# Simple harmonic motion trouble

hey guys im having trouble figuring out if something is undergoing simple harmonic motion. i know that for an object to be executing simple harmonic motion, its position and velocity must follow a sin curve...but im still having trouble. ok for example, a question on a worksheet said "a basketball player dribbles a ball with a steady period of T seconds. is the motion simple harmonic?" the answer was no. but i dont understand. how do u tell if its postiion and velocity follows a sin curve? can anyone explain to me?

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MalleusScientiarum
When the particle is changing direction, does its velocity go to zero? If so, you're looking at something that could be simple harmonic.

siddharth
Homework Helper
Gold Member
If the force on an object is directly propotional to the displacement of an object, but in a direction which is opposite to the displacement, then the object will undergo Simple Harmonic motion.
ie,
F=-kx
Now, can you see why the basketball bouncing is not Simple Harmonic motion?