ch 11 vibrations and waves n.
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Ch. 11, Vibrations and Waves. A repeated motion, like the pendulum on a clock, is called periodic motion . Another exp is a mass on a spring. At the equilibrium position, the speed is at its maximum. At the equilibrium position, the acceleration is zero.

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A repeated motion, like the pendulum on a clock, is called periodic motion.

  • Another exp is a mass on a spring.

At the equilibrium position, the speed is at its maximum.

  • At the equilibrium position, the acceleration is zero.

In an ideal system, the spring would go back and forth forever.

  • Friction causes a damping force that causes an oscillator to stop.
hooke s law
Hooke’s Law
  • Felastic = -kx
  • Negative sign indicates that the direction of the spring force is always opposite the direction of the displacement.

A stretched or compressed spring has elastic potential energy.

  • This can be released as kinetic energy.
  • Contain a mass called a bob, attached to a fixed string.

The restoring force on a pendulum is a COMPONENT of the bob’s weight.

  • The net force acting on a bob is Fg,x = Fg*sin(theta)

As long as a pendulum stays within an angle of about 15 degrees, it is a very good example of SHM.


Page 374, Figure 5, Gravitational Potential increases as a pendulum’s displacement increases.

  • Table 1, page 375.

f = 1/T or T = 1/f

  • T = 2*pi*(L/9.81)^.5
  • What are Waves? Discussion

Most waves are called Mechanical Waves. They need a medium to travel through.

  • Some waves do not require a medium, like electromagnetic radiation waves.

Pulse Wave: One wave

  • Periodic Wave: Continuous waves

Trough A low point

  • Crest A high point
  • Wavelength (lambda)  Distance between a whole cycle.

Frequency = number of complete waves that pass a certain point per second.

  • Period = How long it takes ONE wave to pass a certain point.
speed of a wave
Speed of a wave
  • v = f*lambda

Waves are not matter, rather they are the diplacement of matter.

  • Hence, two or more waves can occupy the same space at the same time.

Constructive interference: Two or more waves on the same side of the equilibrium position combine and form a bigger wave.


Destructive interference is the superposition of two or more waves that are on opposite sides of equilibrium. A smaller wave results.


Reflection: a wave is reflected at a free end; a wave is reflected AND inverted at a fixed end.


Standing Wave: occurs when two equivalent waves interact in opposite directions.

  • Best example is with a rope attached to a wall.

Areas of largest amplitude: Antinode.

  • Areas of complete destructive interference: Node.
computer assignment
Computer Assignment
  • Find an example of SHM (best bets are springs or pendulums). Provide:
  • Picture
  • A problem, with walkthrough on how to solve it.