FeaturedPhysics

The Physics Philes, lesson 94: Sinusoidal Infection

Last week we started talking about mechanical waves. Now that we have some of the essential knowledge under our belts, let’s dig in a little deeper. It’s time to start talking about periodic waves. A note: Everything you’re about to read goes for both transverse and longitudinal waves. But it’s …

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Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 84: My Damp Collection

Last week we complicated the idealized models of pendulums by looking at pendulums as an extended body. Today we’ll further complicate things by adding some other, real-world forces. So far, the oscillating systems we’ve analyzed have been frictionless. We’ve been dealing with only conservative forces and the total amount of …

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Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 83: Dinosaur Walking

Physical phenomena, as I’ve learned from just my brief venture into its depths, are complicated. Luckily, we have ways of kind of easing our way into understanding these things. Physicists can answer simple questions using “idealized models.” Once those easy questions are answered, we can progressively complicate the model to …

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FeaturedPhysics

The Physics Philes, lesson 82: Swing, Swing, Swing

We’ve been discussing simple harmonic motion for the past several weeks. Simple harmonic motion, if you’ll remembers, is an oscillation with a restoring force that is directly proportional to the displacement from the equilibrium. Hardly anything actually moves in SHM, but a lot of things move in approximately SHM, so …

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FeaturedPhysics

The Physics Philes, lesson 81: Expanding the Reach of SHM

In case you’re just joining us, we’ve been exploring simple harmonic motion. So far the only situation we’ve looked at so far is a body attached to an idea spring on a frictionless surface. However, there are such things as vertical and angular SHM, as well. That’s what I’ll be …

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The Physics Philes, lesson 79: That’s So Derivative

Last week I said that this week I would write about the period and amplitude in simple harmonic motion. Well, I changed my mind. We’re doing displacement, velocity, and acceleration in simple harmonic motion, instead. (What? I don’t see you writing a weekly post about physics.) Anyway, let’s begin. We’ve …

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FeaturedPhysics

The Physics Philes, lesson 78: Set Phasors to Physics Phun

Oh hello. I see you’ve swung back to read another Physics Philes. (Get it? It’s a periodic motion joke. Like a pendulum. Ha!) We’re continuing our discussion of simple harmonic motion by comparing it something we’ve already discussed in detail: uniform circular motion. But first we need to talk about …

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FeaturedPhysics

The Physics Philes, lesson 77: Return of Hooke’s Law

Now that we have some of the basics of periodic motion down, we can start talking about simple harmonic motion. I need to emphasize that this is just the beginning of simple harmonic motion – SHM for short. This section goes on for a while. But it’s important, as we’ll …

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