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Critically Damped oscillator

  1. Jun 29, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    If the damping constant of a free oscillator is given by b=2 m ω0, the oscillator is said to be critically damped. Show by direct substitution that in this case the motion is given by
    where A and B are constants.

    A critically damped oscillator is at rest at equilibrium. At t = 0 the mass is given a sharp impulse I. Sketch the motion. Calculate the maximum displacement.
    Data: I = 11.1 Ns; m = 1.1 kg; k = 18.2 N/m.

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution
    Two things I find wrong here:
    1: since x(0)=0 and v(0)=0 it implies that A and B= 0 which is wrong so that must mean I plays a role, obviously.
    2. I do not know how to incorportate the impulse into x(t)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 29, 2011 #2


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    Homework Helper

    You can't set both v=0 and x=0 as initial conditions. If I put a spring at its equilibrium position and don't make it move, it's not surprising that the spring's going to stay there. Any non-zero value of either v or x will give you the same period, just different amplitudes and phases.

    The impulse makes the block move at some initial speed before the spring has time to react, so this initial speed is essentially v(0).
  4. Jun 29, 2011 #3
    ok so the impulse function just has an impact in the initial condition? For some reason I waas thinking of dirac's delta function
  5. Jun 29, 2011 #4


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    Homework Helper

    Yes, it only impacts the initial condition because its duration is too short to affect the oscillation. You can think of it as a Dirac's delta function, with the integral being I instead of 1.
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