Can someone check my logic? simple harmonic motion.

  • Thread starter aliciagu
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  • #1
aliciagu
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Homework Statement



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

Homework Equations





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

  • #2
G01
Homework Helper
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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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