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Trouble with Simple Harmonic Motion

  1. Apr 29, 2005 #1
    I am having trouble with this question:

    1. A particle oscillating in simple harmonic motion is:

    in equilibrium at the center of its path because the acceleration is zero there

    or

    in equilibrium at the ends of its path because the acceleration is zero there


    2. When a body executes simple harmonic motion, its acceleration at the ends of its path must be: more than g

    Is this statement correct?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2005 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    For SHM there must be a restoring force, pulling the object back to the center of its path. The greater the displacement from the center, the greater the force. (Consider a spring.) Use this information to determine which answer is correct.
    No. The acceleration depends on the strength of the restoring force at the end of the path. It might be greater than g, but certainly doesn't have to be.
     
  4. Apr 29, 2005 #3
    Thanks, the answers is:
    in equilibrium at the center of its path
     
  5. Apr 29, 2005 #4

    James R

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    Gold Member

    What is meant by "equilibrium"? If it means "no net force", that happens at the centre of the path. If it means "stationary", that happens at the ends.
     
  6. Apr 29, 2005 #5

    OlderDan

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    Equilibrium means that if you placed an object in a certain postion, the net force acting on that particle is zero and it would remain at rest. This is not the case at the ends. If you place the object there, the spring will always pull it back toward the point of zero force.

    Equilibrium can be stable or unstable. It is stable if a small displacement results in an unbalanced force that tends to pull it back. It is unstable if a small displacement results in a force that tends to push it farther away, like trying to balance a pencil in its point.
     
  7. Apr 30, 2005 #6
    Basically equilibrium does not take place in SHM.But Net force is zero at the centre but not at the two ends.
     
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