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# 470 A Textbook of Engineering Mechanics

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

=

## where = Angular velocity of the particle in rad/s.

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,
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
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
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
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
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
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).