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Feb12-13, 11:58 AM
C. Spirit
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Quote Quote by InvalidID View Post
Now my question is: is this ever useful when dealing with simple harmonic motion problem where the question doesn't involve a spring? The issue is that problems don't give you the proportional constant of the restoring force to the displacement when there is no spring involved I'm assuming?
Wildly, wildly, wildly, wildly useful. SHM will show up over and over and over again in physics in various forms other than actual, physical springs. A couple of specific examples are: simple pendulum motion, a positive charge given a small kick at the center of a ring of uniform positive charge density will undergo simple harmonic motion, after some idealizations if you drill a hole in the earth and drop down you will execute SHM, and a marble rolling in a circular dish in the small angle approximation will undergo SHM. There are so many rich examples of SHM out there; you will find a plethora of examples on the internet. By showing the object undergoes SHM through newton's 2nd law you can read off the proportionality constant from the DE.