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

Homework Help: Spring-damper system with sine input

  1. Jan 16, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data


    Variable y(t) is the position of the block of mass m, and u(t) is the position of the plate on the right. The spring is unstretched when y = u. We can think of u(t) as the input and y(t) as the output.

    Derive the equation of motion for the block. You should get a second order differential equation
    relating the output y(t) and the input u(t).

    2. Relevant equations

    u(t) = sin3t

    Fd = cy'

    Fk = ky


    3. The attempt at a solution

    The thing that confuses me about this problem is that the spring/damper combo is not fixed to something, but attached to a plate which has a sine input. I know the two forces acting on the mass are the spring and damper, but the sine force acts through those two components so I'm not sure how to represent this in a free body diagram to obtain the necessary equations.

    My first thought was this:

    my'' = cy'(t)*u(t) + ky(t)*u(t)
    y'' = u(t)/m*[cy'(t) + ky(t)]

    However, I'm not sure if multiplying the input to both the force of the damper and spring is correct. Could someone help me?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2010 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor

    The spring exerts a force proportional to how much it's stretched. How do you represent how much it's stretched in terms of u(t) and y(t)?
  4. Jan 16, 2010 #3
    Well the spring would be stretched based upon the relative distance between the mass and the plate right? so would it be:

    Fk = k*[u(t) - y(t)]

  5. Jan 17, 2010 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor

    Yup, and you have a similar situation for the damping term.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook