamt+JBsmamt) + cosmx(Ccosamt+J)smamt),
in which, as long as

no

particular conditions are specified, all

the constants m,
this solution

A, B, C,

D

are arbitrary.

But

in order that
string,

may

represent the motion of the

finite

we

Vibrations resisted by Retarding Forces.
must have,
for all values of
first
/,

1

15

y=o
ml =

when x =

o,

and

also
o,

when
;

x

=

/.

The

of these two conditions gives
sin

C=

D=o

and the second gives
o,

whence

ml=

ITT,

i

being any positive or negative integer.
.

Thus

we

obtain
-

y=

.

sin

iitx f

~7~(
;

COS

n \ ^ sm ~ /-) ~T~ +
.

inat

iii

at

as a particular solution
particular solutions
is

and since the sum of any number of

we

a solution of a linear differential equation, ar = 2l) the form (5) as a more general obtain (putting
coefficients

solution.

The

A

{

,

B

i

are all arbitrary unless

the

initial

circumstances of the motion are given ; but it has been shewn already (Art. 98) that they can be so determined as to give the
required
initial

values to

y

and
the

dy

-^

for

every part of the string.
dif-

The form

(5) therefore

is

most general solution of the

ferential equation applicable to this simple case of the lateral

vibration of a string.

(Longitudinal vibrations will be considered

in connection with those of a rod).

125.

The problem becomes ^little more

complicated

if

we

introduce the supposition of a^ retarding force acting at every 1 The first point of the string, and proportional to the velocity
.

of equations (i) then becomes

dt
c being a constant.

And

instead of the

first

of (2)

we

shall

have

j* v

dy

^

2

where

2

k

is

put for

e

Multiplying (2') by

w and
,

using the theorem

1

See Art. 110, note.
I

2

1 16

Vibrations resisted by

tcmKn? RetcmKng

F\ Forces.

we

obtain

Assuming

as a solution of this equation

e*^ = we
find the condition

sin

(mx + a) sin (//+ /3),

or
_>/

/>

=

2

2
ffz

(a

-

2

)*;
2

hence
2

= -

sin

(m x + a) sin ((0

#z

-

is

a solution.

The ends
values of

= o /) y

of the string being fixed, we must have (for all when x = o, and when x = /; and therefore
sin

a=

o,

sin

(ml+ a) =

o.

It is easily

seen that
2 TT

we

lose

no

generality

by taking a = o; then

ml =

t'ir,orm =

Finally, therefore, the

most general

so-

lution of (2^) appropriate to the

problem

is

in

which

A,

/3 {

are arbitrary constants, to be determined as

usual by

initial

circumstances.

From

the above expression

we

see that the amplitude of the

vibrations will progressively diminish,
insensible,

and ultimately become
.

u through the diminution of the factor fT Also that the period of vibration of the i^ tone
the resistance in the ratio of
i

is

increased

by

to (

i

--

zVtf 2 '

^

.

If the value of k were so great that, for any values of

z',

k

>

j-

5

the

value

of

y

would contain non-periodic terms.
it

But we

shall not discuss this case, as

does not concern us

practically.

126.

We

proceed

now

to

some problems of a

less simple

kind, but of

more or

less practical interest.

Vibrations of String.
PROBLEM
of it
is
i.

1

1

7

To find the motion of the
first

string

when a given point
is

subject to

a given obligatory transverse

vibration.

We

Let b be the distance of the given point from the end A of the string and suppose that at this point the value ofy is to be sin/. (We have no occasion to consider the external forces necessary to maintain this obligatory motion ; we suppose them to be applied, whatever they may be.) It is evident that the portions of string on the two sides of the given point may move independently of one another, except that the value of^> must be the same for both when x = b. Let us assume then that from x = o to x = b,
;

suppose, in the

instance, that there

no

resistance.

y = sin mx (A cos mat+Bsmmat}.
This satisfies the differential equation, and also the condition that y = o when x = o. We have next to satisfy the condition that when x = b, y = k sin n /. This gives

smmb(A
;

cos mat-\-B
all

sin.

mat) =

sinw/,

which can only be true for that A = o, ma = n hence

values of /

on

the supposition

k
~~n~b* sin

a

and the value

ofj/

becomes
k

(for this part
.

of the string)
.

nx

.y---^ sin
a
This however
is

*"'
it

(

6)

only a particular solution, since

contains no

But it is evident that we may still satisfy arbitrary constant. the differential equation, without violating the prescribed condition, if we add the terms which would give the natural vibration
of this part of the string,
if

the given point were fixed.

Thus

we

get

k
.

.

nx
a

,

sin

sin ni

nb a
00

sin

.

itsx

/

aiiit

sin
1

(^4.cos

D + ^sm
.

ait\
^
J,

.

,

(6)

and the

satisfy the initial

series of arbitrary constants will enable us to t , conditions relative to this part of the string,

A

B^

n8
problem.

Forced Vibrations of String.

so that the above equation gives the general solution of the

The motion

of the other part

may

be found exactly in the
writing

same way, and will be given merely by instead of x and b in (6').

lx and

/

b

127. Attending for the present only to the first portion of in (6') consists of two the string, we see that the value of parts, the first of which depends only on the imposed obligatory motion, and determines the forced vibration of that portion.

y

The other part is independent of the obligatory motion, and represents the natural vibration. In any actual case the natural vibration is soon extinguished, because the string is constantly giving up some of its momentum to the air and to the bodies which support the tension of its ends. But the forced vibration will continue as long as the obligatory motion is sustained.
If

we
7T
,

call

T the period of this forced vibration, so that
vibration, the equation (6)

r =

2

n

and neglect the natural

may

be written

in

which

it is

vibration

ar remembered that k is the amplitude of the imposed upon a point at the distance b from one end,
to be

so that b

is the.

For any given point

length of the portion of string now considered. at a distance x from the fixed end the
is

amplitude of the forced vibration

therefore

which expression becomes
the preceding reasoning

oo

(except for

x = o)

if

sin

=

o.

This cannot of course actually happen; in
fails

fact, the whole of

if

the string
is

become
sin

large.
is

All that
o, or

the excursions of any part of we can really infer therefore

that

when

very small, the amplitude of the
greater than under other con2irl>

forced vibrations will be
,..

much
.

ditions.

XT

Now

.

211 b

sin

ar

= o gives

=

.

ar

?TT,

or 2 o = tar.
string

Suppose A the length of a portion of the

which would

Forced Vibrations of String.
have r for the period of
(Art. 94),
its

119
then
2
A.

natural vibration
is

;

= ar

and therefore the above condition

b = i\', that is, the amplitude of the forced vibrations in this portion of the string becomes large when its length is any multiple of that "which would vibrate naturally in the same period ; or, which is the same thing, when the tone corresponding to the period of the forced vibration belongs to the harmonic scale of tones which would be given by the natural vibrations of this portion
if

equivalent to

both ends were
128.

fixed.

The
.

which

,..,

sin

2-Tr.r

points of

minimum
.

vanishes

ar

;

that
sin

^

.

disturbance will be those at itx
at

is,

which

i-i. sin
that

A

= o

;

or,

on

the supposition

now made,

7- = o ;

is,

at points

which

divide the length b into i equal parts, so that there will be quasi Similar conclusions may be deduced for nodes at these points.

the other portion of the string ; and it is easily seen that if the obligatory vibration be imposed at any one of the points of division of the whole string into i equal parts, and if its period

be ~th of the period of the natural vibrations of the whole

be large, and the tone will be the z th of the harmonic scale of the string. Thus we learn that in order to produce strong forced vibrations in a string, the obligatory vibration must be imposed at
string, the forced vibrations will

what would be a node in the case of natural vibrations of the It a conclusion which may appear strange. same period might have been conjectured that a point of greatest motion ought to have been chosen. The explanation is simple, and
;

may be
129.

left

to the reader.

have so far supposed, for simplicity, that the motion was a simple harmonic vibration. But if it obligatory were a compound vibration consisting of the superposition of any number of harmonic vibrations of different periods, phases, and amplitudes, it would be easily shewn that every one of these components would produce a corresponding term (analogous to
(7)) in the expression for the forced vibrations of the string.

We

Thus,

if

the imposed vibration required that,

when

x

=

y = 2{A
expressed by

/

.

i

cos

-27T/

h

^sin

x

b,

27T/\
5

J

the forced vibration of the string, from
the equation

= o to

x

=

b,

would be

130

Experimental Illustrations.

ar.

In this case,

if

r^

=

-r-

>

that

is,

if

the period of every

com-

ponent of the imposed vibration is some aliquot part of the natural period of the whole string, then the above expression is not altered by changing x and b into and / b\ and therefore it holds good for the whole string. 130. These results may be approximately verified by exIf a tuning-fork be struck, and the end of periment as follows its stalk be then placed on the string of a pianoforte, violin, or violoncello, at any point, it may be considered approximately as imposing an obligatory vibration on that point. And it will be found that in general the only sound heard is the note of the If, however, the point of application tuning-fork, very weak. be such that the portion of string intercepted between it and either end could vibrate naturally so as to give, either as a fundamental tone or as a harmonic, one of the component

lx

:

tones of the tuning-fork, then that portion of the string is thrown into strong vibration, so as to give the corresponding tone very distinctly. The fundamental tone of a tuning-fork is by far the strongest of its component tones. The higher components proper, are very high tones with incommensurable periods, which are hardly heard after a few seconds. But there is also a harmonic tone, an octave above the fundamental tone, which is weak, but persistent, and this, as well as the fundamental tone, may be produced from a string in the manner just described 2 For instance, if a c" tuning-fork be placed on the second string of a violin at the point where the finger would be placed in playing c", that tone will be heard, and <f" may, by attention, be distinguished as sounding with it. But if the fork be placed on the first string at the proper point for the finger in playing 3 c", that tone will be distinctly heard, while c" will be weak
.

.

2 This harmonic octave in the sound of the tuning-fork is a phenomenon of the second order, of the kind mentioned in Art. 112. 3 The sound actually heard is caused by waves in the air originating not directly from the vibrations of the string, but indirectly from those communicated from the string, through the bridge, to the sound-board. An investigation of the effect of placing a tuning-fork on the string, in which this circumstance is taken into account, is given by Helmholz (Beilage III). The practical results agree with those of the simpler process in the text.

\

Forced Vibrations modified by Resistance.

121

These are particular cases of the general phaenomenon of resonance, of which we shall have to speak hereafter. 131. The expression (6), or its equivalent (7), becomes inas was shewn in Art. 127, when the obligatory applicable, vibration is imposed at such a point that its period is any aliquot part of the natural period of vibration of the portion of string
considered.

We problem, we shall give the process as briefly as possible. shall neglect altogether the natural vibrations, which are soon extinguished, and with which we shall have no concern in the application to be made hereafter. Let / be the length of the whole string. Then, putting c instead of 2 k in the differential equation (2') of Art. 125, we have d*y dy 2 d*y

This inconvenience may be avoided by introducing the hypothesis of resistance, under the form already employed in Art. 125. And as the result will be useful in a subsequent

~W~
and we are
conditions

C

=a

~dt

^

;

to obtain a solution of this equation satisfying the

y =p sin nt + q cos nt
For
this

when

x=

,

and

y=o
/,

when

x

=

o.

purpose we

may assume y = u sin nt+ v

cos

u and v being functions of x to be determined. Substituting this value of j/ in the differential equation, and equating to o the coefficients of sin/ and COST*/, we find the two conditions

in

which

D

stands for

-

dx

Eliminating v

we obtain

and therefore
u =

Ae

ttl

where

a,,

a 2 a s a 4 are the four roots of the equation
,
,

that

is,

the four values of the expression

122

Forced Vibrations modified by Resistance,
put
this result in
'-

To

a convenient form, assume
-v//-,

= tan

tan

=

/3,

then

i

+ -

- A/

I

= COS

r
\/A

(cos V

\lf-f

A/

i sinxl/-)

;

whence, employing

De

Moivre's theorem, and observing that

co
A/COS
\r

AI

we

find for the values of the expression (a) those of

and the above value of u becomes ~

(after putting

A

,

B instead of

^7, and

C,

D

instead of

in

which

for u.

equation for v is of the same form as that the value of v will only differ from that of u in having different constants A', If, C', D' instead of A, B, C, D. But these eight constants cannot be all independent of one
differential

The

Hence

another, since the solution of the simultaneous equations (I) cannot contain more than four arbitrary constants. In fact, on substituting the values of u and v in those equations, we obtain
the relations

= A' = C, B' = -D, A, D' = B. = o when x = o, for all values of/, we must y = o hence have u = o and v = o when = o, C + = o, and C +
Moreover, since
;

C

D

'

&

from which it follows that A = B. Finally, therefore, changing A and C into \ A and \ C, we may write the values of u and v thus: y = (A o-sin0+C6cos0)sin/ + (Co-sin0 A 8cos0)cos/; where
2
It

2

remains to determine

A

and

C

so that the above expression

may become
when x =
b,

identical with

that

is,

when

6 =

.

Exact and Approximate Results.
Putting therefore
for the

123
and
<T
O,

$
(T Q

for this particular value of 6,
<r,

6

corresponding values of

6,

we have
= =
/>,
<?,

the two equations

A
whence

sin<
sin</>

+C6
yl 8

cos</>

Ccr

cos<

and the values of A and
in the

C thus determined are to be introduced above expression for y. The result may be conveniently expressed thus
:

put

then

y =

t

/(T Sin<p

^ + ^'

r0

COS<p
{ o- sin 1

sin (nt

+ $)
(II)

-f-

b cos

cos (/+$)}.

This gives the exact solution of the problem; that is, it deThe termines the motion of the string from x = o to x = b. motion of the remaining part of the string will be given by

The radical in the for x and for b, in (II). denominator must evidently be understood to have the same
putting
sign as sin $, in order that this value of may agree with that found, as in Art. 126, when resistance is neglected, or ft = o.

lx

lb

y

The
2.b
;

n natural vibration of the part of the string from
hence,
if

period of the obligatory vibration

is

and that of the

x

= o

to

x

= b

is

the former period be any aliquot part of the latter,
.

or

an
The

b - = iv

}

the value of

(f>

r( = V

.

/

-

nb

_*J

- \ becomes
.

Z'TT

)

>-

so

that, /3 being supposed very small, and 6 being of the same order as /3, the denominator in the expression (II) becomes and therevery small ; but it cannot vanish for any value of
<jf>,

fore this expression always gives a finite value for y.

expression (II) is however too complicated for use in for the sake of which we have obtained it. (See Art. 138.) shall therefore neglect /3 in every part of that
the

problem

We

expression except where
gives
o-

it is

essential to retain

it.

Now

/3

=o

=

i, o-

=

i,

6 = o, 6

= o, tan$ =

-.

But we must retain

P

Case of Periodic Pressure.
the term 6
2

cos 2

<

become

infinite

when

in the denominator, in order that sin </> = o. thus obtain

We

y may
,

not

TTTX (III)

as an approximate expression, which sensibly coincides with that obtained on the supposition of no resistance, for all but very small values of $, but agrees with experiment in giving a large

but not infinite value forj/

when
6

sin

=
</>

o,

or b =

.

(It

must

be remembered

that, in (III),

=

and $ =

\

If the vibration

the simple

imposed at the point where x = b were not of harmonic kind, then instead of the right-hand mem-

ber of (III) Art. 129.

we should have

a series of analogous terms, as in

132. PROBLEM 2. To find the motion of the string when a given point of it is subject to a given finite periodic pressure, in a direction at right angles to B, resistance being neglected.

A

Suppose that the pressure end A, and that at the time /
constant force.

is
it

is/>sin#/,

applied at a distance b from the p being a given finite
to

To

solve this

problem we must recur
121)

the fundamental

equation (see

(i), Art.

meaning is that the force on any element dm is the difference of the tranverse components of the tension at its two ends.
of which the

Now

in general the

change of direction of the string

is

con-

tinuous, so that

is infinitesimal. But if the element dm d{jj~) contain the point at which the finite pressure is applied, there will, or at any rate mqy^ be a sudden change of direction at that

-~- at point, so that the values of

two points on
by a
finite

different sides

of

it,

however near,

may

differ

quantity.

Hence,

for thai particular element we must write

A( -\

instead of

</;

and since

it

is

acted on by the given pressure in ad-

Case of Periodic Pressure.
dition to the difference of

1

25

component

tensions,

we must

have,

for

that element,

and this equation must subsist, however small we hence in the limit it becomes

take

dm;

V0,
which
is

(8)

a condition that must be satisfied for the point at which
other points the usual differential equation (3) must be

x = b.
At
all

satisfied.

Now we may satisfy (3) with the x = o and x = and at the same time
I,

= o for conditions that allow the possibility of a

y

finite

value

change in the value of b, by assuming

dy

when

x

passes through the

y = smmx(A cos mat +1? sin mat] from x o to x = b, y = sin/0 (lx) (A' cos mat + &sm mat] from x = b to x =
The
S ives
condition that these values of j> must coincide

I.

when

x

=

b,

A sin mb = A' sin m (I- b), B sin mb = B' sin m (lb).
it is

Moreover

evident that

it

will

be impossible to

satisfy (8)

without taking

ma
-

=

n.

Hence we may put
.

y = sin n(lb} sin
.

.

nx

-

n (C cos nt+JD sin
,

A
/),

y = sin
where

nb

n(lx\
-

sin

a

a

from
.,

x=o

to

x=

<5,

and

(C cos nt+D sin nt) ^
from

x=b

to

x = 1;

C

and

D are constants to be determined by the condition
b in the values

W'

Now

if

we put x =

dy of- derived

dx

from the two

expressions above given, and then subtract the the second, we obtain

first result

from

A

(^-)

= - -sin

(Ccos/ + Z>sin/);

Pianoforte String.
so that, in order to satisfy (8),

we must have
y
,

C

=

o,

and

whence

rsin^
a
.

sin

n(lb)
a
sin

y

=

a p
--j,"

sm
-j

.

nx
a

sm/
.

\x = o to

.

x

=

,.

o],

a
.

nb

.

sin

sin

n(l-x)
a
nl

y

=

a
-

p
JL

a
sin
ct

n

sm/
,

(x = o

.

.

to

x

A = /).
I

These expressions determine the forced vibration of the string and it is evident that we may add the terms representing the
;

natural vibration,
.

viz.
.

iitx C ^.=<x> sin M.-cos >,.

IT: at
\-

.

^*=i

f.sm

mat)
>.

/

|

/

/

(o

)

j

(The above expressions
result

for

the forced vibration lead to a

which nb

at first sight

appears paradoxical.

Suppose, namely,

that sin

=

o,

which

will

happen

if

the period of the forced
first

vibration coincide with that of the natural vibration of the

Then portion of the string, considered as fixed at both ends. the value of_>> in the other portion will be always o, or that be all o. portion will remain at rest, if the constants A { i The explanation is merely that in this case the periodic pressure is equal to that which the string would exert on a fixed point at the same place, if the portion on one side of it were vibrating naturally, and the other portion at rest.) 133. have introduced this problem for the sake of the use which may be made of it in finding approximately the character of the vibrations excited in a pianoforte string by the blow of the hammer. For this purpose we shall adopt the hypothesis proposed by Helmholz, (the reason for which is explained below, Art. 134,) namely, that the pressure of the hammer on the string during contact may be represented by an expression of the form / sin #/, but that it lasts only during
,

We

half a period, viz. from

/

= o to

/

*

.

The

breadth of the

hammer

is
if,

Now

neglected. in the solution of the above problem,

we suppose

Pianoforte String.
the constants
instant

127
at
o,

A^ B^

to

when

ofjf and of

dy

~

the pressure vanishes, say

be so determined that when / =

some one
the values

shall vanish at all points
will

of the string, then the
the pressure

subsequent motion

be the same as

if

had only
If then

begun

to exist,

and

to disturb the string, at that instant.

we

find the values of_y

and
/

-^-

at the

end of the

first

half-period
initial

of pressure, that

is,

when

=
,

these will give the

data

for calculating the natural vibrations which pressure then ceased to exist, as we suppose

would follow if the it to do in the case

of the pianoforte.

Now
for_>>,

we

referring to the general expression (9) = o when / = see that the condition

+ (9')

obtained

y

o gives

A

i

= o

for all values of i\
.

and the condition ~ir =

dy

JT

-2,2^ Sin
ap

i
ap

.

n-

.

nx
a

sin

sin

a

-a
.

sin

nb
a

.

sin

sin

n(lx\
a
.

~
a

(* = b

to

x

=

/);

sin

whence, multiplying each side by sin

-dx, and integrating

from

x

= o to

x

=

/,

we have
.

iitT
2p

.

nl

sin

a

B, =

sin

n(lb\ Cb -- I sin nx sm iitx dx -a a I Jo
.

.

.

-

'-

+
The
found to be

.

nb r l

.

sin

a jb

/

sin-^

n(lx]
a

.

iitx
I

.

sin

dx.
this

(10)

value of the right-hand

member of
nl
.

equation will be

nal1

n Pa?i*Tr*

*&
2

o

*>

>

sin

=

a

I

and therefore

Pianoforte String.
2p

Now

if,

A

in the general expression (9)
find, for the instant

+ (9')

for

=
i

o,

we

when
.

nt =

y, we put

TT,

y=2B
dy _cns

.
.

i-nx
/
.

tit* a

sin

sin

nl

ZTTX

IT? a
C
S

,

~di~~T^
where the value
of>>' is
.

*

S1

~T~

nl

^

~*

'

n(lb} 'sin -2 sin
.

nx
a

ap

a
sin

^

from
a

.

and

ap ~ y

-.

x

=--

o

to

x

=

b,

nb

.

sin

sin

n(l-x)
a
_
;

a

from

x

= ^ to

A:

=

/;

/

sin

a

and these are the

initial

values of y

and
at

with which

we

are

to calculate the subsequent natural vibrations.
If then

we begin
.

to

reckon

/

afresh from this instant,

and

assume

y = 2 sin
this expression,

2TTX/~ C j- {

i

cos

ITS at -

_

.

lT7af\
J,

h^-sin

(12)

and compare the above

initial

values with those derived from

we

find

air

_ an iTa IT:X tux = sm Sz^cos -j-'s.iD^mj.
. .

,
{-

y

;

and multiplying the
from

last

equation by sin

dx, and integrating

x=o

to j;

=

/,

(observing that (10) gives

We

obtain

Law
duction,

of Pressure of

Hammer.
after a

129
slight re-

and therefore the value (12) of y becomes,

which equation determines the motion of the string

after the

pressure has ceased to act. The amplitude 4 of the component vibration which gives the

/* harmonic tone
replaced by
its

is

therefore

zB

i

cos

-IT? a

;

or,

B

i

being

actual value (u), the amplitude

is

4p
(This expression
in

naP
will

.

iiib

be seen to agree with the result obtained

a

different

manner by Helmholz, (Beilagt IV. equation

(120),) if it be observed that /, T, t\ n in (14) correspond to Helmholz's A, S, n, m; and that Helmholz's A n is the amplitude only of the negative wave, and is therefore half the

amplitude of the complete vibration.) 134. In order to understand the results deducible from the expression (14) we must recur to the hypothesis made above concerning the law of pressure during the contact of the hammer with the string. That hypothesis is founded on the assumption that the impact may be assimilated to that of an elastic body upon a hard fixed obstacle. On this supposition let A be the length of the hammer, \L its mass, its moment of inertia about the axis on which it turns, 6 the angle through which it has turned from rest at the time /, and 0' the values

^

of

and
at
will

.

at the instant

when

contact begins, and at which

suppose / = o; then the pressure will be \q(6 ) during contact, q being a constant depending on the elasticity

we

4 The meaning of amplitude has been before defined (Art. 48) with reference to the harmonic vibration of a point. In the case of the harmonic vibration of a string, expressed by the equation
'
'

y = Lsm
.

_

i-ax
j

t

/iirat
{

sin

+

M
.

^
\

,

or

by

the equivalent form iirx ( _ i-aat y - sin j- ( C cos
.

+

D sin iitat\

\ >

the amplitude may be defined as the maximum displacement from the This maximum displacement is evidently equal to position of equilibrium. 2 Z, or to (C + Z?")^, and occurs at points which bisect the nodal intervals.

130

Law

of Pressure of Hammer.
hammer
is

of the material of which the head of the

made

;

and

we

shall have,

during contact,

and

if this

be integrated

in the usual
,

way, and the constants
7/J

determined by the conditions 6 =
result is

- =

0'

when

/

=

o, the

=

6

'
.

n

sin*/,

where

fq~ n = -:\/ \
is

A

and the pressure during contact

therefore

and the duration of contact

is

n

\

q

p in (14) is Q\k*/\*-q, which depends on the velocity of the hammer at the beginning of impact, as well
Hence
the value of

as

on its weight, material and form. But the value of n, which determines the duration of contact, depends only on the latter circumstances, and not on the velocity.
135. Referring

now

to

the expression (14)
is, if

we

see that

it

vanishes

if sin

= o ; that

ib

= ml,

m

being any integer.

This shews that if the blow of the hammer be applied at any one of the points which divide the string into i equal parts, all the harmonic component tones which would have nodes at those points are extinguished. (We found a similar result on the supposition that the sound was excited by plucking the
See Art. 119.) string at a given point. In general the quality of the note produced, which is determined by the comparative strength of its different component
tones, is independent of the momentum of the blow, (which only affects the value of the coefficient />,) but depends upon

the two ratios -

and

?

that

is,

upon the place

at

which the

blow

is

struck,

and upon the

ratio of the duration

of contact to

the period of the fundamental tone of the string (viz.

-\

If

Intensity of Tone.

131

we

put v for this latter ratio, the expression (14)

may be

written

in the

form

8pl

v

.

tiro

value of v depends, caeteris paribus, on the coefficient of and becomes very small if q be very great, that is, if the hammer is of a hard unyielding material. But the product
elasticity q,
is

The

pv

seen,

on reference
g,

dependent of

to the values of p and v, to be inso that the above expression for the amplitude

becomes
where

A

.

i-nb

^ ^-sin

cos(z7ri>);

A depends upon the weight, form, and velocity of the hammer, but not upon its elasticity. If we suppose the hammer
becomes
sin

absolutely hard, or v = o, then the expression

table of results calculated on different suppositions as to the place of the blow and the value of v may be seen in Helmholz, p. 135.
It appears that in general the effect of diminishing v increase the strength of some of the higher harmonics as pared with that of the fundamental tone.
is

A

to

com-

In numerical applications it must be remembered that the intensity of the tone is supposed to be proportional (for each harmonic component) to the square of the amplitude multiplied

by

z
t
.

See Problem

3.

136.

PROBLEM

3.

To find

the energy

of a string vibrating

naturally.
First, suppose the vibrations are in one plane, and such that the note produced is simply the z'th harmonic component. Then the form of the string at any time may be represented by the

equation
j>

=

Asm
.

ivx
sm(

iliat

+

a

J-

(15)

The
is

total

principles,

energy of two

constant.

consists, as we know from general parts, kinetic and potential, of which the sum The kinetic energy is that due to the motion of
at

any time

the string, and is measured by half the vis-viva. The potential energy is that due to the deviation of the string from the form

of equilibrium, and

whenever the
librium, that
is,

is entirely converted into kinetic energy string is passing through the position of equi-

whenever
.

/Z'TT at

^
2

K

132

Energy of Vibrating String.

Hence

the total energy at any time is equal to the kinetic energy at any one of those particular instants. /IT: at \ = Now (15) gives, when sin (^ \aj o,

dy

.ira

Tr
so that,
if

'-r

Asm
A
.

ITIX
'

p be the mass of a unit of length, the kinetic energy
T Ti(^ a \ dx = * ph (T)
,

at that instant is A* A

'

We is the required value of the total energy at any time. be the mass of transform this expression as follows let may Then the whole string, and ri the period of the vibration.
which
:

M

pl =

M, and

ar { =

21
,

ia

or
I

-

=

2

z

ri

;

hence the above expression becomes

fM^f, T
i

(16)

from which we learn that in this case the energy is proportional to the product of the mass of the whole string, the square of the amplitude, and the square of the number of vibrations in a unit of
time.

Next, suppose the vibrations

still

in

one plane, but of the
,

most general kind

;

then, at
/

any time,
IT: at

y = 2 sin

.

ITSX
r-

\A^ cos

h

B

i

sin

iitat^ J

-

In this case the string, in general, never passes through the form of equilibrium, and the potential energy is therefore never
entirely converted into kinetic. Let us consider the string at the instant

when

/

= o

:

at that

instant
>/

=

.

fax
(17)

2^sm-^-,
.

and
and the
total
is

dy
jjr
is

air = -7 Sz^.sm iirx
_,
.

;

(18)

energy

K + P,

where (18), and

K

P

the kinetic energy due to the motion expressed by is the potential energy due to the form expressed

by

(ii).

Energy of Vibrating String.
The
value of

133

K

is

easily found, for
2
l

^ = IP (T) JC
/tfTTx

/

o

(

2

*

*

sm ITIX\
.

_
;

~r)

and

if

developed,

we suppose we see

the square of the series within brackets to be at once that all the terms will be destroyed
in the series

by the integration except those comprised

and these

give,

on

2

integration, J/2?"

^

2
.

Hence we have

find the value of P, we may proceed as follows Suppose the string to be put in the form (17), and then left to After the lapse of any time /, itself without any initial velocity. its total energy will still be equal to P, but will have been partly
:

To

converted into kinetic, so that
is the kinetic energy at the instant in question, and the potential energy due to the form at the same instant. Suppose then the string to be brought to rest in that form, and
1

where K^

P

is

again

left

to itself for a time

/'

;

we should have

in like

manner

and so on

successively; thus

where v ... are the kinetic energies which the string v would have after successive intervals of time equal to /, if, beginning with the form (17), it were left to itself for a time /, then brought to rest in its actual form, and left to itself again, and so on successively. Now the string, left to itself at a given instant in the form
Art. (17), will vibrate (see

K K

98) so
ITIX

that at
iitat

any time (reckoned

from that instant)

y =2A
and
at the

.

i

sin

cos

-

;

end of any time
*

/', if

we put
.

=

6,

we

shall

have
/

,

>

*

I* *A/

y = 2^.cosz0.sm

\

;

(20)

i34

Energy of Vibrating String.
dy =
-j-

"Ka -- ^tA

.

tirx
;

i

sinzfl.sm

(21)

and KI

is

way

as

K was from (18);

the kinetic energy obtained from (21) in the

same

hence

To

find

K

z

we have

to

ing (20) instead of (17) as the

proceed in the same way, merely assuminitial form; thus
2

/(cos

/-0)

(sin ,'$)*

and so on successively, the value of from that of n by changing A i into

K

^n+1 being
A
i

cos

z'0.

always deduced Therefore

y) 2

*

^

2

(sin*'0) (i

+ (cosi 0) + (cosi 0)*.
a

.

.ad inf.]

and, the series within brackets being equivalent to

2

2

i-(cos*'<9)

(sin/0)

we have

5

finally

thus found to that of ^(19), we obtain the required expression for the total energy (E) of the string,

Adding the value of

P

by an infinite series corresponds to the physical representation of would require an infinite number of operations of the kind described in the text to bring the string into the condition of equilibrium. It may be observed that, if the arbitrary be taken incommensurable with TT, the series within brackets cannot become divergent, though for infinitely large values of i it may approach infinitely near to divergence ; but this will be compensated by the factor (sin i 0) a becoming infinitely small. If we took t' equal to half a period (or = TT), it is evident that the operations In this case the factor described would never bring the string to rest. a But we (sin iO) would vanish, and the series within brackets become oo. arrive at a true result by interpreting the product as representing i, for this of 6. as for all other values
fact that it

5

The

P

Energy of Vibrating

String.

135

is the mass of the string, and r the where, as before, period i of the thl harmonic component vibration. is the square of the Now, observing that amplitude of the component vibration, and comparing this result with 1 is the sum of the energies ( 6), we see that the total energy
z'

M

A?+Bf

E

harmonic components. Lastly, we will take the most general case, in which the The displacement of any point vibration is not in one plane. in the string at a distance x from one end is then compounded of two displacements y and z in planes at right angles to one another, and the whole vibration is compounded of two repredue
to the several

sented by equations

=

2sm
.

.

ITTX /

.

ittat

(^cos
iTtx
/
.

+B
,_

.

lrax
J,

i

sin

z = 2 sin

iTiat
t

\A

-cos

-

--\-B

.

zax
-

t

-sin

J;
is

the square of the velocity at any point of which the abscissa x, is now, when / = o,

and the process is the same as before, with obvious modifications which may be left to the reader.

The

result is

and, as before, the total energy is the sum of the energies due to the several harmonic component vibrations in both planes.

be observed that the numerator in the above expression each harmonic vibration the sum of the squares of the amplitudes of its components in the two planes and this sum may, by an extension of meaning, be called the square of the amplitude of the actual vibration, which, for a given point, is in
It will
is

for

;

general elliptic. found in the last article is the equi137. The value of valent of the work which would have to be done, if the string were at rest, in order to put it into its actual form and state of motion. And it appears natural to take this as the measure of the strength or intensity of the note produced. But the propriety of this definition cannot be absolutely demonstrated by experiment, because, although the ear can judge with great accuracy which of two notes is the louder, when both have the

E

136
same ment

Vibrations of Violin String.
quality and the same pitch, as to the ratio of intensity.
it

cannot form a precise judgthe other hand, when two notes have the same quality but differ moderately in pitch, the ear can still decide with some certainty whether they are or are not of equal intensity, and if not, which is the louder; and it

On

might perhaps be possible to arrange an experiment in which a series of notes should have the same quality and equal intensities according to the theoretical measure, and the ear would judge whether equality of loudness subsisted at the same time. (The definition of quality will be discussed in another chapter.)
138. PROBLEM 4. To examine the motion of a violin string under the action of the bow.

This problem is much more difficult than that of the pianobecause the force exercised by the bow upon the string is determined by circumstances which seem to defy calculation, and we can hardly make any plausible hypothesis a priori. We are obliged therefore to have recourse to observation, and endeavour to determine experimentally some characteristics of the motion from which the analytical representation of it may be deduced. In the first place then it may be easily verified by any one
forte string,

with a practised ear, that when the bow is drawn across the string at any point of aliquot division, no component tone which would (if existing alone) have a node at that point is heard in the note produced. (In order however to extinguish these tones, it is necessary that the coincidence of the point of application of the bow with the node should be exact. very small deviation reproduces the missing tones with considerable The other facts to which we shall have to refer are strength.) ascertained not by the ear but by the eye. The character of the vibration of any point of the string may be observed by means of the 'vibration-microscope/ the principle of which was explained in Art. 64, and in this way Helmholz has arrived at results of which the following are the most im-

A

portant
(a.)

:

the bow is applied at a point of which the distance from the bridge is an aliquot part of the string, and the point observed is one of the other nodes of the same division, the

When

curve
(Art.

obtained by the imaginary unrolling of the cylinder 65) reduces itself to a zigzag line, so that a complete
is

vibration

represented thus

Vibrations of Violin String.

137

C

M

D
Fig.
i.

of the vibration, and the ordinate represents the displacereckoned ment of the observed point at the time / ( = A from the instant of greatest negative displacement. It appears = CE, or that the excursions on opto be implied that posite sides of the position of equilibrium are equal. It follows evidently that the velocity of the observed point is constant throughout each of the two parts (the ' swing and the swang ') of the vibration, but is not in general the same in each. When, however, the observed point is at the middle of the string, it is found that A C = CJ3, and the velocities are

AB

period PMrepresents P of any point

the

(T)

in the line

DEF

M)

AD

'

'

therefore equal.

any point we call the 'swing that part of the vibration which is performed while the point is moving in accordance with the bow, then the velocity of the swing is less than that of the swang, if the observed point is in the same half of the string as the point of application of the bow, and greater in the contrary case. would represent the Thus, in Fig. i, the swang at a node in the contrary half to that swing and in which the bow is applied. It appears probable that at the
(6.)

If at

'

EF

DE

point of application the string is dragged by the bow with its own velocity during the swing. the (c.) When the observed point is not one of the nodes, vibration is still represented approximately but not exactly by
Fig.
i.

In

this

case the lines

DE, EF,

instead of being per-

fectly straight, consist of a series of ripples or wavelets, maintaining their average directions.

though

When the bow is applied at a point which is not a node, the character of the vibrations has not been satisfactorily made out. (Helmholz, p. 139, &c.) (The reader will observe that we are
point which would be a node vibration existed alone.)

here using the word node to signify not an actual node, but a if the corresponding component

138

Vibrations of Violin String.

These results have been confirmed by Professor Clifton, who observed the vibration- curves of points on the string by means of revolving mirrors. (On the principle of this method of observation, see

Note

at the

end of

this

chapter).
let

139. Assuming the facts above stated,
the length of the string
is
/,

and

that the

bow

us suppose that is applied at a

point which

we will call Q, at a distance b from the bridge. Now, whatever be the character of the actual vibration of Q, we know that it can be expressed by means of Fourier's theorem
in the

form
2

(Q

cos

t
:

+

D

i

sin

,

J;

(22)
that of

where r

is

the period of the vibration, which

must be

the natural vibration of the string, since

we assume

that

the

fundamental note

is

produced

hence r =
20.

Moreover it is evident that if the actual vibration of Q were known, we might suppose it to become obligatory, and the motion of the rest of the string would remain unaltered. We shall therefore in the first place assume that the series of are known, and that (22) is the obligatory coefficients Q, i

D

Value of

y

at Q.

Then
end of

x

= o

(see equation (III), Art. 131, and the remark at the that article) the vibration at any point of the string from = b will be approximately represented by the to

x

equation
"

_a=oo
'

=1

(C,
where, in the present case, 6< =

cos 221T-

+

.Z^sin 2

ITT

)
;

(23)

~-

21TTX
=

ITtX
'

a

*-

lTtb

And a small quantity depending on the resistance. x and is not altered by changing x into / b into lb, it will hold good for the whole length of the string.
and e/
is

since this formula

140. The facts above stated ((a) (b) (c)) have been ascertained only in the case in which the point Q, at which the bow is applied, is a node.

must therefore assume this; and in order to determine shall further assume that the vibration of Q, represented by (22), is of the same kind as that observed at other

We

Q,

D^ we

Vibrations of Violin String.

139

nodes; so that (22) must give the value of the ordinate at any in a line such as point (Fig. i), if the abscissa be taken proportional to /. = T O and = r' let = (3, so We shall have then that )3 is the amplitude of the vibration at Q, r is the duration ' of the swing,' and r - r of the swang,' at the same point. Now the problem of representing a locus such as by means of a periodic series with period T, has been already In order to make use of equation (3) of solved in Art. 76. that Article, it is evidently only necessary to omit the .constant

P

DEF
}

AM

AB

AC

,

CE

'

DEF

term, and change
into

^
2/3,

A,
T,

a,

x
/.

TO

,

We

thus obtain for the ordinate the value
2

2/3r
71

T o( r

-2 ~ ro)

i
*

.

r/

-sin

T

O ?sm -- f/--1 );
.

2Z7T/
r

T

N

2 ^

.

(24)

and the values of
(22)

are to be so taken that the expression -, Z^ t It is unnecessary to write shall be identical with this.

C

down

these values, as

it

is

easily seen that
will

when they

are in-

troduced in (23) that equation

become

sinnr

141. In this equation abbreviations for
j

it

is

to be

remembered

that 0., <^ are
it

-

In order however that

may

determine completely the value ofjy at every point of the string,
it

is

necessary that the value of the ratio

should be known.

Now it has been already stated as a fact of experiment (Art. 138) that every component tone is extinguished which would have a node at the point of application of the bow; that is, every component of which the period is an aliquot part of
the period of vibration of a string of length
f
b.

Hence

y

(

2 5)

ought to vanish when

2 b
is

the value T
;

a multiple of

now
is

b =

-r-$,

and T =
2^
-T-,

ZTT

a

,

so that y ought to vanish

when -r-^

ma

a

multiple of T
sin IT:

or

when

<^

is

a multiple of
<
-

TT.

Therefore

-

ought to vanish when sin

t

vanishes,

and the simplest

hypothesis

we can make

is

that

140

Vibrations of Violin String.
.

sin

-

=

,

sin

</>;

=

sin

This may be

satisfied either

by

but

if /

(in Fig.

i) is

reckoned from an instant

at

which

Q

begins to follow the bow, so that the positive direction of y is that of the motion of the bow, the latter supposition must be Then we adopted, because TO ought to be greater than r TO
.

shall

have
COSZTT,

and since
if

.

ITiX

cos

i TT

.

sin

j-

=

sin

tttx ^

,

we now agree to measure x from the other end of the string, which is equivalent to changing into x, (25) will be reduced to the form

lx
f

2/3r

2

^/ =

00

i

sin <,

In

this

equation the factor

-. .

"~
is

O

,

-

(36)

very nearly

= equal to i, for all values of i except those which make sin <^ o If we substitute i for this factor, we obtain the or very small. approximate equation Tn \ 22*77 / 'sm (27)
and, comparing this with (24), we see that for any particular value of x, that is, for any particular point of the string, it gives a vibration-curve of the same kind. For if we take a quantity
T'

such that
2/3T

/= x 2

>

(27)
I
z

may be
.

put in the form
.

V=7r

2

r (r

TO)^

r2 -~ T =
Z

^.v-oo
I

^ Sm 2

/VT' 2Z'7T/ -- Sin --- U V

r

r

T' - +

T'

2

T -- /
\

2

/ _x 28 ) )' (

which the part under the sign of summation can be reduced same form as in (24) by changing the arbitrary instant from which / is reckoned. Hence it represents a zigzag like
in

to the

Vibrations of Violin String.

141

Fig. i, but with a different amplitude; and the phase of the vibration at any given time varies with r', that is, with x. T is the duration of a whole vibration, and r' of the first

Now

r'

part of
at

it,

or

'

swing

;'

hence the equation
'
'

x
=
-.

-.

expresses that
'

swing and of the swang are proportional to the lengths of the two parts into which that point divides the string; and Helmholz has ascertained, by

any point the durations of the

'

actually

in Fig. i, that this relation to observing the ratio of subsists, so that the hypothesis assumed above is

AC

CB

justified.

The

equation (27) agrees with the approximate formula which

Helmholz has obtained in a somewhat different manner. It fails to represent two of the observed facts, namely, (i) the extinction of those component tones which have nodes at Q, and (2) the existence of ripples in the vibration-curve when the
observed point

The more
actly, if
it

is not a node. accurate formula (26) represents these facts ex-

we

consider the factor

-we have
2

- to

be =

i

(as

is

= o, in which last case it very nearly) except when sin For we have already seen that the vanishing of this factor causes the extinction of the component tones in question ; and the vibration-curve (27) will be modified by the disappearance of the corresponding component curves ; and the effect of their disappearance will evidently be to change the zigzag of straight lines represented by (27) into a zigzag of rippled
is

=

o.

lines

.

If

we put

/3'

for the amplitude

of the vibration at any par-

ticular point, then, neglecting et-,

2/3r

2

/3V

2

^O(T-TO)
whence
let
/3'

=

^

/3 T '(T

-^-

r')

0(T-f

)

T

(T-T

)

/*

P be

the amplitude at the middle point of the string, then

P=

8r z
-r
,

and therefore

6 Helmholz's Fig. 25 (p. 144) represents the vibration-curve of a point so near the end of the string, that one side of the zigzag is too steep to have ripples. But Professor Clifton has found that they are seen on both sides when the observed point is nearer to the middle of the string.

142

Vibrations of Violin String,
to

at the

which gives the ratio of the amplitude at any point middle point. Introducing the above value of Pin (27), we obtain

that

8P

I

which agrees with Helmholz's equation (3 c) (Beilage V). This equation (or (27)), considered as an equation between x and y, determines approximately the form of the whole string
at

any time.
all

When

/

--7"

is o,

T or any multiple of-j^> vanishes
is

for

values of x, so that the whole string

straight at these

instants.

other times the two portions of the string between and the point of greatest displacement, are This is easily shewn as follows. It was proved in straight. Art. 99 that the equation to a locus consisting of two straight
all its

142. At

extremities

portions

A C, CB

(Fig. 2)

is

(from

x

= o to

x

=.

/),

where reckoned

AB = /
(like

and x ot y Q are the coordinates of C x and y) from A. And it is evident

(Fig. 2), that this

equation may be made identical with (29) at any determinate time /, by taking X Q andjy so that
h -

*.(/-*.)

the

The

C

sign being taken in both. of these equations shews that the locus of the vertex of the string consists of two parabolic arcs passing through
first

same

Vibrations of Violin String.
its

143

extremities

to the parabolas of

A, B, and on opposite sides of AB, belonging which the equations are

The second
time
/;

determines the position of the vertex at the
it

and writing

in the

form

we

= (beginning with the instant when / \ r ) it is by supposing X Q to vary uniformly from o to / and then from / to o and so on successively, the time occupied by each of these successive changes being \ r, and the upper and under sign being taken alternately. (This will be most
see
that
satisfied

clearly seen

by examining the case of

t'= i.)

The
It is

AC'

i

string therefore vibrates in the following manner C, CB, or always divided into two straight portions, as describes the two parabolic arcs C'B\ and the vertex
:

A

C

alternately in such a

manner

that the foot of the ordinate,

moves backwards and forwards between
stant velocity.

A

and

B

M,

with a con-

(Helmholz, Beilage V.) Hitherto we have supposed the bow to be applied in the usual manner, so as to produce the fundamental note of the But if the point of application be taken gradually string. nearer to the bridge, while the bow is drawn with a somewhat quicker motion and lighter pressure, the fundamental tone becomes weaker; and ultimately a node is established at the middle of the string, the fundamental tone is extinguished, and the note produced is the octave, or first harmonic. These changes in the character of the note are accompanied by a corresponding series of changes in the vibration-curve, which passes from the original zigzag, through a series of intermediate forms, into a similar zigzag of half the period and smaller amplitude. This (See Helmholz's Fig. 26, p. 145).

144

Vibrations of a

Loaded

String.
But

phenomenon has
it

also been observed by Professor Clifton. has not been submitted to mathematical analysis.

143. PROBLEM 5. To examine the vibration of a string which loaded with a finite mass at a given point.

is

We shall assume that the weight of the mass is insignificant compared with the tension of the string, so that the vibration is modified only by its inertia and also that its dimensions are so
;

small that the consideration of its motion relatively to its own In other words, we shall centre of inertia may be neglected. consider it as a small but finite mass, concentrated at a point.

be this mass, and suppose / is the length of the Let then and b the distance of the point at which is attached from that end of the string from which x is reckoned.
jut

string,

{JL

As

in

Problem

2,

we must suppose

that the value of -j^-may
;

undergo a sudden change when and at that point the equation

x

passes through the value b

must be

satisfied.

The

rest of the string

is

subject to the usual

differential

equation

dy
dt 2

~

* dy
dx*

'

Now we may satisfy the latter equation, together with the conditions that y = o when x = o and when x = I, and that the value of_y must not change suddenly when x = b, exactly in shall therefore assume the same way as in Problem 2.

We

y smm(l &)smmx(A cosamt+J3smamt), from x = o to x = b, and = smml>smm (I x) (Acosamt+fismamf), y from x = b to x =
/.

=

(32)

(33)

Either of the above equations gives, for
.-

x

=

b,

ar

_.

.-cosamt+fismamt);
dy

and, taking the difference of values of

dx

~

given by the two
2,

equations

when

x = b, we

find, as in

Problem

A(~ ) =

msinmt.(Acosam/+smamt)

;

Vibrations of a
hence, in order to satisfy (31),

Loaded String.

145

we must have

\Lc?m sin mb sin m (lb] = This last equation determines m, while
unless the
initial

Tsm ml. A and B remain arbitrary
is

circumstances of the motion are given.

The

2 value of a

T
is

(Art. 123),

where p
-=

the longitudinal

If then we put /* density of the string. length of string which would have the

pA.,

so that

A.

is
/u,

same mass

as

the the

above equation

will

become
b}

m\sinmt>smm(l
It

= smml.
roots,

(34)

. the complete solution of the prodenote them by m lt m 2 blem will be given by the equation
, . . .

will evidently

have an

infinite

number of

and

if

we

y = 2-i
in

x
m

i (

A

i

cos

am i*+ B

i

sin

ami*}

;

(35)

which
1

~

(

(sin

i

and the

coefficients

b sin m (lx] (x = b to x = /), A B are all arbitrary, unless determined
i it
{

by

initial

conditions.

144. The complete vibration therefore consists, as in the case of the unloaded string, of simple harmonic vibrations superBut the values of m, which determine the periods of posed. these component vibrations, are not in general commensurable numbers, so that the component tones do not belong to a

harmonic

scale,

and can only be improperly called harmonics/
{

If in equation (34) we suppose A. = o, or b = o, or b = I, we I = o, as get the condition for an unloaded string, namely, sin in the original investigation of that case.

m

If,

liberty to

on the other hand, we suppose p = QO (which we are at do if we also suppose gravity not to act), then A = oo
,

and the second member of (34) is insignificant in comparison with the first, and the condition for determining m becomes
so that either
sin

that is, the Either of these point at which \L is attached remains fixed, as it evidently ought. The periods of the component vibrations are now those which belong to the separate portions of the string; and

smmdsmm (lti) = o; or sin m(lb) = o. equations gives y = o when x = b;
mb = o,

346

Vibrations of a Loaded String.

equation (35) shews that each can only exist in its own portion. it is evident that we may now, without violating any prescribed condition, take smm& = o in one portion and sinw = o in the other; thus the motion consists in general (/ ) of the natural vibrations of the two portions, existing indeThe infinite attached mass is simply equivalent to pendently. a fixed point.

But

145. In general the roots of the transcendental equation (34) could only be found by troublesome approximations. Two special cases however deserve attention. The first is that in which the mass /ut is attached at a node, so
that b

=

"77

/,/,/' being integers.

(34) then becomes

mb
and
it

= sin^-

mb\
for

is

evident that this

is

satisfied

by taking
to oo in

mb

any

multiple of /TT.
roots)

Thus we

shall get a series of roots (not all the

by giving

i integer values

from

i

as

The period of the z th component we see from (35),
2TT

tone given by this series

is,

2/
aij'

am

i

Now
when

2/
is
is

the period of the vibration of the unloaded string, vibrating so as to give the lowest harmonic tone f at the points of division of the string into j

it

which has nodes
equal parts.

when the mass is attached at a node, component tones which have nodes at that point remain But the fundamental, and other component tones, unaltered.
see therefore that
all

We

the

be changed. This may be verified by attaching a small lump of wax to one of the points of aliquot division of a violin or pianoforte
will

string.

The

other case

is

that in

which the attached mass

is

so small

that the square of the ratio

-j

may be
Z'TT

neglected.
A.

Since (34)

is satisfied

by

ml=

when

=

o,

we may assume

Vibrations of a
that

Loaded String.
by

147
where
e is

when A

is

small

it

will

be

satisfied

mI =

Z'TT

+ 6,

of the same order as
ITT
-f"

Substituting therefore

-

for

m

in (34),

we

obtain

(ITT

+ e) sin - (ITS + c) sin (i
.
.

y)

(Z'TT

+ e) = sin (ITT + e)

;

and, terms of the second order being neglected, this becomes Jv A b x. = ecoszTr; ZTT-T- smiir jSin^i-jr ZTTyJ
.
.

.

whence we

get
f

w - sn

\

ITT-

so that

we may

take
ZTT /

A

The

period of the corresponding tone
is

is

--

;

or the

number

of vibrations in a unit of time
vibrations
is

277

-;

hence the number of

diminished by the load in the ratio of

A
I

.

r

.

*
tO I,

jSlrftTTj

and the fundamental tone, as well as the higher components, are all lowered; moreover the components belong nearly but not exactly to a harmonic series, so that the compound note will sound slightly discordant. The examination of particular
cases

may

be

left

to the reader.

NOTE.
On
the Principles

of

the Use

of Revolving Mirrors.

(See Art. 138.)
If a plane mirror revolve about a fixed axis in its own plane, the path of the image of any stationary point Q is a circle which passes through and has its centre at the point where a perpendicular from meets t Q,

AB

And

Q

AB

this

path

is

the same whether one side only, or each side, of the mirror

reflecting surface. If the axis of rotation, AB, be not in, but parallel to, the plane of the mirror, then the path of the image of Q is a curve of the 4th degree, having

be a

L

2

148

Revolving Mirrors,

a double point at Q, and two loops, one within and the other without the The inner loop is the path of the image formed circle described as above. by reflection at the outer surface (reckoning from A B} of the mirror, and the outer loop of that formed by the inner surface. A usual arrangement is to join four mirrors together so as to form four sides of a cubical box, with the axis of rotation passing through the centre of the box, parallel to their planes, and equidistant from them all. The outer surfaces of course alone reflect, and the images formed by them all describe the same path. But an eye placed at any determinate point will only see one image at one time, and only while it describes a small portion of its path and if the velocity of rotation be sufficiently great, this small portion of the path of the image of a stationary continuously illuminated point will appear to the eye as a continuous and stationary line. If however the point, while continuously illuminated, have a vibratory motion of sufficiently short period, parallel to the axis of rotation, and if the velocity of rotation of the mirrors be so adjusted that one quarter of its period is equal to, or a multiple of,
;

the period of vibration, then the passage of each mirror through any given position will always happen when the vibration is in the same phase ; and consequently the visible portion of the path of the image will appear as one or more waves of a continuous and stationary vibration curve, formed by compounding the two motions along and perpendicular to the line before mentioned. On the other hand, if the point be stationary, but illuminated only at instants separated by sufficiently short intervals of time, it will appear, when viewed by the eye directly, as a continuously illuminated point ; but when seen by reflection from the revolving mirrors, it will appear, not as a continuous line, but as a row of points, which will be stationary if one quarter of the period of rotation of the mirrors be equal to, or a multiple of, the interval of time between successive illuminations. Some of the most usual applications of revolving mirrors depend upon these principles. They appear to have been first used, for purposes of
observation, by Wheatstone.

CHAPTER

VIII.

ON THE LONGITUDINAL VIBRATIONS OF AN
ELASTIC ROD.

146.

THE

vibrations of a uniform elastic rod

may be

either

transversal or longitudinal,

and both kinds may, when

small,

coexist without sensibly modifying each other. may therefore study them separately ; and we shall begin with the theory of longitudinal vibrations, as being the simplest. might,

We

We

did in the case of the string, first consider the subject kinematicaUy, assuming the law of wave-propagation in a rod

as

we

of infinite length

;

but we prefer to proceed at once to the
all

dynamical theory.
147.

We

suppose then the motion of

the particles to be

in directions parallel to a fixed straight line in space, with

which

the axis of the rod always coincides. By the axis of the rod is meant a line passing through the centres of inertia of its transverse sections. the particles which at any one instant are in a plane at right angles to the axis, continue to be so at all times. In other words, the velocities of all the particles

Further,

we suppose

that

all

in the

same
first

transverse section are equal.

The

because we
of the rod
is

know

of these suppositions cannot be rigorously true, that a longitudinal extension of any part in general accompanied by a lateral contraction,

and

vice versd.

But when the vibrations are small these

lateral

displacements

may

be neglected without sensible error.

150
148.

Longitudinal Vibrations

We

shall first investigate the conditions of equilibrium,

the equations of motion from them by the help of D'Alembert's principle. The usual law of elasticity is assumed, namely,

and then deduce

Z--?e, is the a constant (the modulus of elasticity), and unit of area, which must be applied, in contrary force, per directions, to any two transverse sections, in order to produce is a tension, or pulling an extension (or compression) e. If

where q

is

T

T

force, the effect will of course

be positive extension, or elonga-

a pushing force (or negative tension) the be negative extension, or contraction. The definition of extension, which includes both cases, is
tion
;

and

if

T be

7

effect will

actual length

of a Rod.
(2)

151

A

force

X

per unit of mass

infinitesimal slice

applied throughout the between two sections of which the

actual abscissae are

f and f +d.
/ the

149. Let

CD

be the area of the section, and

natural

The equilibrium being established, if the length of the rod. and were cut off, in order to of the rod between part

Pp

B

maintain the equilibrium of the remainder
to

it

apply to the surface of the section

P p some force F per unit
(i)

would be necessary

of area, and the condition of equilibrium would be r = o;

J
the abscissa
interior

o

where p represents the actual density in the section of which is f, so that paXdgis the whole force upon the

mass of the

slice.

To

find

an expression

for

F

we

observe, that the natural
</

thickness of any slice being dx,

and the actual thickness
area,

the extension

is

-^

i,

and the force per unit of

on each

face, required to

produce

this extension, is therefore

supposing no forces (such as
of the
slice.

X)

to act

on

the interior
is

mass

Now when
the forces

the thickness of the slice

diminished

without

limit,

on

its

faces remain

finite,

being pro-

portional to areas,

whereas the

interior forces, if there are any,

being proportional to volume, diminish without limit also, and are therefore negligeable in comparison with the forces on the
faces.

Hence ^^(~j-- i)

is

the force which must be ap-

plied to the surface of the section to maintain the existing state of extension ; this therefore is the value of ^k^Thus (i) becomes

which, since

x = o when

f=f

,

may be

written

152

Longitudinal Vibrations
we obtain

Differentiating this equation with respect to x,

and pu>d

Let pQ be the natural density of the rod; then, since both express the mass of the same slice, we have

so that the last equation becomes

Po

ax

(3)

150. To deduce from this the equation of motion, in the case in which no forces are actually applied except on the surfaces of the ends, we have merely to substitute for the force
co

pQ

X dx

supposed to act on the

slice,

the resistance to acu>p Q

celeration arising
is,

from

its

inertia,

namely,

dx.-;

that

to write

-7-,-

instead

of

X.

Thus we

obtain,

putting

an equation of the same form as
the

that to

which we were led by

problem of vibrating

strings.

The
at

solution of this equation gives

independent variables

x

and

/.

f as a function of the two That is, it gives the position,

any time
its

/,

of any proposed section defined by the value of

x,

natural distance from the
solution
is

end A.

The

and the two
initial

arbitrary functions have to be determined

by the
given

displacements

and

velocities,

together

with

the

conditions relative to the extremities.
151. If in equation (2)

we put

for

p~

its

Value p

,

we

get

and, putting

x=

o

in this,

of a Rod.
If

153
the other part of the

rod,

we had considered the equilibrium of we should have found in like manner

These two equations merely express that the condition of extension at each end of the rod is always such as corresponds to the force applied there.
152.
value as

The

differential
=s

equation

(4)

is

satisfied

by such a

^sm(* + a)sin(i<i/+0);
we
shall

but in order to satisfy the given conditions in all cases, find it necessary to add a non-periodic term such as

which

is

obviously of the general form (5) and

satisfies (4).

But the part b + (c' c)at of this term merely signifies a uniform motion of translation of the whole rod. Such a motion

may,

if

the terminal conditions admit

it,

exist; but as

it

in

no

way
is

modifies the relative motion of the different sections, which

all

we
it,

are concerned with in studying the vibrations,

we may

neglect part of

and assume only a term
proceed
will

kx

in addition to the periodic

f.

153.

We
we

to

consider

the

most important

cases.

And
no
(7).

first

forces.

suppose the rod entirely free, and acted on by = o, = o, and the two equations (6), Then l Q

F

F

both when

oc

= o and when

x=

/,

as the terminal conditions.

Assuming then
the terminal conditions are

k+

mA cos (w .* +
x=
/,

<*)

sin (#
/.

when

x=o

and when

for all values of

Hence we must

evidently have

k=i,

cosa =
last

o,

cos(w/+a) = o;
satisfied

of which equations the
(i

two are

by a = -, ml

being any integer), and therefore

154

Longitudinal Vibrations
f- x + A cos-yiitx
.

fiii at

sm(^

y
;

+ /3J
and making a
take
,-,
.

-.

is

a solution,

A

and j? being
r.r /
,

arbitrary

slight

change of form, as = r

in former cases,

we may
lira/

-*+2a. x
2

cos

(^.cos

+ ^sin-y-J

nra/\

.

.

(8)

as the general solution.
(If

we included

= o
f,

a constant term to

in the summation, we should merely add which would be equivalent to an alteration

of the fixed origin from which f is measured.) 154. To understand the equation (8) we must recollect that is the distance from a fixed origin, at the time /, of the f particles in a plane section of which the natural distance from the

end

A

is

x.

The

value of

x

therefore depends only
is

on the

particular set

of particles considered, and

independent of the

origin of Let us
rod.

now

find the position of the centre of inertia of the
is

Its abscissa

given by the equation

the integrations being extended from

one end

to

the other.

Now we

have (Art. 149),

hence

if

we

put, in the

above equation,

dx for d,

so that the

limits of the integrations are

x=o
Jo
=

and

x=

/,

it

becomes simply

/..r,f&r;
but from (8)

we have / Jo

rl

dx

i

2
;

hence

or the centre of inertia remains fixed (as we know a priori that it must do under the supposed conditions), and is at a distance

- from
2

the origin of

f.

It

must not however be inferred from

of a Rod.
this that the section

155

which, in the natural condition, contains

the centre of inertia

remains fixed ; that

will

only happen

when

A BI
it

are o for

all

even values of

i.

In general, no section

remains

fixed, the place

of the centre of inertia being occupied

by

different particles periodically.

155. If the vibrations ceased, the centre of inertia still maintaining its position, the periodic part of (8) would disappear, and we should have f = x at all points of the rod ; hence the
x, gives the disperiodic part, which is the actual value of at the time /, of the section defined, as before placement,
explained, by the value of x.

The

density at any point

is

given (Art. 149) by the equation

P

Hence

the general equation (5) gives

which represents the transmission of two
contrary directions with the
to the matter of the rod.

same constant
is

of density in velocity a relatively
states

This

not rigorously the same thing

as a constant velocity relatively to fixed space, because x, in the
state of

motion,

is

not the actual abscissa of the particles in a

reckoned from a fixed point, but differs from it by the small periodic displacement due to the vibration. This being understood, we may say that the vibration congiven section,
in the transmission, in contrary directions, of waves of condensation and dilatation; just as the lateral vibration of a string consists in the transmission of waves of lateral displacesists

ment

;

and

'the

waves appear to be reflected from the ends

in

both cases.
156.

The

periodic part of (8) does not in general vanish for

any value of x, so that there are in general no nodes, or sections of no displacement. But there will be n nodes, at sections for
which
all

x

is

any odd multiple of

>

provided

A

if

-Z?

-

t

vanish for

values of i except odd multiples of n. Thus the rod may have any number of nodes, of which those next the ends are

156
distant

Longitudinal Vibrations
from the ends by half the distance between any two

nodes.

From

(8)

we have

also

-^ = -^
p

dx
tTtat\
J;

hence
P

=

i

when x = o and when x =

/.

That

is,

there

is

no

variation of density at the free ends.

But there
If

will in

be variation of density
except when i
is

at all other points.

A if

B

i

general vanish

a multiple of n, the variable part of

~

vanishes

when x

is

a multiple of -

n

Hence, when there are nodes, the

sections in

which there

is

no

variation of density are those

which

bisect the nodal intervals in the state of equilibrium,

and these
since

sections of

no

variation of density are also sections of greatest

displacement,
.

as
i

will

be

seen

on inspection of
.

(8),

cos

j-

is

for values of

x which make sin

2T7X

=

o.

the

The vibration represented by (8) consists as usual of superposition of an infinite number of simple harmonic th comvibrations, each of which might subsist by itself; the /
157.

ponent vibration would have i nodes

;

and

in this case, as in

the case of the string, the tones corresponding to the

comseries.

ponent vibrations form in general a complete harmonic

The

period of the

z'

th

2l

component tone
is

is

>

and

the period of

the fundamental tone

2l

a

Since

would be the time of transmission of a wave over

a
the distance 2 1,
the wave-length

we
is

exactly as in the case of a string, that twice the length of the rod. Since the value
infer,

of a (Art. 150)
time, or

is

(

)

>

the

number of

vibrations in a unit of

^,

is

JLYlA*
2l
'

V

of a Rod.
and
is

157
to the

therefore, c&teris paribus, inversely proportional
It is,

length.

as

it

evidently ought

to be,, independent of the

thickness.

158.

The most

general case in which there
is

is

a node at the
all

middle of the rod

that in

which cos

vanishes, for

values of i included in the series (8),
this
t.

when

x= for all

In order that even values of

may be the case, A i} B{ must vanish The gravest component tone is then

the fundamental tone

of the rod, but the higher tones of even orders disappear. Thus the first upper tone will be at an interval of a twelfth
(octave +
fifth)

above the fundamental tone.
middle section of the rod might become

Now

in this case the

absolutely fixed without disturbing the motion, and either half might then be taken away, so as to leave a rod of half the
original length with

one end fixed and the other

free.

Hence we
end
fixed, is

fundamental tone of a rod, with one the same as that of a rod of twice the length, with
infer that the

But the component tones of the rod with a fixed end do not form a complete harmonic series, containing
both ends
free.

The wave-length is four times only the tones of odd orders. shall arrive at the same conclusions the length of the rod.

We

afterwards in a

more

direct

manner.

159.
to

We

will

next suppose the terminal sections of both ends

be
Let

fixed.
I'

Then,
tained

if /'

be the distance between the planes of the fixed ends. be different from the natural length /, the rod, when
a state of uniform elongation or contraction, mainfixed ends.
is

at rest, is in

by the tensions or pressures on the
Art. 153,

We

will

suppose, for clearness, that /'>/, so that the rod

elongated.

Assuming, as in

(in

which equation
at

x has
=

its

original meaning),

we have
/,

to satisfy

the conditions -5?

when

x=o

and when

x=

for all values

158
of
/.

Longitudinal Vibrations
Hence we must have
sin

(mx + a)

= o when

x=o

and

which conditions are satisfied by taking a = o, #2/=Z7r; moreover, since the ends are now fixed, we may assume the origin from which f is measured to coincide with one end, so that f - o when x = o ; then k must be such that f = /' when
I,

when

x=

x=

/,

or

=

I*
-

y
/'

Thus

the expression above assumed for g

becomes
f=
A
,
. .

y.*-Msin
when

sm(

+ /3);
x

n

(9)

now

let

V be

the distance of the section defined by
at rest in its actual condition

from

the end of the rod
tension, then

of ex-

x

=

r
-=

x

;

and

if

we

put a =
solutions

/
a,

and
the

take, as

before, the
solution,

sum of
obtain

the

particular

for

general

we

t

.

lira '/\

- r-.

(9')

This equation evidently expresses a vibration in which the
velocity of wave-transmission
is

a =-

/'

a.

1

Thus

the tension to

which we. have supposed the rod subjected increases the velocity
1 This value of the velocity of wave-transmission directly thus : let T' be the tension in the state of rest, at any point ; then

T the actual tension

might be obtained

r -'<2H
from which we
find

and

r -*(-')<

by eliminating dx,

r.r*cr*n(-j|-)i
if

we now

investigated directly the differential equation,

we

should find

p'

being the density of the rod at
Jf
rj~"'

rest.

But p being the unextended

density,

we have
P

,

-r

=

i

+
q
a'

;

hence

2

=

a

~ = (-

\ -?-

= (-

\

a*

of a Rod.
of transmission in proportion to the extension.
2/'
^

159
But the period

=

21
is

the

same

as

if

there

was no

tension.

a

a

160. Comparing (9') with (8), we see that the periods of the fundamental and other component tones are the same in the rod with both ends fixed as in that with both ends free. But

when there are nodes they are not at the same places. The rod with fixed ends has always two nodes, namely, the fixed ends themselves ; the th harmonic component would have i i
z'

nodes (besides the ends) dividing the rod into i equal parts. The mode of division in the free rod was explained in Art. 156.
161.

The

theory of the longitudinal vibrations of a rod ex-

tended by tension at its ends, is evidently applicable at once to the case of a string similarly extended, in so far as the assumed
relation
subsist.

between tension and extension

may

be supposed to

The longitudinal vibrations of a pianoforte string may be excited by gently rubbing it longitudinally with a piece of indiarubber, and those of a violin string by placing the bow obliquely
across the string, and moving it along the string longitudinally, keeping the same point of the bow upon the string. The note

,

(The relation between the unpleasantly shrill in both cases. of lateral and longitudinal vibration will be considered pitch
is

afterwards.)
If the peg of the violin be turned so as to alter the pitch of the lateral vibrations very considerably, it will be found that the pitch of the longitudinal vibrations has varied very slightly. The reason of this is that in the case of the lateral vibrations

the change of velocity of wave-transmission depends chiefly on But in the case the change of tension, which is considerable.

of the longitudinal vibrations, the change of velocity of wavetransmission depends on the change of extension, which is

comparatively

slight.
it

For
is

vibrations of rods,
steel,

experiments on the longitudinal convenient to use rods of deal, or of
fixed in a stand
;

or glass tubes.

One end may be

or the

rod

may

be held lightly in the fingers at the place of a node.

160

Longitudinal Vibrations
vibrations

The

cloth,

may be excited by rubbing the glass with a wet and the rods with powdered rosin on a dry glove.
If,

instead of supposing both ends of the rod fixed, we a constantforce applied at each end, the terminal consupposed

162.

ditions

would be

F

Q

=

F

l

= constant.
value, say
*

Hence
i, at

(Art. 151)

-~

i

must have the same given

both ends.

As-

suming then, as before

(Art. 153),

we must have
k
i

+mA cos(mx:-\-a) sin (?#/+
and when

/3)

=

e

i

both

when

x=o
k =
e,

x=
o,

/,

arjd

therefore

cos a =

cos

(ml+ a)

= o

;

whence, as in Art. 153,

a=2
z=oo

7T

ml =

ZTT;
v

tel

cos

^
/
.

iitat

cos

+ #.sm
J

.

J;

and, putting *.r

= .r',

el = l',ea = a, as in Art. 159, we should

have
.

iita't

in

which

^ now

signifies the distance of
it

of the rod, supposing the terminal forces.

end

A

to

be

at rest

any section from the under the action of

Comparing
period of the
in both cases,
z'

this
th

result with

equation (8)
(

we
=

see that
is

the

component

vibration

=

-

J

the

same

and the nodes are

similarly situated.

three cases, (i) both ends free, both ends fixed, (3) both ends pulled or pushed by equal (2) constant forces, the series of component tones is the same.
infer then that in the

We

But the

distribution of the nodes,

which

is

the

same

in (i)

and
is

(3), is different in (2).

The

case (3) cannot be realised in practice, because

it

impossible by any mechanical contrivance to apply a constant force at the ends. In case (2) the force supplied by the fixed

of a Rod.
supports of the ends
the actual value
is
is

161

a periodically varying quantity, of which

that of

q(-^-

-q (-.

d

'

^dx

1} /

at

the end A,
is

and

i

)

at the other end,

and the mean value

163. The only remaining case of practical interest is that in which one end of the rod is fixed, while the other end is either
entirely free, or loaded with a given finite mass. shall shew how the solution of the problem in these cases

We

obtained by means -of the more general supposition that both ends of the rod are loaded, but otherwise free. The condition of fixity at either end can then be introduced by supposing the mass attached at that end to be infinite, and the condition of perfect freedom by supposing it to be nothing. to be attached to the two ends. Suppose then masses Q l The forces Q F^ (Art. 151) will then be the resistances to acceleration arising from the inertia of these masses ; and the terminal conditions will therefore be

may be

F

M M
,

,

whence

), (7) (see equations (6), (7)),

--- 1 =

I#
I ?

dx
d -^

\ qu dP

when
,

x = o,

dx
And
.

i

=

M^ -we

qu dP

when

x=

l.

if

in these equations

substitute the values of

from the assumed equation f = kx + A sm(mx + a)

dx d?
(10)
/,

-=

-=

>

sin

(mat+j3),

we

see that, in order to satisfy
i

them

for all values of

we must

have k =

and
coi(mx-\-a) =

ma?

M

-

when x =

o,

^O)

=
Let

B m (r Jfcf, when x =

/.

^0)

a*MQ

= u

a*M
ft

l

,

*

=

LL

,

then these conditions give
i/, )

coto=-f*
cot (ml + a) =

,.

M

1 62

Longitudinal Vibrations
a,

from which, by eliminating

we

find

(12)

164. Suppose m lt m z &c. are the values of m which satisfy the equation (12). To each value mi will correspond a value of a, say a,., which can be found from (n). Then (10) will
,

give the form

f = x + 2 sin (m i x + a^ (A i cos m i at-{-Si sin m^f) (13) where A { are arbitrary constants. i This would give the solution of the problem if the values of mi were known. These values in general could only be found by troublesome approximations. We see however that (13) expresses a vibration compounded of simple harmonic vibrations, of which the periods are inversely proportional to the values of m it so that the component tones do not in general belong to a harmonic scale.
;
,

B

165. If we suppose ju = o, and /^ = o, then both ends of the rod are perfectly free, and equations (n) give
cot
CL

=

o,

cot

(#z/-{- CL)

=o

;

or a = 2

TT
>

ml =
=

/TT,

as

we found

before.

Again,

if /x

oo

and

^=
,

00, then both ends are fixed,

and

we have
as

cot a = oo or a = o,
also found

cot (ml+ a) = ml = /TT,

oo

,

we

before in the case of fixed ends without

extension.

= oo jutj = o, then the end A is fixed and the other But if end free; and we have from (n), cot a = 00, cot (ml + a) = o,
fJL ,

or

a=

o,

ml

,

/

.

%

Tf

so that (13) becomes

2l

Here the periods of
7
:

the

component

vibrations are the values of
in a unit of time are
i, 3,

r-

>

and the numbers of vibrations

therefore proportional to the

odd numbers

5, ....

Thus

of a Rod.

163

the component tones form a harmonic scale with alternate tones (namely, the octave of the fundamental tone with all its harmonics) left out. The wave-length of the fundamental tone is 4 /, and its pitch is the same as that of a rod of length 2 /, fixed at both ends or free at both. (See Art. 158.)

166. Lastly, we shall consider the case of a rod fixed at one Then we end, and loaded with a small mass at the, other.
shall

have

=
fj,

oo

,

Mi

=

(

a small quantity)

;

and
the

therefore,

from (n), cot a = 00,

first

of these

is satisfied

= cot(/#/+a) zml: by a = o, and the second becomes cos ml = fmlsmml.
this

Now

if e

were = o the solution of

would be ml = (22 +

i)

;

we may

therefore

assume

being a small quantity of the same order as
77

cos ((22"+ i)
or, quantities

of the second order being neglected,

222
e.

Then
77
f-

\-0)

=

77

e

((22+

i)

\-6) sin ((2 2'+ i)

0);

/!/ \ / tJsin(2z+i)- = e(22 7
T
2

+ i)-.sin(22-f-i) 2
' '

\

7T

/

\

T
:

2

whence
and

=

e

(2 2"+

i

)

5

m l= (22'+ i)~ (i
i

7T

e).

This shews that the
diminish the
in the ratio
:

effect of the

small load

is

simply to

number of vibrations of every component tone i e i. Each tone is therefore lowered by the
and the whole
series
2
.

same

interval,

still

belongs to a harmonic

scale with alternate tones omitted
2

The

following result

is

found by carrying the approximation one step
to the

further.

Let c mean the ratio of the attached mass and the attached mass. Then

whole mass of the rod

M

2

164

Longitudinal Vibrations of a Rod.

167. Since a2 = -^-(Art. 150), the values of ft> are

^^

(Art. 163)

now

/p

o)

is

the

mass of the rod
masses

;

ratios of the attached

to the

hence /x /x x are simply the mass of the rod, and e in
,

the last problem has the

same meaning.

of this chapter afford a method of determining -experientally the modulus of elasticity by observing the tones produced by longitudinal vibrations. Thus, taking the case of the rod with one end fixed and the other free, we have for the period of the fundamental tone (Art. 165),
results

168.

The

a

and

therefore

if
2

n be the number of vibrations
Q
ft>

in a unit of time,

i6n P =

and

?o> = i6

2

/./p o>:

if a second be the unit of time, the weight of the rod expressed in theoretical units of force is //o a>^ ; hence, calling this W, we have i6#2 /

now

g
Thus
rod,
if

the pulling force which would double the length of the the law of extension held good without limit, is

X weight
o

of rod.

The value of n can be ascertained with great accuracy by methods of which the principle will be explained afterwards.
where
is the number of vibrations, in a unit of time, of the unloaded rod. Hence the higher component tones become unharmonic. or instance, th^,
,

ratio of the interval
is

between the fundamental tone and the

first

upper tone

(to the same approximation) 3 (i+firV), which exceeds a twelfth by an interval of which the ratio is I + n-V.' This would be a diatonic semitone
2

3 if 47r e

= J-,

or

e

3

=

j

2O7T

5,

which gives -r nearly - f

for

the ratio

of the

attached mass to the mass" of the rod.

The interval by which the first upper tone is put out of tune relatively to 2 3 the fundamental tone, being measured by the logarithm of i +f ir' e varies as e 3 nearly.
,

CHAPTER

IX.

ON THE LATERAL VIBRATIONS OF A THIN
ELASTIC ROD.
169.

THE

susceptible of tolerably simple mathematical treatment

theory of the lateral vibrations of a rod becomes when the

following assumptions are made.

The rod
condition
equal,

is

it is

straight,

supposed to be homogeneous. In its undisturbed and all its transverse sections are similar,
all

and

similarly situated.

passing through the centres of inertia of sections may be called the axis of the rod.
line

A

transverse

We

suppose the vibrations to be small, and such that (1) One principal axis of every section remains in a fixed
plane.
(2)

No

part of the axis pf the rod undergoes any elongation or contraction.
particles

(3)

The

which

in the undisturbed state are in

any

transverse plane section, remain always in a plane normal to the axis of the rod.

mentioned in (i) is small. (This is meant by calling the rod thin.) The plane which always contains the principal axis mentioned
(4)

The

principal axis
is

what

in (i)
It

may be

called the plane

follows evidently from

the

of vibration. above assumptions that the
is

position

condition of the whole rod at any time and form of its axis.

determined by the

170. Taking rectangular coordinate axes fixed in space,

we

1

66

Conditions of Equilibrium

will

zontally

suppose, for clearness, that the axis of x is directed horifrom left to right, and the axis of vertically upwards. Thus the plane of zx is horizontal. We will also suppose that

y

the axis of the rod in
the .r-axis,

its

undisturbed condition coincides with
is vertical, coinciding the small principal axis of every
y

and

that the plane of vibration

with the plane of xy.
section
is

Thus

always in the vertical plane of xy and the other (which may or may not be small) is always horizontal. Calling the axis of the rod AB, we will suppose that in the undisturbed
condition the left-hand end

A

Let

x

be the abscissa of any given

coincides with the origin. particle in the axis of the

We suppose (as in the case of the string) that the vertical displacement of any particle in the axis is so small that its horizontal displacement may be
rod in the undisturbed condition.

Hence we may consider that neglected. for a given particle in the axis, and is the

x

remains constant
as the abscissa

same

of that particle reckoned from the fixed origin. Then, ifj/ be the (vertical) ordinate of the same particle,^ is always a small Also, if ds be an element of length of the axis, we quantity.

dx

may

put
is

=

i,

dy = dy ~-

^

as in the case of the string.

The

problem
variables

to express

y

as a function of the

two independent

x

and

/.

171. In the undisturbed condition let p be the density of the

rod,

<o

the area of the section, and / the actual length of the

axis (which remains constant).
If either

one or both ends of the

axis are free, /

is

the natural

length of the rod.
different

But

if

both ends are fixed

at

a distance

from the natural length, the axis is in a state of permanent extension or contraction, and / is not the natural
length.

When

either

end of the axis

is

fixed, the
fixed.

whole of the terminal

face at that

end may or may not be
is

When

both ends of

the axis are so fixed that there

extension or contraction, then

,

if either terminal face be not entirely fixed, we must suppose normal tensions or pressures applied at all points of its surface such as would, in the undisturbed condition, maintain all the

of Elastic Rod.
longitudinal
axis.

167

filaments of the rod at the

same length as the

172. We must first investigate the conditions of equilibrium of the rod under the action of such forces as could produce a displacement of the kind supposed to exist at any time during
the motion.

The
forces
;

usual rule

and moments

of signs will be observed with respect to will be considered positive which tend to

produce rotationyh?w the axis of x towards that ofy. The slice included between two plane sections cutting the
or-axis at distances x,

x + dx
its

from the

origin,

always contains

matter, though the disturbed condition.
(1)

the

same

faces are not in general parallel in
shall

We

suppose
a function of x).

A

vertical force

J^per

unit of mass, constant throughout

the

same

slice (so that

Y

is

(2) Forces parallel to the plane of vibration, acting
particles of the slice,

on the

and reducible
is

to a couple, in that

plane, of which the

moment
slice)

L x (mass

of

= Lpadx,

being a function of x. (If there were such forces not reducible to a couple, they would in general tend to produce extension or contraction of the axis.)
(3)

L

A

force unit of area, applied at every part of the Q per terminal face A, at right angles to its plane.

T

(4) Tangential forces in the plane of the same face, parallel to the plane of vibration, and reducible to a single

force ^,0), in that plane, applied at

its

centre.

(5) Forces applied to the surface of the face a couple in the plane of vibration, of

A, reducible to which the mo-

ment
(6)

is

co.

Analogous

forces applied at the face JB,

and denoted by

T FV Gf
In the condition of equilibrium these forces are balanced by the forces of elasticity called into action by the state of strain

which they produce in the rod.

1

68

Conditions of Equilibrium
to subsist.
It

Suppose then the equilibrium
disturbed
if

would not be

the part of the rod included between any two transAnd if the rest of the rod were verse sections became rigid.

then removed, in order to maintain the equilibrium of this part
to ascertain

would be necessary to apply to it certain forces. We proceed what these forces are, on the supposition that the part we have supposed to become rigid is an infinitesimal slice,
it

and

deduce the differential equation which expresses the conof equilibrium. dition 173. In Fig. i suppose the plane of the paper to be the plane of vibration, and let ab be an infinito

tesimal portion of the axis of the rod, and the section of an infinitesimal

FG

slice

contained between transverse sec-

tions cutting the axis in a

and

b.

Let

point abscissa of a,

x be the abscissa of/*, the middle of ab, and x \ dx, x + \dx the
b.

Suppose

the

transverse

sections

P, which we

will call

R.

Suppose the slice to be made up of longitudinal filaments having do* for the
area of their section; and
the
let

apfi be

projection of such a filament on the plane of vibration. Then, if Pp = 77, it is plain that

Now

the state of extension of any such filament
is

may
the
if it

(since

its

length

infinitesimal)

be considered to vary uniformly from
that

one end

to the
its

other, so

we may

obtain

state

of

extension at

same value

at

middle point by calculating it as all its points, that is, by the formula
actual length
i.

had the

natural length

of Elastic Rod.
Let then dx^ be the natural length of dx or a b. This the natural length of aft, so that the extension at/> is
/
is

169
also

(

* )sr

ii\dx

''

Now
that
if

-dx^

1

is

the extension of the axis (which

is

constant), so

we

put

,(_,). 7;
modulus of
elasticity,

where q

is

the

T will

be the value of a

constant tension, per unit of sectional area, due to the permanent extension.

Then,
have

calling

T

f

the actual tension in the filament aft,

we

Hence

the pulling force exercised by the filament

element du> of the section

DE (on either side
on one

upon any

of

it)

is

Consider
section.

all

these forces

side (say the

left)
/

of the

They

are reducible to a resultant force =

T' du> apT'du*, the

plied at

P, and a couple of which the moment

is /

j]

integrations being extended over the whole section.
the ordinate
r\

Now

since

the section,

reckoned from a horizontal axis in the plane of passing through its centre of inertia P, we have
is
/ TJ

da =

o,

and

/

rfdu> =

o>

2
/c
,

where K

is the radius of gyration of the area of the section about the horizontal principal axis in its plane. Thus the forces acting on the left-hand side of the section, due to extension, are

equivalent to a resultant force

To* perpendicular to its plane, of which the moapplied at P, and a couple in the plane

FG

R

Lateral Vibrations.
can now find the forces which must be applied to 174. the elementary slice in order to maintain its equilibrium when the rest of the rod is supposed to be removed, the slice having
the moment (which we have just determined) of the couple due to extension acting on the left-hand side of the section DE, then the moment of that on the left-hand
face of the slice will be

We

become rigid. If we call Q

and of that on the right-hand face

The sum

of these

is

Moreover, we found a resultant pulling force Tu> on each side of P. Hence on each face of the slice there is a resultant
pulling force, applied perpendicularly at a The horizontal components of these forces

and

b respectively.

may be

considered

equal (in opposite
f
.

directions).

But the

vertical

components

(since v

dy = dy\ -^-Jare ds dx'

these are equivalent to

a vertical resultant force = Ta>

<Py
-j

z

dx,

(3)

and no couple.

(For the

moment
is

of the couple resulting from

the horizontal components

Tudy,

=

dv
T<*>-~dx,
is

while that from the vertical components
(difference of forces)

xJ

= T<& dx}. (distance between them) -j~

dy

Differential Equation of Equilibrium.

171

But we must not assume that the only forces lost by the removal of the other parts of the rod are the couple and resultant force just found; for the parts removed will in general have
exercised tangential forces in the planes of the faces of the slice, reducible to resultant forces in the plane of vibration and applied
at the centres of the faces.

Suppose then
force

Fa*

is

the value of this tangential resultant

on

the left

and

right sides of the section
it

DE'
}

then,

on

the left-hand face of the slice,

will

be

and on the right-hand

These expressions
vertical

will

also give (as

we

neglect (-f-) )

the

components ; and therefore the forces

in question are

equivalent to

a resultant vertical force

s^^dx,

dF

(c)

and a couple of which the moment

is

-uFdx.
(The horizontal components, being of the order of (-T-}
neglected.)
,

(d)

are

175.

Now

in the actual

condition of equilibrium

all

these

forces are balanced

the interior

by those which we have supposed to act on mass of the slice, namely, a vertical force pvFdx,

and a couple of which the moment is p<&Ldx. must have + p uYdx = o, () +

Hence we

^

(a)

+ (d) + pu>Ldx = o.
(a),
(6),
(<:),

Introducing the actual values of
serving that, since

(d),
i

and ob-

we

/dy\*
neglect ^

J

,

we may put

~n=-

dz y
-r^>

we

find, after dividing

by a>dx,

172

Differential Equation of
?

(

+r)Kg-^+ P Z
We

=

o.

(2)

In order to eliminate the unknown F, we have only to subtract, after differentiating (2).

thus obtain,

finally,

as the differential equation which must be satisfied in the condition of equilibrium.

176.
it

We

is

essential to ascertain the conditions

have no occasion to integrate the equation (3) but which would serve to
;

lution.

determine the arbitrary constants contained in its general soThese are to be obtained from the data of the problem

relative to the

ends of the rod.

Now

the forces acting

on the

surface of the left-hand face

are only the given external forces (Art. 172), and the interior tensions arising from extension, and these must balance one
another.

Hence we must have
end of Art. 173)

and

(see

-<? +7

>
(2), gives

The

first

of these, combined with

These equations
ditions.

((4)

and (5))

will furnish the

(It is evident that similar

required conequations must subsist at

the other end of the rod.)

have

177. In order to form the differential equation of motion, we now only to substitute in (3) the forces arising from the

resistances of the particles to acceleration, instead of those sup-

posed to act on the interior of the mass. Hence, instead of the vertical force p&Ydx, supposed

to act

on

the

mass of a

slice,

we must

substitute

pw

dy
l

dx

or

d?v

-7^ instead of Y.

Motion formed and
And
situte

integrated.

173
sub-

one which

instead of the supposed couple is found as follows :

p^Ldx, we must

Since the particles in. a plane transverse section remain in a plane section, and since the inclination of the plane of the
section to the vertical

dy
is -5s

if

r?

be the ordinate of a particle

dm, reckoned
its

(as in Art. 173) in the plane of the section

from

horizontal principal axis, the angular velocity of the plane

being

f--)(in

the direction of positive rotation), the linear
left)
is
-

velocity of

dm

(estimated from right to

T\
CL

3

and

t dOC

therefore

its

resistance to acceleration (in the

same

direction) is

rj

l-r J T~ ^dt> dx
is

dm, and the moment of
2
*?

this resistance, with its

d^dy
'

proper sign,

(-r-) -7-

dm.

Now, considering dm

as the

mass of an element of an

infinitesimal slice,
is

we have dm

=

pdadx;

hence the above moment

and taking the sum of

all
/

such moments for the whole

slice,

we have

l

J
as the expression to be
substituted for

d?dx
pu*Ldx.

Hence we

must put

K

*j^jj-

instead of L.

Making

these substitutions in (3)

we

obtain

=
as the differential equation required
1

(6)

*.

See Klebsch, Theorie der Elasticitdt fester Korper, 61, where this equation (with a different notation) is deduced, as a particular case, from the general theory of elastic solids. The equation usually given in ele-

mentary works does not contain the term

%

,

which

arises

from the

angular motion of the sections of the rod. (See, for example, Poisson, Traite de Mecanique, torn. ii. It may in fact be neglected without 5.)
sensible error in ordinary cases.

174
178. This
as follows
:

Differential Equation of

may be

put in a somewhat more convenient form
z

Put

q+T= Pp, T=a

p,

and

it

becomes

=*
sirable to observe the

<>

(In order to see the homogeneity of this equation it is deT<a is the actual meanings of a and b.

tension,

the tension which

and p the actual density, in the axis of the rod. would have to be applied to the rod
its

^co is

in

its

natural state in order to double

length,

if

the law of ex-

good without limit. Hence Ta> and ^o> are forces, and can be represented by weights, say by the weights of Then lengths X and X' of the rod, taken at its actual density p. Tu> =^pAco, g<& =gp\'a), and therefore
tension held
so that
a*,

b

z

are the half squares of the velocities which would

be acquired by a heavy body falling vertically down distances X, A + X'. Hence a and b are of one dimension in space and i
in time.)

179. In order to find particular integrals of (6') we assume

m
u and v being functions of
the form
T,

.

m

.

x

(7)

x

to be determined.

Substituting this value of j> in (6'),

we
K

find

an equation of

m
K

7cos

/+ Fsm
/
,

.

m
/=o,

in

which

U and V do

not contain

so that in order to satisfy

the equation

we must have

separately

y=o. *7=o, These equations are exactly similar in form, and we need only consider one of them. The first is

therefore

^
which, being linear with constant coefficients,
in the usual way.

=

o;.

(8)

can be integrated

The

u=

A

*i

general solution * x +

is

B&

+ C&* + D &*,

i

Motion formed and
where kv kv
3,

integrated.

175

k are the roots of the equation

which gives

#

==

-4r-2 {a*-m* 2K

((J-m^ + ^P)*}.

(9')

We may
and,

represent the four values of k in the form
<$> l

(m),

making

for convenience a

constants
the form

A

t

B, C,
i

D

t

we may
\-B

fa(m}; change in the meaning of the put the values of u and v in

u=

A

tf>l(m)x

-

-$i(m)x

x

._

(10)

z>

= a similar expression with

different

constants, say

A

',

-5',

cr.iy. ISO. Introducing these values of and v in (7), we obtain a value of j/, which is a particular integral of (6'), and in which
all

the constants, including m, are arbitrary,
if

and would remain
problem and these con-

so

we had only

to satisfy (6').

But

in every actual
;

we have

also to satisfy the terminal conditions

an equation of which the roots are the only admissible values of m, besides other equations which partly determine the constants A, B> &c.
ditions lead to
cases,

Before investigating these conditions however in particular we will examine more closely the nature of the four
k.

values of

of k*

is

necessarily positive,

Since the last term of (9) is negative, one value and the other negative. Suppose
value a2 and the negative value
2

we we

call the positive

/3

,

then

shall

have

k=
for the four values

a,

=

fiVi
we may
put (10) in the form

of k; and thus
^our

u=
in

A-

cmr_i

a-x

-+by

_^

ax

- + Ccos0x + Z)smpx, (n)
a, /3 are

which

it

is

important to remember that
(9),

determinate

functions of m, given
to

while the value of

m

itself

has

still

be determined.

176

Case of Fixed

Ends of Axis.

will take now the case which is in some respects 181. the most simple, namely, that in which the ends of the axis of the rod are fixed, but the terminal faces are subject to no other constraint. (The tension T, which must be supposed to

We

be applied to them on every unit of surface, will evidently leave This case is of practical inthe directions of the faces free.)
terest,

because

it

may be

taken to represent that of a wire
is

a pianoforte string) of which the vibrating part (e. g. mined by stretching it over bridges.

deter-

Now
that

referring to the terminal equation (4) (Art. 176)

we
o,

see

on

the suppositions

now made we must
fly

put

G

Q

=

and

consequently

at both
It

ends of the rod.

(The equation

(5) gives

no

condition.

would merely serve

to determine the value of the pressure
is

T^co supported by the point to which the end of the axis
fixed.)

But the

fixity

of the ends of the axis gives us two

more

conditions, namely,
j/

= o

at both ends.

We

have then to put in (7) the value

and a

similar value for v, with A',

B

(n)

for u,

',

&c. instead of A, B, &c.,

and then express the conditions
y=
both
A and

that

^-'
x=
/,

^y

when

x=o

and when

for all values of

/.

These

conditions, relatively to

x = o,

give, as will

be easily found,

which

it is

impossible to satisfy otherwise than by

A
The
are

=o,

conditions relatively to

C = o, A' = o, x = / thus
-

C=

o.

become

simplified,

and

B-

e a/_ e -aj

__

p*

D sin pi

Final Equation in
with similar equations for B' and Z/.
fO.lf-0.1

this Case.

177

These give

Bnow

-

=

o,

Z>sin/3/=o;

the factor multiplied

by

B

cannot vanish, since a
sin/3/=o.

is

real.

Hence we must have
.# = 0,

^=

o,

Hence

D

and If remain

arbitrary, while ft

must

satisfy the

equation sin/3/ = o, which gives

182.
to

The

u=

D sin fix,

values of u, v (see equation (n)) are now reduced v = -Z/ sin (3x, and therefore from (7)

y = sin ft x \D cos -in

f-

.Z/ sin

)

>

which

/3

may have any

of the infinite series of values

obtained by giving all values to the integer * from i to oo , and to each value of ft corresponds a value of m obtained from (9) 2 = Hence, taking the sum of all the par/3 by putting

&

.

ticular values

of y^

we have

for

the general solution of (6")

appropriate to this

problem

j
where

.

mJ
(12)
is,

C

iy

D

i

are arbitrary constants in the usual sense, that
initial
it

depend only on
easily seen that

is

be displacements and velocities. (It will useless to include negative values of z,
2
z'

since

m

i

(see next article) only depends on

.)

183. Solving equation (9) for
ductions,

m we
z
t

find,

after

slight

re-

m*
~

_ =
o

2

a2

-K 3 &
2 2

and

since, for real values

*
the above formula gives

178

Application

to

Metallic Wire.
is

Now

(12) shews that the vibration

compounded

of simple
;

harmonic vibrations of which the periods are the values of -m.
or the

number of
is

vibrations, in a unit of time, of

the z'th

com(13),

ponent tone,

2

Calling this
7T
JC

number n i} we have from

This shews that in general the component tones do not belong
to a harmonic scale
*.

184. Let us however examine some special cases. If we suppose the rod infinitely thin we may neglect K
together.

al-

The

differential equation

(6^ then reduces

itself to

the ordinary equation for a perfectly flexible string; and (14)
gives

ni =
if

the value found before. the rod as very thin, without being inK2
is

But

we consider

finitely thin, so that
will

a very small fraction, the value (14)

be applicable to the case of a metallic string or wire.
K2
case,

In
the

this

neglecting the square of

,

and

assuming

section of the wire to be a circle with radius r, so that K 2 =

^r

2
,

we

find

ia

hence

if

we put

=

N

i

(the

number of

vibrations calculated
2
),

on

the supposition of infinite thinness or perfect flexibility 2 put for Z> and a* their values (Art. 178), we have

and

1 The process which has been given in Arts. 179-183 is substantially the same as that of Klebsch, 61. 2 Strictly speaking, the supposition of infinite thinness ought to be dis^ can imagine a thick string tinguished from that of perfect flexibility. of which only the central infinitely thin axis should resist extension or contraction. Such a string might be regarded as perfectly flexible. But the

We

Correction for Rigidity.
z

179

V

r

2

q

which gives what is called the correction for rigidity. This correction may be put in another form thus: from
(14)

we have
n =
L

I
-

(a*

+ W2
2 z"

K
-

z 2

(^

-~ fi2
))

^

ne arly,

so that for a given value of i, that is, for a tone of given order, the number of vibrations corresponding to any actual tension may be calculated as if the string were perfectly a fictitious tension flexible, by substituting for

T

T

The term thus added is sensibly independent of T, since / (the actual length between the bridges) is constant, and r is sensibly If the tension invariable, at least for moderate variations of T.
= 7o>. Suppose Q is the be supplied by a weight W, then weight which would double the length of the string if the law of Hence the extension held good indefinitely, then Q^qu.
fictitious

W

weight to be substituted in calculation for the actual

weight

is

It

would be

difficult

to calculate the value of the
ratio

added term
(-j\

a priori, because the values of the very small

and of

the very large weight Q could hardly be obtained with sufficient accuracy; but it is easily ascertained experimentally by com-

inertia of the outer parts

y would introduce the term 9 in the differential a raxd*y the term which arises from the resistance of the outer equation, though
. ,
.,

,

parts to extension or contraction,
for musical purposes never

would disappear.
in guitar strings

approximate to
e. g.

this character,

verse arrangement

is

common,

But the strings used though the conmade by winding fine

wire upon a silk core.

N

2

180

Case of no Tension.

The tones paring the tones produced by two different weights. can then be calculated, corresponding to other values of

W

and they are found on
actually produced.

trial

to agree very exactly with those

185.
still

We

will

next suppose that, the ends of the axis being

fixed, the distance

rod, so that

7=o

T

;

between them is the natural length of the hence a = o, and (14) becomes

where
In

P = ~P
of n i are, for moderate

this case, since K is small, the values
i,

values of

sensibly proportional to the series of square
2

num,

st component tones are the i th Thus the first of the upper 4 9*h, &c. of a harmonic scale. tones is two octaves above the fundamental tone and the second is one octave and a major second above the first &c.

bers
,

i

2

,

2

2

,

3

,

&c., so that the

;

;

supposition now made may be approximately realized in several ways, of which the simplest consists in merely laying

The

a rod

(e. g.

a bar of steel) upon two bridges placed as close as

possible to its ends.

186.
fixed,

If,

we had supposed

instead of merely supposing the ends of the axis the planes of the terminal faces of the

rod to be fixed, then, instead of the simple formula (13) which gives the values of m, we should have found a very complicated
transcendental equation. The same thing happens if one terminal face be fixed and the other entirely free, or if both be In the two latter cases this equation is always entirely free. somewhat simplified by the circumstance that T = o, and therefore a

=

o.

But
d*y
,
,

it

becomes much more
differential

simplified

if

we

neglect

the term

dP doc

in the

equation, which we may

generally do without

sensible error.

We

shall therefore intro-

duce

this simplification in

what

follows.

187. Since the differential equation was founded on the hypothesis that the particles which in the undisturbed state are in a plane at right angles to the axis continue to be so at all if a terminal face of the rod be fixed, the axis at that end
j

Simplified Differential Equation.
must always be
itself is fixed,

181
axis

we must

at right angles to it ; and as the have, at that end,

end of the

a terminal face be entirely free, we must obtain the conditions from equations (4) and (5) (Art. 176). are both o. Now, at a free end, GQ (or G^ and Q (or F^) Also Z, in (5), arises (see Art. 177) from the angular motion of the planes of the elementary slices, the effect of which we are now going to neglect ; hence these equations give
if

These But

therefore are the terminal conditions for a fixed face.

terminal

F

as the terminal conditions at a free end. have already seen that the conditions are

We

at

an end where only the extremity of the axis

is

fixed, so that

the direction of the plane of the face is free. There are altogether six possible combinations, of which we have already considered one. Of the remaining five we shall

only examine the three which are of most importance, namely, both faces fixed, both free, one fixed and the other free.

188. The equation (6'), a = o (since we suppose

if

we omit

T= o),

the second term and put

becomes

To find particular solutions of this equation, veniently assume
j>

we may con-

=

2

#cos-^2

/+z;sin^2

w2 /;

(16)

u, v are to be functions of x, I is the length of the m a constant to be determined. Substituting this value of_>> in (15), we find that in order to satisfy that equation for all values of /, we must have

which rod, and
in

=
~do?

7**'

Of

==

~f

v

'

The general solution of the evidently be written in the form

first

of these equations

may

Case of both

Ends

free.

mx

+ B sin
.

~

mx

and v

will

be given by a similar equation, with other constants

A', B', C', D'. It will save
notation.

much

trouble to adopt the following abbreviated

Let

Then we

shall evidently have,

_8(_0),

o-(o)=i,
^(^6) = ncr(n9).

189. Thus the equation (17) becomes

mx
and we have now
satisfy the terminal conditions in

(

/\)+Z?a( ^/\
free.

);

(18)
will

to find the values of the constants

which

each case. First, then, let us suppose both ends entirely ditions (see Art. 187) are

The con-

both

when
cPu

x=o

and when
of
/, it

x = /;

satisfied for all values

is

and since these are to be evident that we must have
<Pu
cPv

cPv

- o and x = I Putting then x successively in the values of these differential coefficients deduced from (18) and from the

corresponding expression for

v,

we

find (for

x=

o)

A + C=o,
so that

U=

A A

f

mx
cos

(

+<

/mx

and then the conditions

x = / become A(-cos??i + a-(m)) + ( sintfz + d(;;z)) = o, ) A( smm + b(m)) + (-cosm + o-(m)) = o;)
relative to

,

Case of Fixed Terminal Faces.
and B, we have 2 = -sin 2 w; (o-(flz)-cos mj (S(w)) now, by the definition of <r(m) and (d(w)),
from which, eliminating

183

A

(<T(m)y-(*(a$?.i,
hence
this

equation becomes
e

<r(m)cQsm ~ -m m

+ m
=
i i

i,

or
(20)

cosw=i.

The
if

we denote them by

and roots of this equation are the admissible values of ; the correv m 2 &c., and call i it
,

A

B

m

sponding values of A, B, either of the equations (19) gives the
ratio

A

:

i

B^

We may therefore
A

take

B
where C;
is

Q(sinw.-d(w.)), =C m.i0i

(cos

(ff^)),

arbitrary.

Thus we
ui =

shall

CX
t

have from (18)

it

where

and v i =

DX
i

i,

general value of will then be

where is another arbitrary constant. The i y which is the sum of all particular values,
t

D

^ = 2Z (Qcos^^
i

2

/+Z>i

2

sin'^-w i /);

(22)

and

this is the

equation expressing the vibration of a rod free at

both ends.

The

constants

C#

D

i

are determined

by the

initial

displace-

ments and
afterwards.

velocities,

in

a manner which will be explained

19O. If instead of supposing the ends of the rod entirely we suppose both the terminal faces entirely fixed, the terminal conditions are (Art. 187)
free,

*-*
both when

dy

='

x

= o and when

x=L

Assuming then (16) and (18) as before, and proceeding exactly as in the last Article, we find the same equation (20) for
the determination of the values of

m

but

184

Case of Permanent Tension.
AI =

B
and
where

i

Q =C
i .
.

(sin

%&(,)),
<r

(cos /<

(;<)),

jr-zrCiCOtmft+DiSmj-mf
_, Y

(23)

=

/

.

i

^sm

m

f

o

(^)j (cos -^

x

\

/

ni-x

-.

f^i^\\
v

~/J/
/

/^t^NN in---.g--.
Wvjj;

\

(24)

Comparing the expressions

(22), (23),

we

see that the

com-

ponent tones have the same pitch, whether the terminal faces be both free or both fixed. For the values of m i are the roots of the same equation (20) in both cases, and the number of
vibrations in a unit of time, for the tone of the
*'

th

order, is

m?
The

Kb

constant b depends (Art. 178) only on the material of is made, and m is an abstract number, inde{ pendent both of material and dimensions. Hence, when the

which the rod
material

is given, the number of vibrations, for a tone of given order, varies inversely as the square of the length of the rod, and directly as the radius of gyration of the sectional area about

that diameter

plane of vibration. or rectangular, then K is simply proportional to the thickness measured in the plane of vibration.
is

which

at right angles to the

If the section

is elliptic

191. In the last Article

it

was supposed that both the terminal

faces were fixed, but that there was no permanent tension, so that the natural length of the axis was maintained.
faces, leads to be treated in

supposition of permanent tension, with fixed terminal much more complicated equations, but they may an approximate manner in the only case of practical importance, namely, that in which the thickness of the

The

rod is very small compared with its length. The result may then be considered as giving the correction for rigidity for a wire, or for a long and thin lamina, not stretched over bridges, but firmly clamped at the ends.
take in this case the equations (7), (9), and (IT), as d*y in Arts. 179 and 180. But we shall suppose the term 2
in (6') to

We may

form

be neglected, so that instead of = a2 2 K2

(9')

we

get the simpler

p#

Application

to
2

Wire with Clamped Ends.
2

185

and therefore, since a and write the value of a 2 thus
:

/3

are the

two values of If, we may

and ft will be given by changing of the numerator.

2

+i

into

i

in the last

term

Now
number
K2
is

in the case of a metallic wire or lamina,
(see Art. 178), since
;

^

is

a large
q.

T

is

small compared with

But

very small
2

and the legitimacy of the following approxi^.2

mation depends upon the assumption that -=
K2
3
is

is

so small that
it

also very small.
2 2

From

this

assumption

follows that

al is very large, since a / is expressed by a fraction in which 2 and the denominator is the small fraction the numerator is

>

-2

2

Now

the terminal conditions are
these,
i)

y = o, -j- = o, x
ct

dy

at

both ends
find

;

and from
equation
(i

proceeding as in Art. 189, A + C = o,

we

from

and hence, eliminating A, C, D, and reducing by means 2 2 of the identity (o-(a/)) -(g(a/)) = i, we find, finally,
,

8

a/ sin 3/

2

a3
a and
/3

given above were introduced, we should obtain an equation in m, of which the roots would be the values ofm v m 2 &c. Now the values of a2 ft 2 give, as will be found at once without

and

if

in this equation the values of

,

,

ct/3

difficulty,

2

2

=

mb-

Also, since al

is

very large,

we

i

have,

neglecting

e~ a/

,

<r(a/)

= 8 (a/) = Je

+a/
,

and the equation (m)

becomes

sin/

2

mb

1 86

Application
- a/

to

Wire with Clamped Ends.
2mb taa/=.
_
7

or,

being again neglected,

Now

the value of

2
/3

gives

(by developing the binomial as far as the second term)
,

;

hence

I ft

Q =

ml
Ka
nearly.

But the number of vibrations
since the case differs very
string, this
little

in a unit of time is

2 7TK

;

and

from that of an

infinitely thin
differs

number
Z'TT,

differs

very

little

from

,?

so that

2 1
0,

Ka
;

very

little

from
/3/

or /3/ = nr +
is

where 6
;

is

very small
2

hence

2mb
and

= tan

= tan 6

very small
.

and we may take

mb

=

0,

therefore

2

mb

and, equating this to

j

we have

introducing the subscript index to distinguish the different values of m,
or,

m, in a / - = ;- (
K
I

\

Let n { be the
/th tone,

and

N
;

{

K3\ -1 z'tra / K&\ = ri + 2 - 7 ) ( ) \ I la' la' nearly. number of vibrations, in a unit of time, of the the number calculated on the supposition of
i

2

infinite thinness

then
=
ia
j

N

*r

and

=
,-

m

i
;

u

hence

2/

27TK

in Art.

Comparing this with the corresponding expression deduced 184 on the supposition that the directions of the terminal
viz.

faces were free,

Case of one Fixed End.

187

we see that they differ essentially, especially in this respect, that in the case (n) of fixed faces the pitch of all the component tones is raised, by the rigidity, through the same interval, so that they do not cease to form a harmonic series ; whereas
in the

other case (') each tone
strictly

is

interval than the next lower one,

and

raised through a greater the series is therefore no

longer

harmonic.

expression equivalent to (n\ and obtained by nearly the same process, was given by Seebeck 1 and found by him to agree with experiment when the ends of the wire were clamped. In the case of a wire stretched over bridges, the form (n) has been found to agree with experiment, in the manner mentioned at the end of Art. 184. But the deviation of the upper tones from the harmonic scale is probably too small to be made sensible to the ear.
,

An

is
is

last of the cases which we proposed to examine which one terminal face (suppose that at which x = o) fixed and the other free. The conditions then are (Art. 187)

192.

The

that in

y = o,
d*y =
o,

-Tax

dy = o,
=o,

when
when

x = o,

tfy

.^

3

x,L
in the first

place

Again then, assuming (16) and (18), we find A + C = o, B + = o, and then

D

A (cos m -f (m)) + B (sin m + b (m) ) = o, A (sin m b (m)) (cosm + (r(m)) = o; eliminating A and B we obtain, after reduction, or i, (m)cos m =
ao-

e

m
_j_

e

-m

cosm= -

i

(25)

as the equation for determining the values of

m

;

take

A

i

=

C

i

(sin

m + S (01
t

.)

),

B

=
i

-C

and we may

t

(cos

m + <r (mj)
t

;

so that the value

of_>> will

be
(26)

in

which

C

it

D

i

are arbitrary,

and

1

See the memoir referred to below (Art. 205).

1

88
=

Periods of Tones
2T,.

(sin

*

i

+

(,.)

in-8().
end of

(27)

Since the equation (25) is not the same as (20), the periods of the component tones will not be the same as in the two former cases. But the law of their variation with the length and sectional area of a rod of given material is still the same as
that stated at the
Art. 190.

complete the solution of the problems considered in Arts. 187-192, we should have first to find the roots of the equations (20) and (25), which determine the periods of the component tones, and then to find the values of x which satisfy =o = o, = o, for each root of the equations i i i (20), and for each root of (25), in order to ascertain the positions of the nodes corresponding to each tone. The required calculations, for small values of which belong to the most important tones, are troublesome especially those which relate to the nodes. And we shall only give a sufficient specimen of them to enable the reader, who may be so disposed, to verify the results which will be given below. First, then, we have to find the values of- m it which are the roots of the two equations (see (20) and (25)),

193.

To

X

Y

Z

z',

;

f x 4-

f~ x
(28)

-l_cos.*=i;

where the upper sign corresponds to the case of both ends fixed or both free, and the lower to that of one fixed and the
other
free.
It is

evident

equation (28), then observing that

on inspection m and

that

if

m
i

be any root of either
are
also roots;

m

V
a
(

now

cos(
cos ( + 020
sin(
sin

m&) = cosm6,

md) =

rr

(mO),

V^7) =
0z0)

cr

(m6),

<r(m0 \/^i) = cos mO),
b(-m0) =
6

= =

-smme,
</~^~i
.

b(mO),

(m6 V^T)

(mO)

t

b( +

m6/

i)

=

A/

i.sin0z0,

we
that

see,

on examining the forms of the functions it the effect of changing any one of the four values
\/
i

X Y

{,

Z^ m^

+m

t

into

any

other, will in

every case be merely to

found

in two Cases.

189

and 1,+ \/ i multiply the function by one of the factors given by the consequently all the four terms in the value of four roots can be united into one term of the form (22), (23),
;

+

y

or (26), according to the case in question. It is therefore only necessary to consider the positive real roots of (28). 194. The position of the roots of (28) may be most clearly If we draw the curve exhibited by a graphic construction. of which the equation is

y=
it

*+-*
2

cos x^

will cut the positive axis

of

x

at distances

*,

222
+ y
limit.

at which origin, and the distances from the axis of = i will be the positive roots of it cuts the two lines (28). The curve itself will consist of a series of unsymmetrical waves,

from the

y

of which the amplitudes increase without

In Fig.

2,

the

~"\

190

Periods of Tones

found
577
j

in two Cases.

Xthe values of

TT

222
37T
t

5

&C..

dy

are alternately negative
limit.

and

positive, increasing

numerically without

Hence

the roots corresponding to the
less

upper sign are alternately greater and

than

3
5 >

&c.,

and those corresponding
77

to the lower sign alternately greater

and

less

than2

^77
3

&c.
2

On

the scale to which the figure

is

drawn, the portion of curve from the ordinate at C.

pz Ps

is

quite

undistinguishable

We
Ppr

will

now shew how

to calculate the values of

QP QP
lt

2

,

195. Suppose that in either of the equations

C+-* COS X =
2

4- I

we have found an approximate
assuming

m+a

value of x, say

x

- m.

Then

as the true value, in + m a
a_j_

we have

cos(m + a) =

+ i.
first,

Developing

this,

and neglecting powers of a above the
188)

we

find (using the notation explained in Art.

~

cosm.o-(m)+
sin m.o-

i

,

x

(m) 6 (m)

cos

m

'

If the value m + a thus found is not sufficiently exact, then it must be assumed as an approximation, and the process repeated, and so on as often as may be necessary. We will take as an example the case of the fundamental tone of the rod with one end fixed. We then have to find the least and we have seen positive root of (28), taking the lower sign
;

(Art.

then
(29),

194) x=-

that this

is

somewhat

greater than

Assuming

+a

as a

first

approximation, and putting

m=-

in

we have

i

a =

= 0.398 nearly

'

Assuming

therefore
.r

= - +0.398

+ a'

3

Numerical
we
shall find the value

Residts.

191

of a' by putting

m = - + 0.398
in (29) (taking the lower sign in the numerator). = 1.88 nearly. a' = 0.089 an d

This gives

x

The

next approximation gives

*=

1.8751,

^

which is sufficiently accurate. 196. For the higher tones of the rod with one end fixed, and for all the tones of the rod with both ends fixed or both free, The following are the results the approximation is more rapid.
in the

two cases
One end

:

I.

II.
free.

fixed

and one

Both ends

fixed or

both

free.

m-L

1-8751

4-73

m m m4
z

3

4.6940 7- 8 548 10-9955
higher tones the formula

7853 2
10.9957
i

For

still

may
case

be used without sensible error, the upper sign belonging to I. and the lower to case II.
z
,

The numbers
of

m

are,

of vibrations, being proportional to the values for the higher tones, sensibly proportional to the

squares of the odd numbers. 197. To find the interval between any two tones we may proceed as in the following example. The interval between the fundamental tone and the first upper tone, of the rod with one
J (4.694O\

-

2
j

of which

the

logarithm

is

find that this ratio

0.79704; and observing that log 6 =0.77815, we is equal to 6 x 1.0445 nearly. Now

hence 1.0445 of which the first three convergents are T,ff exceeds ff by a fraction less than -g^, and the ratio of the interval is therefore a very little less than

,;

192

Position of Nodes investigated.
the interval
is

It follows that

is

and the

interval (f f )

a

little

= two octaves + fifth + (f f ) nearly less than f ths of a diatonic semi;

tone, for (ffc)* = fj. nearly. Hence, if the fundamental tone were C, the

first

upper tone

would be

flatter

than b a by a
1
.

little

more than a quarter of a

diatonic semitone

In this way we find the following to be the first four tones of a rod in the two cases, supposing the fundamental tone in each case to be C.
I.

II.

One end

fixed

and one

free.

Both ends

free or

both

fixed.

C

C

></(*)

+

d"-

The sign signifies that the actual sound is somewhat that it is somewhat flatter, than the sharper, and the sign tone indicated by the letter. find also that the ratio of the interval between the fund-

+

We

amental tone of a rod with one end fixed, and of the same rod with both ends free or fixed, is 6 x 1.106 nearly; so that the interval is a very little less than two octaves -f fifth + minor second. Thus, if the fundamental tone were C in the first case, it would be a little flatter than a in the second.

198.

We

shall

now shew how

the nodes in the several cases, rod with one end fixed.
since at a

and we

to determine the position of will take first that of the

Referring to equations (26), (27), (Art. 192), we see that = o for all values of /, the values of x, or the node distances of the nodes from the fixed end, must be in this case = o, namely, those positive roots which roots of the equation t are less than /.

y

Z

1 more systematic way of denning a small interval is to assign its ratio to the semitone of the equal temperament,' which is the twelfth part of an ' An interval of which octave, and which we may call the mean semitone.'
'

A

the ratio

is
i

r contains
>

^

mean

semitones.

Thus

the interval (1.0445)

contains _j

T

g^-445

_o .yg^ such semitones

nearly.

(See Art. 23.)

The octave contains 10.74 diatonic semitones nearly; and the mean semitone is about 0.89 diatonic semitones. (Compare the table of intervals
on
p. 27.)

Position of

Nodes

investigated.
is

193

This equation (subscript indices being omitted)

mx -- /mx\\
(T

\j~))
i

x

o,

(30)

in

which

m

is

a determinate root (m?) of the equation

(y(m)cosm =

i.
:

(31)

The equation (30) may be transformed as follows From (31) we have 0"(/7^) = secff^, and therefore

Now we
(21
(i

have seen (Art. 194) that
i is

m

i

is

greater or less than

i)- according as

odd or

even, so that

we may

put

= o being excluded)

*<=0-i)^-(-ya,,
where a t
is a small positive quantity, definitely for increasing values of /.
-

(32)
in-

which diminishes

Hence cosm i
sign as sin (22*

is

always negative, and sinw^ has the same
that
is,

i)-j

(

)*

+1 .

Consequently, since

8(0^)

is

necessarily positive,
b (m^)

we must have
tan

=

(

)*'

m

i

= cos

IT:

tan m i ; cos m i + cos its
sin

and therefore
sin

m

i

-\-b

(m.)
)

sin m.

+ cos i-n tan m
secm i

i

cosm i

m + sin
i

Z'TT

=

cot

-2

and (30)
omitted)

is

therefore

easily seen to become (indices being

cos

(mx -i
(

-

mx -

---

a(

)

cos

which

is

reducible,

by means of the
4
)j y

identities

cos0

sin# =

y

2. cos i a i
4'

i>

194
to the
.

Position of Nodes investigated.
form
, /

o c*os

/mx
i

m-\-i'n\
i

f

*

^

mn

/

2

/
1KX

^2
I

/m-^-m
i *

TT\ i

4'
r

~e~~cos(^^ + p^o.
Now
let

(30')

the origin of abscissae be

removed

to the middle of the

axis of the rod,

by writing

x+-

instead of x, so that

x

will

now mean
,-

the distance of a node from the middle point. above equation then becomes

The

V2.cos(-. \ I

/mx ITT mx ITT\ ---

~
*

2
.

) 2 '

fm sm(^
.

2

-+-) y
4
Tt\

ir

TT\

-e

.

Now

from equation (31), which
e

m
2 )

e

cos
is

,m + lir
(

^

+-)

=

o.

(33)

+6-m

=

secwz,
i)

we

get (by adding

and subtracting =

secwsn

and since sec m
ffi

is

always negative, whilst the sine and cosine of
j[

have the same signs as the sine and cosine of (21
(as
is

i)

-

evident from (32)), these equations give
2

+

2

=

2V - sec w. sin
sec/w.cos

.

sin (22

X

1)X

_ e -- _ 2 v/
2

cos(22

i)-;

and thence, by addition and subtraction,
2

=V/
I

/m
secw.cos( \
/
2

tir

+ -) 24'
7T\ 7T^
J

-

-7T\

m

ZTT ZTf
1

e

(JH

224^

Position of Nodes investigated.

195

Introducing these values in (33), and observing the identities

- J (sin cos0cos</> - J (cos
sin 6 cos
(/>

(6

+ $) + sin (0 - ), (0 + $) + cos (0-<|>)),
</>)

we

find, after

obvious reductions,

V2

/-.

cos

(7--- J + I v
ftnOC
1

7T\

,

/

nt:

mx
.

-----

mx
j l
.

'

x

cos #z.

'

(e

6

COSZTT)

=o;

but from (32)

it is

evident that

cos

hence the equation becomes
/Wl-X
17T\
,

cos

--- J+iv Jsmaj^e \~7
/
.

-

m

=
t

sino^;

x
e

m; x __ _
"

.

/

/

COSZTT)

= o.

/

\

(34)

Another form is obtained from (33) by substituting for m^ under the sine and cosine in the last two terms, the value (32). This will easily be found to give
/-

V2.cos(

ftn.x k

---

tir^ )

/f + + e ^ l)
l

>

i

sm-J-o^

_ e ~^l/ + 2; cos ^ cos^a^ = o.
199.
free,

(34')

To

we have

find the places of the nodes when both to solve the equation (see Art. 189)

ends are

mx
cos

-y-

mx
in

^ /

\

.

x

(35)

which

m

is

a determinate root

(m^ of the equation

a
and

= sec (m)

m

;

(Art. 194), ./= o being excluded,

)%
where
small positive quantity, /3 { is a definitely for increasing values of i. In this case cos i is always positive,
-

(36)
in-

which diminishes

m

and -sin/:^; and,

proceeding as in the

last Article,

we
cos

find
ITT
;

6 (m^i

= tan

m

t

also

2

1

96

Position of

Nodes

investigated.
t

m cos m
sin
a.

.

b(m.} = v *' tan

m

4-

Z'TT

and

i

m

T

*

hence (35) becomes
Wt JC

</2 sin

(

)

+

l

cos

:

(
tTi
1

-

^sm(/m +
.

TT \

*

J

= o;

and, transferring the origin of abscissae to the middle point of the axis as before, we obtain finally, instead of (34) and (34'),
the two equations
;

x

iir\

,

/,

.

..

.

m J.

_^i^
;

(37)

.

/nttX

m{

ZTT\ + --- J + m.+l sm V/ t;
.

f

i

p.

e~ W| \j +

/

cos

ITT

cos 1/3^ = 0.

(37')

200. The equations (34) or (34') and (37) or (37') determine, in the two cases, the positions of the nodes for each value of that is, for each component tone ; the value i = i The values belonging to the fundamental tone in both cases.
*",

of

/and + J/give the distances of the x which lie between nodes from the middle point. The numerical values of m i in the two cases have already been given. The values of a { /3 f are the differences (taken
,

positively)

between these numbers and the values of
:

(2 *'+ i)

-

>

and are as follows

a 1 = 0.3043, a 2 = o.o 1 8 4, a 3 = 0.0008,

/3 1 /32

/33

= 0.0176, = 0.0008, = 0.000 1.

(For values of i above 3, there is no significant figure in the first four decimal places.) 201. We will first consider the case of the rod free at both ends, which is the simpler of the two. It is evident that equation (37) is satisfied by x - o when
i
is

even; and

that, in all cases, if

x' be a root, then

x'

is

a

root also.

Position of
Hence

Nodes

investigated.

197

the nodes are symmetrically distributed with respect

to the middle point, as might be foreseen a priori] and when t is even, that is, for the 2 nd , 4 th &c. component tones, there is ,

a node at the middle point. For values of i not greater than 3, the actual numerical values of m i and ft must be introduced, and the equation (37) or (37') solved by approximation. Since the second term of (37) is essentially positive, the first term must be negative; and from this condition it may be shewn (but more easily by making a graphic construction for one or two particular cases) that the number of roots between Thus the J/ and J/, that is, the number of nodes, is z'+ i. fundamental tone has two nodes, &c. (see Art. 205). For greater values of t, it is evident on inspection of the values of ft given in Art. 200, that the second term of (37) will
%*

be insignificant when

y

is

numerically small.

Hence,

for the

higher component tones, and for nodes not near the ends of the rod, the values of x will be such as make the first term vanish, or

m,x
/

.IT

2

n being an integer
value

;

and putting

in this equation the

approximate

(22+ i)-

for

m

t

,

we

get

x
1

=

i

2n

77Ti'
any two con-

Thus

the nodes which are not near the ends are distributed at

sensibly equal distances, the interval between
secutive nodes being
;

I.

202. But
the ends,
will

for values

of i greater than
as follows.

3,

and

for

we may proceed

The

last
oc

nodes near term of (37')

be insignificant when

x

is

positive,

and - not a small
|-

In the second term we may put for sin fraction. proximate value derived from the equation

ft an ap-

(see Art. 199),

which gives

198

Position of Nodes investigated.
m
: '

e~ (the square of

being neglected), and therefore m sin ^(3 { = t~ \

since

/3 4 is

very small.

Hence
e

the second term of (37')
'

becomes

mi2,

and

if

in this term

we

put the approximate value
'

4 the equation

2

becomes
*
3

n^

/

2 '

Now

let

T- = $

then

__ ~
e

4;

(38)

and this equation will have a determinate series of positive roots, say $ lt 3-2 --, Sj, -, which can be found by approxiThe values of .r will then be given by the equation mation.
,

*f or, if wz
tf

xi

Z7r

**

be replaced by

its

approximate value,

/

(21+1) IT

This formula gives the distances, from the middle point, of And we know that the the nodes towards the positive end. nodes in the negative half of the rod are respectively at the same distances from the middle point. It is easily found (by roughly drawing the two curves

y=
that,

-v/2 sin

x,

and

y=

X
e
4

v

)

for increasing

values of j, fy tends rapidly
for -j-

to

become

(j-i)ir; so that the above expression

tends to assume

the same form as that given in Art. 2O1 for nodes near the middle. The numerical results will be given below. (Art. 205.) 203. When one end of the rod is fixed, the nodes are not symmetrically distributed, and the positions of those near the two ends must be found separately. For values of i not greater

Position of
than

Nodes

investigated.

199

or (34') must be solved by approxi3, the equation (34) mation, after the numerical values of c^ have been introduced.
*

But
for

for greater values of

z',

and

for small values of

-

(that

is,

nodes not near the ends), we

may
the

of (34), and of Art. 201),

we then

find

(in

same way as

neglect the second term at the end

/

2

I

I

from which

it

follows that, near the middle, the interval between

2/
any two consecutive nodes
that
is

sensibly equal to

:

>

and

when

i is

the middle node, if the fixed at the middle of the rod.

odd (being greater than 3) one node (namely, end be reckoned as one) is sensibly

For nodes near the

free end, since

is

positive,

we may

in (34'); and in the second term we may neglect the last term introduce the approximate value of a{ derived from the equations (Art.

198) a (m t) =

sec

m

{,

cos

m

=
i

sin a f ;

which give approximately (as the corresponding equations Art. 202) sin |a,. =
so that (34')
is

in

reduced to
ITT
.

2

=o;

or, since

m

i

= (21

i)- approximately (see (32)),

ti*J*_\ 2) I
so that,
if

X tlT ."vr-?*

we put
ZTT

mx
t

we have
and
if

*J * cos

+ e "4=0;
then

we

call

1

,

2,

.

.

.

0$

... the roots of this equation,

m

f

~ =

OA

or

200

Position of Nodes investigated.
j

it

ZTT

-f
for increasing values
7T

^
is

of/

easily seen that 0j tends to be-

come

(2J

i)2

fore the second term of (34'),
.

204. For nodes near the fixed end x is negative, and therewhich is (see last Article) approximately _j^i mx
1

I

2

is

small.

Neglecting

it,

and putting

i

for cos

i

in

the last

term,

we have
r
in;

7fl:X
^

I 7T\ Z7T

e

m. '

J

m.
or, since

=
/

ITT

TT

approximately,
/7/l-X
1

7T\

m.*'

j

V2COS(\
and
if

I

7

2 /

)

we now put

the equation

is

reduced to

/V2COS(#)
,

e

-^+4=0.
this last

Let

</>j,

c|) 2

,

.

.

.

.

.

.

<j>j

be the roots of

equation

;

then

while, for increasing values of/,

^ tends to

become (2/+

I)TT.

2O5. The following numerical results have been given by Seebeck 1 who, however, has treated the fundamental equations (30) and (35) in a somewhat different manner. Case I. (One end fixed and the other free.)
,

1 In a memoir on the transverse vibrations of rods. (Abhandlungen d. Math. Phys. Classe d. K. Sachs. Gesellschaft d. Wissenschaften. Leipzig,

1852.)

Theory of Transverse Vibrations completed. 201
Distances of nodes from the free end, the length of the rod being taken as unity
:

2 nd

tone,

0.2261,

3'd 4*h
,-th I

0.1321,
0.0944,

0.4999,

U

1-3222 -

2

0.3558,

4-9820
,
-

-

2

0.6439,
-

J

9-ooo7 -41
2

J

4/-3 --

4t

4^

4Z2

}

4?'- 10.9993

4*'

7-oi75
42'- 2
that

41- 2
The
~.
last
-

row

in this table

must be understood as meaning
/th

42-2
Case

may be

taken as the distance of the
first

node from the

free end, except for the
II.

three

and

last

two nodes.

(Both ends free.) Distances of nodes from nearest end
I st

:

tone,

0.2242,

2* d
3'd
/th

0.1321,
0.0944,

0.5,

0.3558,

1-3222
>

4-9820
'

9-0007
4*

4*'+2

4/4-2

+2

'

4/~ 3. 4/+2
axis, at

206. To complete the theory of the a rod, it is necessary to shew how the time during the motion, is determined ments and velocities of its points. On reference to Art. 179, &c. it will cases which have been considered, the the time / is of the form

transverse vibrations of

form of the

any

by the

initial

displace-

be seen that in all the equation to the axis at

J'-SIC**^* cos
in

,/+-#* sin

V)J

(42)

upon
is

... are determinate constants, depending 2 ,... n^ the roots of an equation, in general transcendental, and ui a determinate function of and of n it which satisfies a

which n v

x

differential

equation such as
.

(through m) upon n{
there
is

We
}

(8), in

which the

coefficients

depend

shall consider

only the case in which
shall also neglect, as

no

tension, so that

a=

o,

and

before, the

term m*

d^u ~-

which

arises

from the term

d^y
2

in

202
(6'),

Theory of Transverse Vibrations completed.

introduced by taking account of the angular motion of the transverse sections of the rod.

With any two
to above

this

simplification we may write equation (8) thus for different roots of the transcendental equation referred

:

in which

p^ p^ are two constants, of which we only require

to

know that they are different. From these equations we have

Now if we multiply x = the result is
t,

this

by dx, and integrate from
ri

x

= o to

[-//)
for the first

two terms of the equation, multiplied by dx, are
i d' u du*-,i 3 3
.

the differential of

u

i J

~

i

dx

of which every term vanishes at both limits, on every supposition as to the terminal conditions. (See Art. 187.)
It follows therefore that

wheny

is

different

from

i

v
(43)

Jo
but
will

be a determinate constant, depending

upon/
being supposed

the initial displacements to be given, we have, when / = o,

Now

and

velocities

>-/(*).
where/ (x) and
for all values of
<

J -*(*)>
is

x

(x) are functions of which the value

given

from o to

/.

Hence, from

(42),

Torsion Vibrations.

203

and if these equations be multiplied by u^dx, and integrated from x = o to x = /, the result (by (43) ) is

ri

ri

tijBA

$(x}ujdx; Jo Jo u?dx=\

so that AJ, are determined, and the form of the axis of the j rod at any time /is then given by equation (42).

B

Torsion Vibrations.

207. Torsion vibrations may be properly included in general class of lateral vibrations; but as they are of

the
little

Such vipractical importance we shall discuss them briefly. brations will be produced when a uniform elastic rod is left
to itself after undergoing a slight disturbance by forces reducible to couples in planes perpendicular to its axis. If the rod were in equilibrio under the action of such forces,
it

would be

in a state of torsion or twist

;

and the

twist

may be

called simple when the particles in any transverse plane section are not displaced relatively to one another, and the distance between any two sections remains unaltered.

Suppose a cylindrical rod, whether solid or hollow (as a tube), to be twisted by equal and opposite couples applied only in the planes of its ends ; then, if there is no relative displace-

ment of

particles in either of these terminal sections, it is evident that there will be none in any other transverse section ; and it is known that the length of the rod remains unaltered, or rather is altered only by a quantity of the second order, when

the twist

is

small.

Under

the action of such forces the rod,

when
It
is

in equilibrio, will be in a state of uniform simple twist. probable that such a condition cannot be realised in

practice except in the case of cylindrical rods, though it In subsist, more or less approximately, for other forms.
follows

may
what

we

shall

assume
the twist

that the
is

form

is cylindrical.
\&

208.

When

uniform, the rate of twist

defined

by the angle through which any transverse section is turned relatively to any other, divided by the distance between the two sections. And the limit of this ratio, when the distance between the two sections is diminished indefinitely, is the rate of twist in that section with which they ultimately coincide, whether the
twist be

uniform or not.
the twist
is

When

uniform,

all

the particles which, in the

204
untwisted
will lie

Condition of Equilibrium.
state, lay upon a helix.

any

upon

And

straight line parallel to the axis, the inclination of a tangent to this

helix, at any point, to the axis, will the rate of twist and to the distance

be directly proportional to from the axis. When this

is small where it has its greatest value, that is, on It is evident the exterior surface, the twist may be called small. that a small twist is consistent with a large relative angular displacement of the terminal sections, if the radius of the cylinder

inclination

be small compared with its length. 209. When equilibrium subsists under the action of couples applied only in the planes of the terminal sections, it is evident that the moments of these couples must be equal and opposite and it is known from experiment that when the twist is small, the rate of twist is, for a rod of given material and section, proportional to the moment of the couples.
;

If, besides the terminal couples, there are twisting forces acting on the interior matter of the rod, the conditions of equiLet x be the distance of librium are easily found as follows. any transverse section from one end (A ) of the rod, and 6 the

angular displacement of that section.

Then
doc

(Art.

208)
and

is

the rate of twist in a section at the distance

x

from

A

;

the

moment

of the couple which would have to be applied in the plane of that section in order to maintain equilibrium, if the rod

were cut

there,

would be

C

>

C

being a constant which we

shall consider

more

particularly below.
slice

210. Let us consider then an infinitesimal

contained

between two sections
If
all

at distances

x

\dx>,

x + \dx

from A.

the rest of the rod were removed, it would be necessary, in order to maintain the equilibrium of the slice, to apply in its

two faces couples of which the moments are

\dx
(those couples crease 6).

2

S dx*

'

^dx
positive

being considered

which tend

to

in-

Hence, if Lpo>dx be the moment of the twisting forces acting on the mass of the slice, where /o, o> are the density, and area of section of the rod, the condition of equilibrium will be
Lp<&dx-\-

C -dx = o,

and the

differential

equation of motion will be obtained from

Isotropic Rod.
this as usual,

205

by substituting for Lpadx the sum of the moments of the resistances to acceleration of the particles of the
namely,
d(*> is

slice,

e

r

j
an element of area of the transverse section, and If then we put k for the r the distance of da* from the axis. radius of gyration of the area of the section about the axis

where

of the rod, so that

/rVa>=#X
we
for
shall

have

d*B

C

d*0

dx*
the equation of motion to be satisfied at
all

parts of the

rod.

The

terminal conditions will be

=o

at a fixed end,

and

dx

= o at a free end.

(The latter condition is evident if it be observed that at a free end the rate of twist must be o, since there is no couple in the
terminal face.) 211. On the

supposition

that

the

material of the

rod

is

isotropic (Tail and Thomson, 676), elastic in all directions, the constant

terms of g, the modulus of elasticity constant /x, the meaning of which we will now explain. If a uniform bar, of any section, be extended by forces applied uniformly to the surfaces of its ends only, it is known that the transverse linear dimensions are contracted. Let e be the longitudinal extension (see Art. 148), and jute the transverse or lateral contraction then, the extensions and contractions being always supposed small, //. is a constant for a given material, and moreover must have a value between o and J, if, as is the case with all ordinary substances, the volume of the bar is increased under the circumstances supposed. It can be shewn that in the case of a cylindrical, solid or J hollow, rod, the value of the constant C in the last Article is
;

and therefore equally C can be expressed in (Art. 148), and of another

1

The demonstration
it

afford space for

here.

of these propositions is elementary, but See Klebsch, 2, 3, 92.

we cannot

so6

Res^dt of Integration.

so that equation (i) becomes

d^Q
~dt*

=

q

dz e
(2), since in former

2 (!+)*)/>"<***"

need not repeat the process of integrating it is exactly analogous to that which has been applied problems (see Art. 122) and can offer no difficulty. merely give the result in two cases. (1) If both ends of the rod are free, then
212.
1

We

We

shall

A

= 00 , ITIX /ITtat = ^,1 A i cos sin /=1

2

.

(

+ a-)

N

.

(2) If the

end from which
then

x

is

measured

is

fixed,

and the

other end

free,

where

A

{,

determined by
equation

a { in each case, represent arbitrary constants, to be initial circumstances, and a is defined by the
,

a =
z'

The

period of the

th

tone

is

therefore

mca se(i),
in case (2). -) q Now comparing these with the periods of longitudinal vibrations of the same rod under the same terminal conditions, we see that the tone of given order produced by torsion vibrations is lower than that of the same order produced by longitudinal vibrations, by an interval of which the ratio is
T^ 21+
I

4/

/2(i-f-/ut)p\i

(V

(* (!+)). value of the constant fx is probably different for different substances. Navier and Poisson, by reasoning now 213.

The

jn

generally admitted to be illegitimate, deduced a priori the value = for all substances.

Wertheim found experimentally 1

/z

.-=

\

for glass

and

brass.

Kirchoff 2 found values differing sensibly from this for steel bars, and for a drawn brass bar in which the longitudinal
elasticity differed
1

from the

lateral.

Ann.

2

de Ckim. et de Phys. 3rd Poggendorf, vol. cviii. p. 369.

series, vol. xxiii. p. 54.

Value of
The
results of the last Article
fj.,

fjL.

207

would afford an experimental were possible to be assured that the rods used were isotropic, and to observe with sufficient precision the intervals between the tones given by longitudinal and torsion vibrations.

means of determining

if it

Chladni asserts that this interval is always a fifth. If this were so, or rather, for substances in which it is so, we must the ratio have 2 (i +/m) = {-, or ^ = \. If the value of //. were
,

of the interval would be (f)* =1-632. It is impossible however, or at any rate very difficult, to observe with great exactness the interval between the two tones, and a small error in the ratio of the interval may evidently produce a considerable error in the value of \L. Hence this constant must be determined by other methods. 214. Torsion vibrations may be excited in a cylindrical rod by friction with the same substances as would excite longitudinal
vibrations in the

same

rod.

a piece of stout glass tube, four or five feet long, be gently but firmly clamped in a table-vice at its middle, after winding a piece of broad tape about it at that part to protect it from the vice, and if a wet piece of the same tape be passed

Thus,

if

once round the tube not far from its middle, and the ends rather lightly and quickly pulled backwards and forwards at right angles to the tube by the two hands, the torsion vibrations
will

When
one end

be easily produced. the rod is not cylindrical the

friction

of a

bow

(charged

Thus the torsion rosin) should be used. vibrations of a rectangular deal rod may be excited by clamping
as usual with

powdered

in a vice

at right angles to the rod, at

and drawing the bow across one of its edges a point distant from the fixed end

about a fourth of the length.

i>?
.

^,n,

cd

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