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Can someone check my logic? simple harmonic motion.

  • Thread starter aliciagu
  • Start date
7
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1. Homework Statement

Is the daily movement of a student from home to school and back simple harmonic motion?

2. Homework Equations



3. The Attempt at a Solution

I don't think it is. This type of movement is linear. It involves distance, speed and so on. It does not follow a sinusoidal wave pattern, either because though it is periodic, it's not regular. Does that make sense? Can someone else perhaps explain it better?
 

Answers and Replies

G01
Homework Helper
Gold Member
2,649
16
Simple Harmonic motion is defind by the following differential equation:

[tex]m/frac{d^2x}{dt^2}=-kx[/tex]

The solution to this equation is a sinusoidal function. As you said, the motion of the student is periodic, but not sinusoidal.

I agree with you. The student's motion corresponds to a square wave (graph his displacement vs. time) This is not simple harmonic motion, but instead falls into the realm of complex harmonic motion.
 

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