Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

SHM- Problem with negative signs

  1. Oct 2, 2011 #1
    I have problems understanding the use of negative signs in SHM. ie. mx''=-kx

    Why is there a negative sign for the constant k and what does the negative sign mean?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2011 #2

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    The negative sign in Hooke's law tells you that the force is opposite to the displacement from equilibrium. If x is positive, then the force is negative. And vice versa.

    The negative sign is not part of the constant k.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: SHM- Problem with negative signs
  1. SHM Platform (Replies: 1)

  2. SHM derivation (Replies: 7)

  3. Waves and SHM (Replies: 6)

  4. Advanced SHM? (Replies: 6)