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Are all damped oscillations periodic?

  1. Oct 26, 2015 #1
    I know the equation for damped oscillation where the damping force depends on velocity. In that case the damped oscillation has a fixed angular frequency and thus time period! I am wondering if there are any types of damped oscillation where the time period is not constant i.e. the motion is not periodic!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 26, 2015 #2


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    For a free (i.e. non-driven) damped harmonic oscillator in the strongly damped or critically damped regime, the motion is not periodic. It's only periodic in the weakly damped regime.

    If you consider a pair of undamped harmonic oscillators, then their phase space dynamics on the torus may display quasi-periodic (but not periodic) motion depending on the (ir)rationality of the ratio of their frequencies. This is probably the simplest example of non-periodic motion.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
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