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Periodic Motion

Motion that repeats itself in regular intervals of time of the same path
Examples: planetary motion, oscillation of loaded spring, motion of a simple pendulum

Period is the interval of time for a repetition, or cycle, of the motion

Frequency is the number of periods per unit time.

The unit of frequency is the hertz (Hz). 1 Hz indicates that an event repeats once per
Whatever the motion may be, the period of time takes to get back to where it started is
called the time period of the motion.


Variable force that gives rise to an equilibrium in a physical system. If the system is perturbed
away from the equilibrium, the restoring force will tend to bring the system back toward


the simplest oscillations occur when the restoring force is directly proportional to displacement

Simple harmonic motion is a special case of periodic motion. It occurs when an object moves
back and forth around a middle or equilibrium position. For a movement to be considered
simple harmonic motion, the restoring force that pulls it back towards the middle has to be
proportional to the distance from the position. Any system that obeys simple harmonic motion
is known as a simple harmonic oscillator.

Simple harmonic oscillator

A device that implements hookes law

Forces that cause periodic motion

Newtons law of inertia states that an object in motion will continue to move at a constant
velocity in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force. There are several situations
where an external force can cause an object to be in periodic motion. These include circular
motion and back-and-froth motion. Without force the object would move in a straight line at a
constant speed rather than oscillate.

Circular or orbital motion

When you swing an object around you that is held on a rope or string, that object is in periodic
motion, the force that is preventing the object from flying out in a straight line is the force you
are applying on the string.

Constant circular motion

movement around a circular path with constant speed. uniform circular motion describes the
motion of a body transversing a circular path at constant speed.
Back-and-forth motion

Examples of forces causing back-and-forth motion include a bouncing ball, pendulum and

Bouncing ball
When you throw a rubber ball upward, the force of gravity pulls it back down to earth.
When it hits the ground, the force of the collision changes the direction of the velocity,
and the ball moves upward again, going up and down in a regular periodic manner.

you swing a weight on a string, it will go back and forth in regular periodic motion. Once
it got started, such a pendulum would move back and-forth. The force of graity causes
the pendulum bob to change directions, while the force from the string moves it in a
semi-circular motion.
You apply a force to compress the spring and distort the metal. The molecular forces
inside the metal push in the opposite direction, causing the spring to expand. The spring
then oscillates back-and-forth in a periodic motion.



They all have a velocity


The period is the time the object takes to go back and forth.


The amplitude is the distance the object goes before from one side of the period to the other.
For an object in rotation, the amplitude is the radius of the circle. The amplitude of a pendulum
swing would be the distance from the bottom to the height on one side of the swing.

Simple harmonic Motion- a motion that occurs when the restoring force on an object is directly
proportional to the objects displacement from equilibrium.

Vibration-source of all waves

Whenever a wave moves through material, no material goes with the wave. The materials
vibrate into simple harmonic motion (SHM) about its equilibrium position and returns to this
position after the wave have passed.
SHM is a periodic vibratory motion about an equilibrium position subject to the following
1. Restoring force acting on the body executing simple harmonic motion is always directed
toward the equilibrium position.
2. This force is proportional to displacement of the body from the equilibrium position.
This force may be approximated by Hookes Law,
F= -Kx
F= force
K=constant force
(-)= means that the force and displacement is opposite to in directions

This type of motion is always a linear.

The period (T) of a vibratory motion is the time required to make a complete to and fro
motion. One to and fro motion is called a cycle.
Frequency (f) is the number of the cycles per unit time. (1 hertz = 1cycle per second)


The amplitude (A) of vibration is the maximum displacement of the body from its
equilibriuSm position.
Two common example of SHM: Elastic Spring and Simple Pendulum

An Elastic Spring

T= 2
m= mass
k= force constant (N/m)

force constant is needed to produce a unit of elongation of the spring

Example 1: When a 2.5 kg mass is suspended from spring, the spring stretches by
0.05m. (a) What is the force constant? (b) If the suspended mass is set into vibration,
what will be its frequency?

Mass= 2.5 kg
Elongation of spring= 0.05m

(a) Compute the force:

W = 2.5 kg (9.8 m/s)
W= 24.5 N
Compute the force constant:
f = kx
24.5 N = k( 0.05m)
k= 490 N/m

Practice exercise: In the laboratory, you attach 300g mass to a spring of negligible mass and
start oscillating it. The elapsed time from when the mass first moves through the equilibrium
position to the second time it moves through the position is 2s. Find the force constant of the

Spring Pendulum

A simple pendulum consists of a concentrated mass called the bob suspended by a light
thread and attached to a fixed support.
The pendulum swing in SHM with a period governed by the following laws:
1. The period of a simple pendulum is directly proportional to square root of its length.
2. The period is inversely proportional to the square root of the acceleration due to
3. The period is independent of the mass of the bob, and of angular amplitude, if small.


T= period
L= length
g= acceleration

Example: a simple pendulumhas a period of 3.0 s here on earth.(a) What is the length?(b)
what will be its period when to the moon where the acceleration due to gravity is 1/6
of Earth?

Period (T) = 3.0s
Acceleration (g) =1/6 m/s

(a) T=

(b) g at the moon= 1\6(9.8 m/s`)= 1.6 m/s

Mechanical Waves

A wave is the disturbance travelling through a medium or in a vacuum. A single

unrepeated disturbance is called wave pulse. A succession of periodic
disturbance is called wave train.
Mechanical waves require a material medium to propagate.
Electromagnetic wave can travel in vacuum and in material media.
Based on the direction of vibrations, mechanical waves maybe longitudinal or
Transverse wave is one which the particles of the medium are vibrating
perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation.
Crest is the position of the maximum upward displacement from equilibrium
Trough is the position of maximum downward displacement from equilibrium
A longitudinal waves is one in which the particles of the medium vibrate
parallelto the direction of the wave propagation. It is composed of compressions
where particles of medium are closer together and rarefactions where they are
farther apart.
Compression corresponds to the crest in transverse waves and rarefactions to
Seismic waves or waves generated by an earthquake or explosions are classified
into two: body waves and surface waves.
Body waves travels in Earth Interior and are divided into primary waves
(longitudinal) and secondary waves (transverse).
Surface Waves are further classified into love waves and Rayleigh waves.

Basic Wave Equation

Wavelength is the distance between any two successive points in a wave that are in
phase with each other.
Velocity is the displacement travel by the wave per unit time.


v= velocity (m/s)
f= frequency (hertz)
= wavelength (m)

Example: On your radio, you have an AM band and a FM band. AM means amplitude
modulation and FM means frequency modulation. Suppose a section broadcasts on two radio
frequencies 630 kHz and 101.9 MHz on your radio dial. The speed of radio wave in air is 3.00 x
108 m/s. find the wavelength for each frequency.

Practice Exercise: Your favorite radio station broadcasts on a wavelength of 3.11m. What is the

Energy Transmission by wave

Intensity of wave is defined as the energy transported per unit area and per unit
The intensity of wave is found to be
Proportional to the square of the amplitude of the wave.
Proportional to the square of the frequency for mechanical waves.
Proportional to the frequency for electromagnetic waves. The energy of the
electromagnetic wave is given by:

E = hf
E = energy
h= Plancks Constant (6.63 x 10-34 J)
f= frequency

Inversely proportional to the square of the distance of the point under the consideration
from the source wave. This relationship is known as the inverse square law.

Example: when someone in 25.0 cm away from you whispers I LOVE YOU, the intensity is
1.0 x 10 -10 watt/m. What is the intensity heard by your grandmother if she is seated
1.0m away.

Practice Exercise: the distance of the Earth from the sun is 1/5 that of Jupiters. Find the
ratio of the intensity of sunlight received by the Earth to that received by Jupiter.

Wave Properties

Refraction and reflection

Refraction refers to the change in direction and change in wavelength or velocity of the
wave occurs as the wave is transmitted from one medium to another.
Reflection is the turning back of a wave to the original direction it is traveling upon
hitting an object`


Waves bends around obstacles in their path or spread out when they travel through
narrow slits.


Interposition principles (when the two or more waves travel simultaneously in the same
medium, each wave will proceed independently of the others.
Constructive interference when two waves of the same frequency, in phase and
traveling in the same direction meet.
Partial Destructive Interference happens when the abovementioned waves have
different amplitudes.

Standing Wave
Two waves of same frequency, same amplitude in phase but traveling in opposite
Standing wave pattern consist of nodes and antinodes. Nodes are regions where the
particles of the medium are not displaced from their equilibrium position. Antinodes are
regions of maximum displacement from equilibrium position.

The Doppler Effect

Apparent change in the frequency of a source of wave due the the motion of the source
or the observer is called Doppler Effect.
Doppler is named after Christian Doppler who first thought of the idea in 1842 for sound


Polarization is the peculiar to transverse waves only. Polarization is a test to determine

whether a wave is transverse or not.


All objects have the tendency to vibrate to a characteristics frequency called natural
Resonance is said to occur when an object vibrates at its natural frequency upon
receiving impulses from a source vibrating at the natural frequency of the object.