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Spring system - 3 DoF system and its properties while changing stiffness
I w as given the attached 3 degree of freedom spring system w ith the purpose of analyzing it.

## I came up w ith the follow ing equation of motion

and then I ran Matlab to calculate the corresponding natural frequencies and mode shapes using eigenvalues and eigenvectors; I w as asked to see w hat happens w hen value of stiffness k12 is changed. This is the plot of the value k12 against the natural frequencies.

The problem is that I do not know WHY values of natural frequencies are insensitive at low values of k12 and w hy both the 1st and 2nd natural frequencies are insensitive to changes in k12 w hen values are large (first tw o level off and the third one seems to go to infinity). I assume it has something to do w ith the equation for force due to a spring betw een 2 masses but I cannot figure it out. That is w hy I ask for your help - thanks in advance.
homework newtonian-mechanics spring frequency vibration

## asked 15 hours ago Filip Jaromczy k 11 2

1 Answer
It's easy to see w ithout doing any math, but just by looking at the picture. Let's consider first the case of low k12 . In this case, m1 and m2 basically don't notice k12 because it is so w eak that it is drow ned out by the other springs. So the low k12 case basically gives the same value as the k12 = 0 case for all three frequencies (you can check this). As an exercise, let's think about w hat w ould happen if you removed k20 and k23 (i.e., set them equal to zero). Now m2 can see k12 because there are no other springs drow ning out its effect, and you should get one frequency changing as k12 goes to zero. It is only one because tw o of the frequencies w ill just be for the symmetric and antisymmetric modes of m1 and m3 , w hich don't really care about m2 . The third one w ill be slow er. Now lets like about the high k12 limit. Here m2 sees only k12 , and since k12 is so big, m1 and m2 are basically rigidly attached. Thus tw o modes w ill be the symmetric and antisymmetric modes of m3 and m1 + m2 (you can check this, you have to add k10 and k20 as w ell as k13 and k23 to get the effective spring constants), and the third mode w ill be a quick oscillation of m2 relative to m1 . You can check this too, the frequency ought to be k12 /, w here is the reduced mass for

m1 and m2 :

1 m1

1 m2