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470

Simple Harmonic

Motion

Contents

1. Introduction.

2. Important Terms.

3. General Conditions of

Simple Harmonic Motion.

4. Velocity and Acceleration

of a Particle Moving with

Simple Harmonic Motion.

5. Maximum Velocity and

Acceleration of a Particle

Moving with Simple

Harmonic Motion.

23.1. INTRODUCTION

In the previous chapters, we have discussed the

motion of particles or bodies in a straight line or in

rotation. But in this chapter, we shall discuss the

motion of a particle or point along a circular path and

its effect on one of its diameters.

Consider a particle starting from x and moving

round the circumference of circle in an anti-clockwise

direction, with a constant angular velocity, as shown

in Fig. 23.1. Let P be the position of the particle at

any instant and N be the projection of P on the diameter

Y-Y' of the circle.

23

C H A P T E R C H A P T E R C H A P T E R C H A P T E R C H A P T E R

Contents

Chapter 23 : Simple Harmonic Motion 471

It will be interesting to know that when the point P moves round the circumference of the

circle from x to y, N moves from O to y ; when P moves from y to x', N moves from y to O.

Similarly, when P moves from x' to y', N moves from O to y', and finally when P moves from y' to

x, N moves from y' to O. Hence, as P completes one revolution, the point N completes one vibration

about the point O. This to and fro motion of N is known as Simple harmonic motion, briefly

written as S.H.M.

23.2. IMPORTANT TERMS

The following terms, which will be frequently used in

this chapter, should be clearly understood at this stage :

1. Amplitude. It is the maximum displacement of a

body, from its mean position. In Fig. 23.1, Oy and

Oy' is the amplitude of the particle N. The

amplitude is always equal to the radius of the

circle.

2. Oscillation. It is one complete vibration of a body.

In Fig. 23.1, when the body moves from y to y'

and then back to y (or in other words from O to y,

y to y' and then y' to O), it is said to have completed

one oscillation.

3. Beat. It is half of the oscillation. In Fig. 23.1, when

the body moves from y to y' or y' to y (or in other words O to y' and then y' to O), it is said

to have completed one beat.

4. Periodic time. It is the time taken by a particle for one complete oscillation. Mathematically,

periodic time,

2

T

=

It is thus obvious, that the periodic time of a S.H.M. is independent of its amplitude.

5. Frequency. It is the number of cycles per second and is equal to

1

T

where T is the periodic

time. Frequency is generally denoted by the letter n. The unit of frequency is hertz

(briefly written Hz) which means frequency of one cycle per second.

23.3. GENERAL CONDITIONS OF SIMPLE HARMONIC MOTION

In general, a body is said to move or vibrate, with simple harmonic motion, if it satisfies the

following two conditions :

1. Its acceleration is always directed towards the centre, known as the point of reference or

mean position.

2. Its acceleration is proportional to the distance from that point.

Fig. 23.1. S.H.M.

Contents

472 A Textbook of Engineering Mechanics

23.4. VELOCITY AND ACCELERATION OF A PARTICLE MOVING WITH

SIMPLE HARMONIC MOTION

Consider a particle moving along the circumference of a circle,

of radius r with a uniform angular velocity of radians/sec as shown

in Fig. 23.2.

Let P be the position of the particle at some instant after t sec

from X. Therefore, angle turned by the particle,

= t rad

and displacement of the point N (i.e. projection of P on the vertical

diameter Y-Y' of the circle),

y = ON = r sin

= r sin t ...(i)

Differentiating this equation with respect to time t,

cos

dy

r t

dt

= ...(ii)

or velocity,

2

1 sin v r t = ...(Q sin

2

+ cos

2

= 1)

From equation (i), we find that

sin

y

t

r

=

Substituting this value of sin t in the above equation,

2

2

1

y

r

r

=

or velocity,

2 2

v r y = ...(iii)

Now differentiating equation (ii) with respect to time t,

2

2

2

sin

d y

r t

dt

=

or acceleration, a =

2

y ...(Substituting y = r sin t)

Note. The minus sign shows that the direction of acceleration is opposite to the direction in

which y increases i.e., the acceleration is always directed towards the point O. But in actual practice,

this relation is used as a =

2

y

Example 23.1. The piston of a steam engine moves with simple harmonic motion. The crank

rotates at 120 r.p.m. and the stroke length is 2 metres. Find the velocity and acceleration of the

piston, when it is at a distance of 0.75 metre from the centre.

Solution. Given : Frequency of piston (N) = 120 r.p.m ; stroke length l = 2 m or radius (r)

= 1 m and distance of piston from the centre (y) = 0.75 m

Velocity of piston

We know that angular velocity of piston,

2 2 120

4 rad/sec

60 60

N

= = =

Fig. 23.2. Particle moving

with S.H.M.

Contents

Chapter 23 : Simple Harmonic Motion 473

Velocity of piston,

2 2 2 2

4 (1) (0.75) 8.3 m/s v r y = = =

Ans.

Acceleration of piston

We know that acceleration of piston,

a =

2

y = (4)

2

0.75 = 118.4 m/s

2

Ans.

Example 23.2. A body, moving with simple harmonic motion, has an amplitude of 1 meter

and the period of complete oscillation is 2 seconds. What will be the velocity and acceleration of

the body after 0.4 second from the extreme position?

Solution. Given : Amplitude (r) = 1 m; Periodic time (T) = 2 s and time taken by the body

from extreme position = 0.4 s

Velocity of the body

Now let O be the centre, Y an extremity of the motion and P the position of the body after

0.4 sec from Y as shown in Fig. 23.3. Therefore time required by the body to travel from Y to P

= 0.4 s

We know that time required by the body to travel from O to Y

1

4

T =

1

2 0.5 s

4

= =

Time required by the body to travel from O to N

t = 0.5 0.4 = 0.1 s ...(i)

We know that angular velocity of the body

2 2

rad/s

2 T

= = = ...(ii)

Displacement of the body after 0.4 sec from the extreme position (or 0.1 second from the

mean position),

y = r cos t = 1 cos ( 0.1) = 1 cos 18 m

...( 0.1 = 180 0.1 = 18)

= 0.95 m

Velocity of the body,

2 2 2 2

1 (0.95) 0.98 m/s v r y = = =

Ans.

Acceleration of the body

We know that acceleration of the body,

a =

2

y = ()

2

0.95 = 9.38 m/s

2

Ans.

Example 23.3. Find amplitude and time period of a particle moving with simple harmonic

motion, which has a velocity of 9 m/s and 4 m/s at the distance of 2 m and 3 m respectively from

the centre.

Solution. Given : When velocity (v

1

) = 9 m/s, distance from centre ( y

1

) = 2 m and when

velocity (v

2

) = 4 m/s, distance from centre ( y

2

) = 3 m

Amplitude of the particle

Let r = Amplitude of the particle, and

= Angular velocity of the particle.

Fig. 23.3.

Contents

474 A Textbook of Engineering Mechanics

We know that velocity of the particle,

2 2

v r y =

2 2 2

9 (2) 4 r r = = ...(i)

and

2 2 2

4 (3) 9 r r = = ...(ii)

Dividing equation (i) by (ii)

2

2

4 9

4

9

r

r

=

or

2

2

81 4

16 9

r

r

=

...(Squaring both sides)

81r

2

729 = 16r

2

64 or 65r

2

= 665

665

10.23 3.2 m

65

r = = =

Time-period of the particle

Substituting this value of r in equation (i),

2

9 (3.2) 4 6.24 2.5 = = =

9

3.6 rad/s

2.5

= =

We know that time period,

2 2

1.75 s

3.6

T

= = =

Ans.

Example 23.4. In a system, the amplitude of the motion is 5 m and the time is 4 seconds.

Find the time required by the particle in passing between points which are at distances of 4 m and 2

m from the centre of force and are on the same side of it.

Solution. Given : Amplitude (r) = 5 m ; Time taken (T) = 4 sec and distances of the point ( y

1

)

= 4 m and ( y

2

) = 2m

We know that angular velocity of the particle,

2 2

90 / s

4 T

= = =

and displacement of particle ( y),

4 = r sin t = 5 sin t

1

1

4

sin 0.8

5

t = =

t

1

= 53.1

or 1

53.1

0.59 s

90

t = =

Similarly 2 = r sin t

2

or

2

2

sin 0.4

5

t = =

t

2

= 23.6

or 2

23.6

0.26 s

90

t = =

Fig. 23.4.

Contents

Chapter 23 : Simple Harmonic Motion 475

Time required in passing between the two points,

t = t

1

t

2

= 0.59 0.26 = 0.33 s Ans.

Example 23.5. A body performing simple harmonic motion has a velocity of 12 m/s when

the displacement is 50 mm, and 3 m/s when the displacement is 100 mm, the displacement being

measuerd from the mid-point. Calculate the frequency and amplitude of the motion. What is the

acceleration when the displacement is 75 mm ?

Solution. Given : Velocity (v

1

) = 12 m/s, when displacement ( y

1

) = 50 mm = 0.05 m ; and

velocity (v

2

) = 3 m/s, when displacement ( y

2

) = 100 mm = 0.1 m

Amplitude of the motion

Let r = Amplitude of the motion, and

= Angular displacement of the body,

We know that velocity of the body,

2 2

v r y =

2 2 2

12 (0.05) 0.0025 r r = = ...(i)

Similarly

2 2 2

3 (0.1) 0.01 r r = = ...(ii)

Dividing equation (i) and (ii)

2 2

2 2

0.0025 0.0025 12

or 4

3

0.01 0.01

r r

r r

= =

2

2

0.0025

16

0.01

r

r

= ...(Squaring both sides)

16r

2

0.16 = r

2

0.0025

15r

2

= 0.0025 + 0.16 = 0.1575

2

0.1575

0.0105

15

r = =

or r = 0.1025 m Ans.

Frequency of the motion

Substituting the value of r in equation (i),

2

12 (0.1025) 0.0025 0.09 = =

12

133.3 rad/sec

0.09

= =

We know that frequency of the motion,

1 133.3

21.2 Hz

2

N

T

= = =

Ans.

Acceleration when the displacement is 75 mm

We know that acceleration of the body when y is 75 mm or 0.075 m,

a =

2

y = (133.3)

2

0.075 = 1332.6 m/s

2

Ans.

Contents

476 A Textbook of Engineering Mechanics

EXERCISE 23.1

1. A particle, moving with simple harmonic motion, has an acceleration of 6 m/s

2

at a distance

of 1.5 m from the centre of oscillation. Find the time period of the oscillation.

(Ans. 3.142 s)

2. A body weighing 150 N, moves with simple harmonic motion. The velocity and acceleration

of the body when it is 200 mm from the centre of oscillation, are 5 m/s and 20 m/s

2

respectively.

Determine (a) amplitude of motion and (b) no. of vibrations per minute.

(Ans. 539 mm ; 95.5)

3. A particle moves with simple harmonic motion. When the particle is 0.75 m from the mid-

path, its velocity is 11 m/s and when 2 m from the mid-path its velocity is 3 m/s. Find the

angular velocity, periodic time and its maximum acceleration.

(Ans. 5.7 rad/s ; 1.1 s ; 67.25 m/s

2

)

4. A particle moving with simple harmonic motion, has a velocity of 20 m/s at its central

position. If the particle makes two oscillations per second, find (i) amplitude of motion

and (ii) velocity at 1/4th the distance of the amplitude. (Ans. 1.59 m ; 19.35 m/s)

23.5. MAXIMUM VELOCITY AND ACCELERATION OF A PARTICLE

MOVING WITH SIMPLE HARMONIC MOTION

We have already discussed in Art. 23.4, that the velocity of a

particle moving with simple harmonic motion,

2 2

v r y = ...(i)

A little consideration will show, that the velocity is maximum,

when y = 0 or when N passes through O i.e. its mean position. Therefore,

maximum velocity

v

max

= r ...(ii)

It may be noted from equation (i) that its velocity is zero when y

= r, i.e. when N passes through Y' or Y as shown in Fig. 23.2. At these

points, N is momentarily at rest. We have also discussed that the

acceleration of a particle moving with simple harmonic motion,

a =

2

y ...(iii)

A little consideration will show, that the acceleration is maximum

when the value of y is maximum or y = r i.e. when N passes through Y or

Y'. Therefore maximum acceleration,

a

max

=

2

r ...(iv)

It may also be noted from equation (iii) that the acceleration is

zero, when y = 0 or when N passes through O i.e. its mean position. It is

thus obvious, that the acceleration is proportional to the distance from

O, i.e, mean position.

Example 23.6. A body is vibrating with simple harmonic motion of amplitude 100 mm, and

frequency 2 vibrations/sec. Calculate the maximum velocity and acceleration.

Solution. Given : Amplitude (r) = 100 mm = 0.1 m and frequency of body (N ) = 2 vib/sec.

Maximum velocity

We know that angular velocity of the body,

= 2N = 2 2 = 4 rad/s

Simple pendulum is the most

common example for SHM.

Contents

Chapter 23 : Simple Harmonic Motion 477

and maximum velocity, v

max

= r = 0.1 4 = 1.257 m/s Ans.

Maximum acceleration

We also know that maximum acceleration,

a

max

=

2

r = (4)

2

0.1 = 15.79 m/s

2

Ans.

Example 23.7. A particle, moving with simple harmonic motion, performs 10 complete

oscillation per minute and its speed, is 60% of the maximum speed when it is at a distance of 8 cm

from the centre of oscillation, . Find amplitude, maximum acceleration of the particle. Also find

speed of the particle, when it is 6 cm far from the centre of oscillation.

Solution. Given : No. of oscillation/min = 10 and when displacement ( y) = 8 cm velocity

(v) = 60% v

max

= 0.6 v

max

.

Amplitude of the particle

We know that no. of oscillations per sec

10 1

60 6

= =

Time-period of the motion

(T )

6

6 s

1

= =

and angular velocity,

2 2

rad/s

6 3 T

= = =

Linear velocity,

2 2

v r y =

or

2 2

0.6 (8)

max

v r = ...(Q y = 8 cm)

2

0.6 64 r r = ...(v

max

= r)

2

0.6 64 r r =

Squaring both sides,

0.36r

2

= r

2

64 or 0.64r

2

= 64

2

64

100

0.64

r = =

or 100 10 cm r = = Ans.

Maximum acceleration of the particle

We know that maximum acceleration of the particle,

2

2

10 10.97 cm /s

3

max

a r

= = =

Ans.

Speed of the particle when it is 6 cm from the centre of oscillation

We know that speed of the particle when it is 6 cm from the centre of oscillation,

2 2 2 2

(10) (6) 8.38 cm/s

3

v r y

= = = Ans.

Contents

478 A Textbook of Engineering Mechanics

Example 23.8. A prismatic bar AB of weight W is resting on rough rollers rotating with

equal angular velocity in opposite directions as shown below :

Fig. 23.5.

If the bar is so placed on the rollers that its c.g. is displaced from the middle plane and

released, show that the bar executes a simple harmonic motion. Also find the time period, if the

coefficient of friction is and the distance between the two rollers is 2a.

Solution. Let the weight W of the bar AB acting at its centre of gravity G be at a distance

x from its mid point as M as shown in Fig. 23.6.

Fig. 23.6.

Let R

1

= Vertical reaction of the left roller,

F

1

= Force of friction between the bar and left roller, and

R

2

, F

2

= Corresponding values for the right roller.

Taking moments about the left support and equating the same,

R

2

2a = W (a + x)

2

( )

2

W a x

R

a

+

=

Similarly

1

( )

2

W a x

R

a

=

We know that force of friction at the left roller,

1 1

( )

2

W a x

F R

a

= =

Similarly

2 2

( )

2

W a x

F R

a

+

= =

and resultant forces of friction,

2 1

( ) ( )

2 2

W a x W a x

F F F

a a

+

= =

Wx

a

=

Contents

Chapter 23 : Simple Harmonic Motion 479

We know that this resultant force of friction is equal to the product of mass of the bar and its

acceleration.

or

Wx W gx

a a

a g a

= =

Since the acceleration in the above equation is proportional to (i.e.*distance from the centre of

the bar), thus the bar executes a simple harmonic motion. Ans.

Periodic time

We know that periodic time in case of a simple harmonic motion,

Displacement

2 2 2

Acceleration

x

a gx

t

a g

= = =

Ans.

EXERCISE 23.2

1. A particle moving with simple harmonic motion of amplitude 150 mm is subjected to an angular

velocity of 2 rad/s. What is the maximum velocity and maximum acceleration of the particle ?

(Ans. 300 mm/s ; 600 mm/s

2

)

2. The time period of a simple harmonic motion is 6 seconds, and the particle oscillates through a

distance of 300 mm on each side of the mean position. Find the maximum velocity and maximum

acceleration of the particle. (Ans. 0.315 m/s ; 0.33 m/s

2

)

QUESTIONS

1. Explain the meaning of S.H.M. and give its one example.

2. Define the term amplitude as applied to S.H.M.

3. What do you understand by the terms periodic time and frequency? What relation do they

have ?

4. Show that when a particle moves with simple harmonic motion, its time for a complete oscillation

is independent of the amplitude of its motion.

OBJECTIVE TYPE QUESTIONS

1. The maximum displacement of a body moving with simple harmonic motion from its

mean position is called

(a) oscillation (b) amplitude (c) Beat (d ) none of them.

2. The frequency of vibration in case of simple harmonic motion

(a) means the number of cycles per second

(b) represents time taken by the particle for one complete oscillation

(c) depends upon its amplitude.

(d ) is directly proportional to its beat.

* For details, please refer to Art 23.3.

Contents

480 A Textbook of Engineering Mechanics

3. The periodic time of a body moving with simple harmonic motion

(a) depends upon its amplitude under all conditions.

(b) is independent of its amplitude

(c) depends upon its amplitude under certain conditions

(d) has no relation with its frequency.

4. The maximum acceleration of a particle moving with S.H.M. takes place, when

(a) it passes through its extreme positions

(b) it passes through its mid-point

(c) it has maximum velocity

(d ) none of the above.

5. The velocity of a particle moving with simple harmonic motion is maximum when its

acceleration is

(a) zero (b) maximum (c) average (d) both (a) and (b).

ANSWERS

1. (b) 2. (a) 3. (b) 4. (a) 5. (a)

Contents

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