Oscillatory motions. Frequency, period and resonance

Do you want to know more about oscillatory motion, how they are generated and their main parameters?

The online oscillatory motion simulations on this page will help you understand what these motions look like and under what circumstances they can be generated.

Oscillatory motions are a type of motion that occurs when an object moves repetitively around an equilibrium position. This type of motion is very common in nature and technology, and can be observed in a wide variety of systems, from the pendulum of a clock to sound waves traveling through the air.

Oscillatory motion is characterized by the presence of a restoring force that acts on the moving object and returns it to its equilibrium position. This force can be of different nature such as gravitational in the case of the pendulum, or electrical or magnetic in the case of oscillatory circuits.

This type of motion is very important in physics, engineering and technology. For example, it is used in the manufacture of clocks and stopwatches, in the construction of suspension bridges and in the transmission of radio signals. It is also fundamental in the understanding of concepts such as kinetic energy, potential energy and conservation of energy.

Frequency and period of oscillatory motion

Frequency is defined as the number of complete oscillations an object makes in one second. The unit of measurement for frequency is the Hertz (Hz). Period is defined as the time it takes for an object to make one complete oscillation. It is measured in seconds (s) and is the inverse of frequency. The mathematical relationship between frequency and period is expressed as:

frequency = 1 / period

Frequency and period are determined by the magnitude of the restoring force and the mass of the moving object. Frequency and period are two very important measurements in the study of oscillatory motion, since they describe the repetition of the motion and allow to calculate the velocity and acceleration of the moving object.

Resonance of oscillatory motion

When the frequency of the external force applied to a system coincides with the natural frequency of oscillation of the system, the phenomenon of resonance occurs.  In this case, the moving object absorbs energy from the external force and its oscillation amplitude increases significantly. This phenomenon can be observed in many systems, from mechanical oscillators to electronic circuits.

In short, the online oscillatory motion simulations on this page help us to better visualize and understand this important type of motion.

Horizontal oscillation without energy loss


Horizontal oscillation without energy loss II


This simulation is another example of horizontal oscillatory motion without energy loss. Vary the parameters, move the mass horizontally and see what the motion looks like.
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Horizontal oscillation with energy loss


Vertical oscillation


Vertical Oscillation II


This simulation is another example of vertical oscillatory motion without energy loss. Vary the parameters and see what the motion looks like.
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Resonance


In the last of these online oscillatory motion simulations, resonance will be studied. Resonance is a phenomenon in which the amplitude increases at a given frequency. The phenomenon of resonance can be easily observed all around us.
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