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Energy transfer between two coupled masses

  1. Feb 18, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A system consists of two masses. The system has normal modes of frequency wa and wb. Suppose one of the masses is displaced. How long will it take for energy to be transferred to the other mass and then back to the first mass.

    this question is a review question for my coming midterm. I believe the question is a general one that doesn't assume or require you to know how they are coupled exactly since nothing else is given

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Does it suffice to say ,

    If we have the equations x1,x2- functions that represent the displacement of the objects from equilibrium- and 1 is displaced then the time required for the energy to transfer from 1 to 2 then back to 1 is twice the period of the kinetic energy of q1 = x1-x2.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Hint: The difference wa-wb is related to the coupling strength, and this is related to the energy transfer time.
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