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Neper frequency, damped harmonic oscillation

  1. Jun 16, 2009 #1
    Hi all
    I'm not sure if this question is better suited for the EE thread or diff eq, but I'm trying to understand what the neper frequency, [tex]\alpha[/tex], signifies. I know it's supposed to be the damping factor and that its units are rad/second, but I'm not sure what that implies. It would seem to indicate, by its units, that its rate of oscillation slows by [tex]\alpha[/tex] [tex]rad/second[/tex], but of course period and frequency remain constant durring damped harmonic oscillation. So can anyone explain to me what I'm missing. In other words if I have a RCL circuit, or a mass and spring system for that matter, what can I predict about the oscillation knowing [tex]\alpha[/tex]?

    Thanks a lot.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2009 #2
    A neper is the natural scale of attenuation, and equals 1/e = 0.367879 = -8.686 decibels.
    So e-αt is attenuation of αt nepers.

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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
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