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Homework Help: Archived The Lorentzian

  1. Oct 20, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    For a lightly damped harmonic oscillator and driving frequencies close to the natural frequency [itex]\omega \approx \omega_{0}[/itex], show that the power absorbed is approximately proportional to
    where [itex]\gamma[/itex] is the damping constant. This is the so called Lorentzian function.

    2. Relevant equations
    \text{Average power absorbed} = P_{avg} = \frac{F_{0}^{2} \omega_{0}}{2k Q} \frac{1}{\left(\frac{\omega_{0}}{\omega}-\frac{\omega}{\omega_{0}}\right)^{2}+\frac{1}{Q^{2}}} \\

    \omega_{0} = \sqrt{\frac{k}{m}}\\

    m = \frac{b}{\gamma}\\
    \text{where $b$ is the damping constant and $m$ is the mass}\\

    \Delta \omega = \frac{\gamma}{2}

    3. The attempt at a solution
    The course of action that I took goes like:
    1.Find [itex]k[/itex] and [itex]Q[/itex] in terms of [itex]\omega_{0}[/itex] and [itex]\gamma[/itex].
    2. Chug through and do some algebra (and it is here that its very possible that a mistake was made, but I'll put my result not all the steps).
    3. Expand a function about [itex]w_{0}[/itex] and make approximations so that [itex]\Delta \omega[/itex] is small.
    (4) See the above equation fall out. This is the stage that I'm stuck at.

    k = b \frac{\omega_{0}^{2}}{\gamma}\\
    Q = \frac{\omega_{0}}{\gamma}\\
    2 \Delta \omega = \gamma
    P_{avg} = \text{plug in and do lots of algebra...}\\
    P_{avg} = \frac{\frac{\omega^{2}\gamma^{2}}{(\omega+\omega_{0})^{2}}}{(\omega_{0}-\omega)^{2}+\frac{\omega^{2}\gamma^{2}}{(\omega+\omega_{0})^{2}}}
    Then taylor expanding [itex]f(\omega) = \frac{\omega^{2}}{(\omega+\omega_{0})^{2}}[/itex] about [itex]\omega_{0}[/itex]....

    Am I on the right try here? I'd like that taylor expansion to equal [itex]\frac{1}{4}[/itex] because then the equation would match the one described in the question but I'm trying it by hand and with mathematica and I'm not seeing them match.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2016 #2


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    Science Advisor
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    Gold Member

    That was very good and basically done. The key point is that we Taylor expand around $\omega \approx \omega_0$, in which case
    ##\frac{\omega^{2}}{(\omega+\omega_{0})^{2}} \approx 1/4 ## and the answer is obtained.
  4. Jun 16, 2016 #3


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    Homework Helper

    Multiply both the numerator and the denominator by (ω+ω0)2.
    [tex]P_{avg} = \frac{\omega^{2}\gamma^{2}}{(\omega_{0}-\omega)^{2}(\omega+\omega_{0})^{2}+\omega^{2}\gamma^{2}}[/tex]
    When ω is near to ω0 you can replace ω+ω0 by 2ω, and the formula for Pavg can be simplified by ω2.
    [tex]P_{avg} = \frac{\gamma^{2}}{4(\omega_{0}-\omega)^2+\gamma^{2}}[/tex]
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