# Tuning fork

is the vibrating energy of a tuning fork the same as the oscillating energy of a tuning fork?

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Chi Meson
Homework Helper
In general, I'd say yes. An oscillation is a periodic vibration, so "vibration" is more general, and "oscillation" is more specific, but they are almost synonyms. The energy will be changing between elastic potential and kinetic energies as the fork tines move back and forth, of course this energy diminishes over time due to the sound that emits.

that's what i think too~

but in this question that a posted about a month ago,

"Assume that a certain 660-Hz tuning fork can be considered as a harmonic oscillator whose vibrational energy is 0.04 J. Compare the energy quanta of this tuning fork with those of an atomic osillator that emits and absorbs orange light whose frequency is 5.00*10^14 Hz."

i still don't understand why the tuning fork has different vibrational and oscillating energy...

HallsofIvy
Homework Helper
asdf1 said:
that's what i think too~

but in this question that a posted about a month ago,

"Assume that a certain 660-Hz tuning fork can be considered as a harmonic oscillator whose vibrational energy is 0.04 J. Compare the energy quanta of this tuning fork with those of an atomic osillator that emits and absorbs orange light whose frequency is 5.00*10^14 Hz."

i still don't understand why the tuning fork has different vibrational and oscillating energy...
I don't see anything in your quote that says it does! It is asking you to campare the energy quanta of two different oscillators- one with 660 Hz frequency and the other with the much higher 5.00x 1014 Hz.