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!

Synchronizationa & Resonance

  1. Aug 28, 2010 #1
    How is resonance different from synchronization?

    I know a bit about synch but not much about resonance. The examples I've found on the web all lie along the following line:

    --If the frequency of two systems are the same
    --and the two systems are coupled
    --then oscillating one system will cause the second to oscillate as well
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2010 #2
    I think of resonance as a property of a single object, the fundamental mode in which it will vibrate after absorbing energy. Synchronization is a property of multiple coupled objects where energy will be "shared" between the objects. In some cases, where their resonant modes are similar they will vibrate in sync, or anti-sync as with Huygens' clocks. The synchronized frequency may not be exactly at the resonant frequency of any of the individual objects though.
  4. Aug 28, 2010 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    I think Resonance is a description of a purely passive situation - when a passive system resonates with an impressed, periodic disturbance. 'Ringing' of a bell when you whistle the appropriate note.

    Synchronisation involves a feedback loop, which involves an active device (op amp or suchlike) or could, perhaps, be used to described the amount of phase / frequency agreement between two independent oscillations. You can get synchronism between different but harmonically related oscillations - such as in a phase lock loop used in frequency synthesiser.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook