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Pendulum mechanics and coherence

  1. Mar 18, 2009 #1
    Is there an established context in which the oscillation of a pendulum between potential and kinetic forms of energy can be described in term of coherence, that is, viewed as an oscillation between coherence and incoherence? (here incoherence is taken as the antonym of coherence)
     
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  3. Mar 19, 2009 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    Not a single pendulum, but a collection of pendulums (harmonic oscillators). Coherence is a statistical measure of a system.
     
  4. Mar 19, 2009 #3
    I don't want to force one notion upon another, but it seems one could make a case for this view. At maximum potential the molecular vibrations of the pendulum material would be statistically more random, "incoherent"; at kinetic maximum they would share a single vector of motion, statistically be more "coherent". In addition, the material of the supporting rod, at the micro level, would cycle between an unconstrained random motion at the point of maximum potential and transition into a state of mitigating shared stress (perhaps a form of coherence) at kinetic maximum.
    Thanks for your reply.
     
  5. Mar 19, 2009 #4

    Andy Resnick

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    By your reasoning, the entropy of a freely oscillating pendulum will also oscillate in magnitude. Is that permissible?
     
  6. Mar 19, 2009 #5
    Oh, entropy! Good question. I know entropy to be a state function at thermodynamic equilibrium, wherein the energy is evenly dispersed among the various micro-states of the system. I believe there would be a relationship between coherence within a system and the number of micro-states that could serve as storage modes for energy. I am uncertain as to how it is entropy is measured in pendulum's dynamic.
    Again, thanks.
     
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