Natural Frequency Explained in Layman Terms

In summary, the natural frequency of an object refers to the frequency at which it will naturally oscillate when provoked. This can be observed in everyday objects such as wine glasses or tuning forks. Additionally, providing energy to an object at its natural frequency will cause the oscillations to continue growing. This concept is related to the idea of a restoring force acting on the object and its mass and stiffness determining the natural frequency. In some cases, the natural frequency can also be applied to other fields such as astronomy or modal analysis. However, when an object is provoked, it will often oscillate at multiple frequencies, which can be separated through the use of technology such as a spectrum analyzer.
  • #1
chandran
139
1
can anybody tell what is a natural frequency in lay man terms.
any website?
 
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  • #2
Can you provide some context to your question?
 
  • #3
my understanding is it refers to the frequency at which an object will naturally oscillate when provoked.
eg. hit the wine glass and the tone you hear will be its natural frequency.
better example is a tuning fork. bash it against anything and it will resonate at its natural frequency allowing you to tune your instrument.

additionally, provide energy to the object at its natural frequency and the oscillations within the object will continue to grow, similar to pushing a child on a swing at the same frequency at which it is swinging.
eg. play a sound next to a wine glass of the same frequency as its natural frequency and the oscillations will continue to increase to the point where the wine glass shatters. hence the stories of operah singers shattering wine glasses with their voices.
 
  • #4
For an object to oscillate there must be what's called a restoring force acting on it. A restoring force pushes or pulls the object back toward an equilibrium point (usually where it was before it was "provoked" into oscillating) at which the force acting on it goes away. But now the object is moving, and objects in motion keep moving when there's no force on them. So the object goes past the equilibrium point in the other direction, which in turn causes the restoring force again, this time pushing/pulling in the other direction back toward the equilibrium point. And so on...

In most cases, the natural frequency depends on the mass of the object (objects with greater mass usually oscillate at lower frequencies) and the strength of the restoring force (stiffer objects oscillate at higher frequencies).
 
  • #5
Perhaps, though if he were an astronomy buff, t could easily apply to the 21cm hydrogen band of the interstellar 'sweet spot' (which, if I've done my math right, is ~1.43GHz).
 
  • #6
If you do a google on "modal analysis" you will get more than you hoped for.

Just to add a bit, the natural frequency is only one of many that you will induce if you plink a glass or provide an impulse to induce the vibration. All of the orders of that natural frequency will also be excited at one time assuming enough energy is imparted. Through the use of a spectrum analyzer and instrumentation they can be separated.
 

Related to Natural Frequency Explained in Layman Terms

What is natural frequency?

Natural frequency refers to the rate at which an object vibrates or oscillates when it is disturbed.

How is natural frequency measured?

Natural frequency is typically measured in Hertz (Hz) or cycles per second. It can also be expressed in radians per second (rad/s).

What factors influence an object's natural frequency?

The natural frequency of an object is influenced by its mass, stiffness, and damping. Objects with higher mass and stiffness tend to have lower natural frequencies, while those with higher damping tend to have higher natural frequencies.

What are some examples of natural frequency in everyday life?

Some examples of natural frequency in everyday life include a guitar string vibrating at a certain pitch, a pendulum swinging back and forth, and a tuning fork producing a specific tone.

How is natural frequency used in engineering and science?

Natural frequency is used in various fields of engineering and science, such as structural engineering, mechanical engineering, and physics, to analyze and design systems that involve vibrations and oscillations.

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