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Concept Question about Resonance and Oscillations

  1. Apr 4, 2008 #1
    This may sound like a strange question...

    I was walking away from my physics class today and I wondered if resonant vibrations were the reason my shoelaces become untied. I noticed that when I walk faster, and produce what I believe are more forced oscillations, they become untied more frequently.

    If I am thinking about this correctly, does this mean that resonance can overcome friction?

    In trying to understand physics better, I've been trying to relate new concepts to more simple ideas. If I am very off base, any recommendations would be welcome. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2008 #2


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    Welcome to PF!

    Hi Kraygar! Welcome to PF! :smile:

    I'm sure that resonance can overcome friction …*but I don't think that's happening with your shoe-laces.

    Unless your shoelaces are under tension (which, as soon as they become slightly loose, they can't be), what would be resonating?

    Also, resonance depends fairly precisely on frequency … if your loosening just steadily increases with frequency, that's just because you're using extra force.

    Have you tried walking at the same speed, but with more frequent footsteps? :smile:
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