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What is the differences between vibration and oscillation

  1. Mar 2, 2014 #1
    what is the difference between vibration, oscillation,simple harmonic motion and periodic motion?Is there any similarities between these terms? can anyone explain clearly pls.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2014 #2
    Periodic motion is any motion that repeats itself.
    Simple harmonic motion is one example of periodic motion where the movement is described by a sine function.
    Oscillation is when an object describes a periodic motion around an equilibrium position due to the presence of forces.
    Vibration is when different parts of an object oscillate in tandem forming waves that propagate through the body.
  4. Mar 2, 2014 #3


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    If that is the definition from some reference source, fine (but it would be nice to know the source).

    But I would define vibration in a more general way, as any type of motion of an object around some equilibrium position. Not necessarily periodic, and not necessarily forming anything that looks like "waves". For example "random vibration" is certainly used in engineering to describe motion that can only be described and analyzed statistically.
  5. Mar 3, 2014 #4
    Point taken. I was thinking of normal modes of vibration, but of course it's possible to have more complex vibration patterns.
  6. Sep 29, 2015 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Have you looked up those terms in Wikipedia? I did, and it seems to provide ample explanations.
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