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Second Order Runge Kutta for Simple Harmonic Motion

  1. Sep 22, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    The ordinary differential equation describing shm is
    where x is the displacement, t is the time and w is the frequency. If x=0 at t=0, the analytical solution is x=Asin(wt), where A is the amplitude.

    1) Rewite equation 1 as two first oder ode's suitable for solution using Runge Kutta Methods
    2)Determine the second order runge-kutta solution for this system after the first time step h and show the leading error term in x(h) is proportional to h^3

    2. Relevant equations
    k2=hf(x+h, y+k1)

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I have completed part 1 and got dx/dt=v and dv/dt=-w^2x but I am unsure how to proceed. The lecturer didn't do a great job of explaining the method and I don't know how to do it when you have two equations and are not given the step size.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 22, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    The relate what you got and the equations of the Runge-Kutta algorithm, set ##y_1 \equiv x## and ##y_2 \equiv v##, and remember that
    \frac{d y_n}{dt} = f_n
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