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Homework Help: Nodal Problemos

  1. Feb 12, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Well to many this will probably seem trivial but i can't work out what physically a 'node' is. i understand from year one it the bit in a standing wave that doesnt move etc but im doing a project at the moment on designing a spacecraft and there's alot of talk of nodes flying about, in the thermal context

    2. Relevant equations

    lots in books but no explanation to what they physically are

    3. The attempt at a solution

    scratched the head alot with no results

    cheers all
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2008 #2
    So have you done any formal problems in systems of oscillations? If you have, recall the coupled mass spring systems. Materials are really just a collection of stiff springs, if you think of it abstractly. When you take a look inside there will be all kinds of normal modes (when you diagonalize the system), which if any of them get exited will want to oscillate and when they oscillate they will want to radiate and dissipate heat. I'm not a mechanical engineer, so I can't say for sure that this is what your books would be talking about, but that is my take on your description.
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