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Modeling the Motion

Consider a weight attached to a spring


that is suspended from a horizontal bar
as illustrated in the figure. When the
object comes to rest we say it is at
"equilibrium" which is labeled 0 on the
vertical number line. If you give the
weight a push, either up or down, it will
start to move and the motion can be
modeled by sine and cosine frrnctions.
The "stifflness" of the spring and the
mass of the object affect how far the
object moves from the equilibrium
position. The initial velocity and initial
position also affect the motion of the
spring. (We don't always start at the

of

a Spring

equilibrium position.)

If we neglect any damping forces (air


resistance etc.) then the motion of the
spring can be modeled by

x(t1=Iqsin(ar)

+ xo cos(arr)

(t)

where x(r) is the position of the object along the number line at time /. The other
quantities are constants: a is a constant that depends on the stiffness of the spring and
the mass of the weight, vo is the initial velocity, and xo is the initial position of the object.

Model the motion of a weight on a spring:


Suppose a weight is set in motion from a position 3 centimeters below the equilibrium
position and with a downward velocity of 4 centimeters per second. (Please note that the
vertical number line used for position is "upside down". This is a convention from
physics and it means that positions below equilibrium actually correspond to a positive
value.) Assume that the spring stiffrress and mass of the weight mean that ar = 2 for this
system.

Part I
1) Write the function x(r)that gives the position of the weight as a function of time r in
seconds. (Your function should consist of a sine term and a cosine term.)
x

(t) ' ZsinQ:t) . a c^s(z r)

2) Graphthe separate sine and cosine components of your function from (1) on the same
set of axes. That is

gaph

xr =

bsin(art) and r,
a)

(Sketch these graphs by hand and show two

crs

o3
n/v o

a/z -)
o
3

7n/q
.fi

--:.!5-

,42

n/,

full cycles.)

0c

tr

= t0 cos(@t) on the set of axes below.

T/u -z
rrO

t;A

.al'

,r'

l'/

sin

-l

9-/1i

3) Use a graphing calculator (or online graphing utility) to graph the entire function from
part (1). Use the window settings indicated below. Sketch what you see on your

calculator display.

*Y

xmin:0

D 2.6

xscl: f
ymin: -J
ymar:5
yscl: I

03
0.zq 3.b
l.08 0
r. [t -3'b
a.vl

s"D

xmax:21,

5.b

u.z
-7.b

4) Write an equation for your calculator Saph in the form x(r) = I cos[B(/ - C)] . (Use
the trace or manimum feature of yor,r graphing utility to help you find values for Ao B,
and C. I expect to see decimal approximations for these values.)

x(t)

3,(o-t?&* o.Lq\

5) How are the graphs from part 2) related to the graph in part 3)? Are the values for
period and amplitude the same or different? Why do you think we see these results?
Please write out your explanation using complete sentences.

-I\ug

cr-e

\.4

Part

rct^'t",tf [r5 {|"^eit qr.,,iod_l hr,tt

3sa-gh

{o'- g-1 3

diffut*{.

is *L* srr,.,. o{+t.*-

irr ar,.r!i&tdr.,

ffrpk {,-t^

pr,r\

Z"

II:

6) Prove that the following is an identity (A is a positive constant) by

filling in the blanks

below.
A sin $ sn(at) + A cos S cos(ar) = A cos(at
A

sn

sn(att) + A cos Q cos(arl)

:
:

sivr (p) sirr

('c,L)= c"s (d)

cas

(r,,t

Factor out

Afcos(ot) cos / + sin(at) sin Qf

Commutative Properfy

- s (r) ccs(rul) = si'r(f)snr (,rt)

:=

- 0)
of

Addition
Commutative Property

of

Multiolication
Difference identity for

Acos(at - Q)

cosine

Part III:
Rewrite an expression of the form

f,J

sin(arr) +

Acos(ail

o
@

c1

c2

-/).

cos(arr) =

FfrZ si n1att1 +V co4cos(a/)

Use the following definitions and your result from part

iI

Acos|= cos/

=Zl

hnS

=lt
c2

&'6 J"'
lyl

ea

l,

II:

''

,t

./e
,^.o Vrsu*JJ R-ur.'r^Aer"
y*A fu

=lsinl=sin O:L)
=

in terms of a cosine tunction:

is the amplitude of the cosine function and


measured in radians.

fi, "phi",

?b.As N"ta-\{^Jr

il*uqqrrqqfi$e
J

is called the phase angle and is

Example: Write 4stn3t +2cos3r in terms of a cosine function.

t
e.

g=ffirt

4sin3t +

I A:r{E

e.cos3f

p &Gco: (s+ t,n


-

s a{6"".FG-o,{

ton / = *= l-

=u,i't (.) tr \.\L


! Roa';^ '-At )

7) Rewrite ybur frrnction from part 1) in terms of a cosine function: Acos(at

-/).

Show

your work.

x&) = zsiv(zt)
h= {

+ 3 cos

(rt)

()'+(z\'

= nlTi

*ug=1x.s860
t+E=F

-"*

*-*-

l:=Y*C"-':'-?-l

8) Compare your function from part 4) and part 7). What do you observe? Write a one or

two sentence explanation.

The atisr"(fs a.re equ,iva0e,rf.