Exploring Damping Mechanisms in Musical Instruments: The Case of Grand Pianos

In summary, damping refers to the gradual loss of energy in an oscillating system. There are three main classes of damping: underdamped, critically damped, and overdamped. A specific technology that requires a damping mechanism is a grand piano, where the use of a pedal allows for the gradual stopping of string oscillation. While honey may be an example of heavy damping, a pendulum set to operate at 25°C would be heavily overdamped in most store-bought honey.
  • #1
Radic S
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Homework Statement


Looking for some feedback on my answer.

Explain what is meant by damping. Choose a specific technology that requires a damping mechanism and describe how the damping takes place.

Homework Equations

The Attempt at a Solution


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Damping is when energy leaves a system that is oscillating, there are three main classes of damping. 1) Under damped is when energy gradually leaves a system i.e the friction of air gradually takes energy out of the oscillating system. 2) Critically damped is when all the energy is gone before the first oscillation occurs, but this damping reaches equilibrium the fastest. i.e pendulum going through honey. 3) Overdamped is when all the energy is gone before the first oscillation occurs but it takes the system the longest to reach equilibrium. I.e pendulum going through wet cement (that doesn’t dry before it it reaches equilibrium).

A specific technology that requires a damping mechanism is a grand piano, the dampening takes place by the use of a pedal. Pressing any of the keys and holding the keys pressed causes a hammer to transfer energy to a string which vibrates and causes a damper to be lifted off the string which allows the string to oscillate and gradually come to a stop. If you allow the key to be lifted up while the note is being played it will take the energy out of the string and stop the string from oscillating. You can also use the damper pedal to accomplish the same result except this lifts all the dampers on the piano allowing for the sound of note(s) to be drawn out for a longer period of time.
 
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  • #2
Radic, excellent explanation! I see no errors.
 
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Ty! :)
 
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Radic S said:
2) Critically damped is when all the energy is gone before the first oscillation occurs, but this damping reaches equilibrium the fastest. i.e pendulum going through honey.
It sounds like you must live in a very hot climate where honey becomes runny like water. :smile:

A pendulum of reasonable scale set to operate at 25°C would be heavily overdamped in the honey I buy.
 
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  • #5
NascentOxygen said:
It sounds like you must live in a very hot climate where honey becomes runny like water. :smile:

A pendulum of reasonable scale set to operate at 25°C would be heavily overdamped in the honey I buy.

I tried to find something which has some sort of medium damping, wasn't sure if picking honey was closer to heavy or critical. I was sure that wet cement appears to be heavily overdamped.

I also propose a scientific experiment which will require a jar of ur honey to test, make sure we don't have conflicting perspectives of it. :D for scientific purposes of course! hehe
 

1. What is damping?

Damping refers to the process of reducing or controlling the amplitude of vibrations, oscillations, or other unwanted motions in a system.

2. Why is damping important?

Damping is important because it helps to dissipate energy and reduce the amplitude of vibrations, which can prevent damage to structures and equipment and improve overall stability and performance.

3. What are the different types of damping?

There are four main types of damping: viscous damping, hysteretic damping, structural damping, and coulomb damping. Viscous damping is the most common and involves using a fluid or lubricant to dissipate energy. Hysteretic damping involves using materials that deform and release energy during cyclic loading. Structural damping involves using materials that naturally dampen vibrations through their internal structure. Coulomb damping involves using friction to dissipate energy.

4. How is damping measured?

Damping is typically measured using a damping coefficient, which is a dimensionless quantity that represents the ratio of the damping force to the critical damping force of a system. It can also be measured using a damping ratio, which is the ratio of the actual damping coefficient to the critical damping coefficient.

5. How does damping affect the behavior of a system?

Damping affects the behavior of a system by reducing the amplitude of vibrations and controlling the rate at which energy is dissipated. It can also affect the natural frequency and stability of a system. Proper damping can improve the performance and lifespan of a system, while inadequate damping can lead to excessive vibrations and potential failure.

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