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Homework Help: Simple Harmonic ball bounce

  1. Mar 24, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A ball bounces up and down off the ground and each bounce it returns to the same height. Is this simple harmonic motion?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I don't think it is because in simple harmonic motion the maximun velocity occurs in the middle of the amplitudes but for the bouncing ball it occurs right before and right after it hits the ground. If that is correct, can someone explain it better?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2008 #2
    That's right, a ball bouncing up and down would be periodic motion, but not simple harmonic motion. The ball bouncing doesn't follow a sinusoidal curve, as well.
  4. Mar 24, 2008 #3
    What would it's height vs. time graph look like?
  5. Mar 24, 2008 #4

    Except if it doesn't lose energy on its way up, all the peaks are equal.
  6. Mar 25, 2008 #5
    Ya I figured out what it would look like right soon after I asked the question. Thanks for the help.
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