Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How to tell if two oscillators are different

  1. Mar 31, 2013 #1
    Hi all, this is my first time on PF. As one of my projects, I had to create a program to analyze a bunch of data involving oscillators. I'm supposed to find out how many different oscillators there are within all the data. I have it pretty much done, except one part. I don't actually know how to tell if two oscillators are the same or different.

    The equations I'm supposed to use are:
    x(t) = x_max cos(ωt + [itex]\phi[/itex])
    v(t) = -ω x_max sin(ωt + [itex]\phi[/itex])
    a(t) = -ω^2 x_max cos(ωt + [itex]\phi[/itex])

    I'm given t, x, v, and a. I have managed to calculate all x_max, ω and [itex]\phi[/itex] value.

    Basically what my questions are:
    How do I know if two oscillators are the same or different?
    If they have the same x_max value and ω value, but different [itex]\phi[/itex] value, are they still the same oscillator?

    Thanks all
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2013 #2

    NascentOxygen

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Hi fallenshadow95, http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/5725/red5e5etimes5e5e45e5e25.gif [Broken]

    In general, taking the output of an oscillator and phase-shifting is not regarded as creating a second independent oscillator. But in the application where your data originates, their interpretation may differ.

    I think you need to ask your lecturer to clarify this point if it will arise in what you are doing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  4. Apr 1, 2013 #3
    It is mathematically impossible to distinguish how many phase shifted sine signals of the same frequency are superimposed. The sum of any number of these is still a single sine signal.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook