1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
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.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook