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Homework Help: Simple Harmonic Motion

  1. Mar 27, 2006 #1
    "A 0.25kg mass on a vertical spring oscillates with a frequency of 1.0 Hz. Suppose a 0.50kg mass were instead suspended from the same spring. What would be the frequency of oscillation in this case?"

    This is what I did:
    [tex]\frac{f_{1}}{f_{2}} = \frac {\sqrt{\frac{k}{m_{1}}}}{\sqrt{\frac{k}{m_{2}}}}[/tex]
    [tex]\frac{f_{1}}{f_{2}} = \sqrt{\frac{m_{2}}{m_{1}}}[/tex]
    [tex]f_{2} = \frac{1}{4} f_{1}[/tex]
    [tex]f_{2} = 0.25 Hz[/tex]
    however, the answer is 0.71 Hz. What did I do wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 27, 2006 #2

    Tom Mattson

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    Staff Emeritus
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    Gold Member

    You got the ratio [itex]m_2/m_1[/itex] wrong. The ratio is 2, which means that [itex]\sqrt{m_2/m_1}=\sqrt{2}[/itex], but you have 4.

    So in short I think you squared the 2 when you should have taken the square root.
  4. Mar 27, 2006 #3
    You are absolutely correct! I didn't realize I did that. Thanks for the prompt reply!
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