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Homework Help: Find Frequency of Combined Motion Help!

  1. Mar 10, 2010 #1
    Find the frequency of the combined motion of:


    I know to find the period of the combined motion you do T=n1T1=n2T2 where the n's are integers, so I believe the frequency of the combined motion is just the inverse of the combined period.

    For a), I found the period of the sine function to be 1/6, and the period of the cosine function to be 2/13, so T=12(1/6)=13(2/13)=2s, so the frequency is 1/2 Hz...but the answer is actually 6.25 hz.

    For b) I found the period of the sin function to be (2/3)pi, and that of the cosine function to be 2, so n1(2/3)pi=n22 has no integer solutions, so there is no determined combined period and thus no determined combined frequency either...but the answer is 0.49 Hz...

    Can someone help me please? I already successfully did one of them, but I can't get these..

    Also, does it make a difference whether the functions are being added or subtracted?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2010 #2
    Help please...
  4. Mar 11, 2010 #3


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    It does not matter if the functions are added or subtracted.

    If T1, T2 are the periods, the following condition has to be hold for the new period: T=n1*T1=n2*T2, where n1 and n2 are relative primes.

    In case a, T1 = 1, T2= 2/13, so n2=13, n1=2 and T=2, f=0.5

    In case b, such integers can not be found as one of the periods is irrational. If it were sin(3(pi)t) -cos((pi)*t), then

    T1=2/3 and T2=2 ---> T = 3T1=1T2 = 2, f =0.5

    I attach a picture that I think helps to see the period of the new signal.

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  5. Mar 11, 2010 #4
    Hm so that means I am right, and the answers at the end of the book are wrong...

  6. Apr 9, 2010 #5
    If I use the equation for the "beats" of two combined motions,


    and I concern myself only with the frequency of the envelope, I get the correct answer for both. Why is this?
  7. Apr 9, 2010 #6
    Btw a) should be a)sin(12(pi)t)+cos(13(pi)t-pi/4)
  8. Apr 9, 2010 #7


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    Beat frequency is not the same as the period of combined motion. You get beats in every case, even when


    is not periodic.

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