
#1
Feb1012, 11:31 PM

P: 51

I just started learning Simple Harmonic Motion and encountered a word Phase Constant [itex]\phi[/itex] .
Actually it appeared as f(t)=rsin([itex]\omega t+\phi[/itex]) I am confused whether phase constant is actually the initial position of the particle(which execute SHM) and therefore the point on graph at time=0 or not!!! 



#2
Feb1112, 04:16 AM

Sci Advisor
HW Helper
Thanks
P: 26,167

hi justwild! welcome to pf!
you're right, the phase constant is the initial angle (or initial phase): the angle (or phase) at t = 0 



#3
Feb1112, 11:12 AM

P: 51

what is the harm if we just take [itex]\omega t[/itex] as the argument.




#4
Feb1112, 11:23 AM

P: 1,440

what is phase constant
You just shift the motion in phase slightly. All te same key features are there.




#5
Feb1112, 11:30 AM

P: 51

If [itex]\phi[/itex] is the initial angle then I think the sinusoidal graph will show different starting points(t=0) for different values of [itex]\phi[/itex] of the same amplitude and frequency of vibration. Is that so???



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