Describe a system in which elastic potential energy is stored.
What conditions must be met to produce simple harmonic motion?
(a) If frequency is not constant for some oscillation, can the oscillation be simple harmonic motion?
(b) Can you think of any examples of harmonic motion where the frequency may depend on the amplitude?
Give an example of a simple harmonic oscillator, specifically noting how its frequency is independent of amplitude.
Explain why you expect an object made of a stiff material to vibrate at a higher frequency than a similar object made of a spongy material.
As you pass a freight truck with a trailer on a highway, you notice that its trailer is bouncing up and down slowly. Is it more likely that the trailer is heavily loaded or nearly empty? Explain your answer.
Some people modify cars to be much closer to the ground than when manufactured. Should they install stiffer springs? Explain your answer.
Pendulum clocks are made to run at the correct rate by adjusting the pendulum’s length. Suppose you move from one city to another where the acceleration due to gravity is slightly greater, taking your pendulum clock with you, will you have to lengthen or shorten the pendulum to keep the correct time, other factors remaining constant? Explain your answer.
Explain in terms of energy how dissipative forces such as friction reduce the amplitude of a harmonic oscillator. Also explain how a driving mechanism can compensate. (A pendulum clock is such a system.)
Give an example of a damped harmonic oscillator. (They are more common than undamped or simple harmonic oscillators.)
How would a car bounce after a bump under each of these conditions?
- critical damping
Most harmonic oscillators are damped and, if undriven, eventually come to a stop. How is this observation related to the second law of thermodynamics?
Why are soldiers in general ordered to “route step” (walk out of step) across a bridge?
Give one example of a transverse wave and another of a longitudinal wave, being careful to note the relative directions of the disturbance and wave propagation in each.
What is the difference between propagation speed and the frequency of a wave? Does one or both affect wavelength? If so, how?
Speakers in stereo systems have two color-coded terminals to indicate how to hook up the wires. If the wires are reversed, the speaker moves in a direction opposite that of a properly connected speaker. Explain why it is important to have both speakers connected the same way.
Two identical waves undergo pure constructive interference. Is the resultant intensity twice that of the individual waves? Explain your answer.
Circular water waves decrease in amplitude as they move away from where a rock is dropped. Explain why.