You are on page 1of 3

Oscillation and Waves

Periodic Motion
A motion which repeats itself over and over again after a regular interval of time is
called a periodic motion. The regular interval of time, after which the periodic
motion is called its time period and is denoted by T. For example,
i.
ii.
iii.

Motion of all planets around the sun.


Motion of the blade of electric fan.
Motion of the mass attached to spring when displaced.

Oscillatory Motion
The motion of body is said to be oscillatory motion if it moves back and forth about
a fixed point after regular intervals of time. The fixed point about which the body
oscillates is called mean position or equilibrium position. For example,
a. Motion of the mass attached to spring when displaced.
b. Motion of bob of the simple pendulum.

Simple Harmonic Motion


A body is said to execute simple harmonic motion, if it moves under the action of a
force which is always directed towards the mean position and is proportional to the
displacement from the mean positon.
A harmonic motion on straight line with its acceleration always directed towards a
fixed point on the line and magnitude of acceleration proportional to the
displacement of the particle from the fixed point and direction of acceleration is
always opposite to the displacement from mean position. This fixed point is called
the Centre of oscillation or the equilibrium position. The SHM is possible only around
a point of stable equilibrium and the force which always tries to pull the object to its
equilibrium position is called the restoring force. The maximum displacement of the
particle from the equilibrium position is called the amplitude of oscillation, it is +A
or -A.

acceleration displaceme nt
a x
And, also, minus sign indicates that the direction of acceleration is opposite to that
of displacement.

a 2 x
The solution of above second order differential equation gives the equation of SHM
as,

x A sin( t )
The quantity, , is called the angular frequency and is equal to 2 times the
frequency of the particle executing SHM.

2f
i.e.

2
T

Regarding SHM it is worth nothing that,

In the case of simple harmonic motion (linear or angular) time period is


independent of amplitude.
The necessary and sufficient condition for a motion to be simple harmonic is
that the restoring force (or torque) must be linear.

F kx (linear SHM );

c (angular SHM )

Important Terminology in Simple Harmonic Motion


Amplitude
The amplitude of a particle executing SHM is its maximum displacement on
either sie of the mean position.

x A sin( t )
Consider the equation of SHM,
Maximum value of sin = 1, so -A x A
the particle

A is the amplitude of

Frequency
The frequency of a particle executing SHM is equal to the number of
oscillations completed in one second. It is measured in cycles per second
(hertz = Hz).

Phase
The phase of a particle executing SHM at any instant is its state with regard
to its position and direction of motion at that instant. It is measured as
argument (angle) of sine in the equation of SHM.

phase (t )