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CPO Science

Foundations of Physics

Unit 5, Chapter 13

Unit 5: Waves and Sound

Chapter 13 Harmonic Motion

13.1 Harmonic Motion

13.2 Why Things Oscillate

13.3 Resonance and Energy

Chapter 13 Objectives

Identify characteristics of harmonic motion, such as cycles,

frequency, and amplitude.
Determine period, frequency, and amplitude from a graph of
harmonic motion.
Use the concept of phase to compare the motion of two
Describe the characteristics of a system that lead to harmonic
Describe the meaning of natural frequency.
Identify ways to change the natural frequency of a system.
Explain harmonic motion in terms of potential and kinetic energy.
Describe the meaning of periodic force.
Explain the concept of resonance and give examples of

Chapter 13 Vocabulary Terms

harmonic motion
hertz (Hz)
periodic motion
periodic force

phase difference
restoring force
stable equilibrium
unstable equilibrium
natural frequency
steady state
piezoelectric effect

13.1 Harmonic motion

Key Question:
How do we describe the
back and forth motion
of a pendulum?

*Students read Section 13.1

AFTER Investigation 13.1

13.1 Cycles, systems, and oscillators

A cycle is a unit of motion that repeats.

13.1 Harmonic motion is common





13.1 Amplitude
Amplitude describes the size of a cycle.

13.1 Amplitude
The energy of an oscillator is proportional to the
amplitude of the motion.

Friction drains energy away from motion and slows

the pendulum down.
Damping is the term used to describe this loss.

13.1 Linear Motion vs. Harmonic Motion


13.1 Circles and the phase

of harmonic motion
Circular motion is very similar to
harmonic motion.
Rotation is a cycle, just like
harmonic motion.
One key difference is that cycles
of circular motion always have a
length of 360 degrees.

13.1 Circles and the phase

of harmonic motion
The word phase means where the oscillator is in the
The concept of phase is important when comparing one
oscillator with another.

13.2 Why Things Oscillate

Key Question:
What kinds of systems

*Students read Section 13.2

AFTER Investigation 13.2

13.2 Why Things Oscillate

Systems that have harmonic
motion move back and forth
around a central or equilibrium
Equilibrium is maintained by
restoring forces.
A restoring force is any force that
always acts to pull the system back
toward equilibrium.

13.2 Inertia
Newtons first law explains why harmonic motion
happens for moving objects.
According to the first law, an object in motion stays in
motion unless acted upon by a force.

13.2 Stable and unstable systems

Not all systems in equilibrium show harmonic motion
when disturbed.
In unstable systems there are forces that act to pull the
system away from equilibrium when disturbed.
Unstable systems do not usually result in harmonic
motion (don't have restoring forces).

13.2 The natural frequency

The natural frequency is the
frequency at which systems
tend to oscillate when
Everything that can oscillate
has a natural frequency, and
most systems have more
than one.

Adding a steel nut greatly increases the inertia of a

stretched rubber band, so the natural frequency decreases.

13.2 Changing the natural frequency

The natural frequency is proportional to the acceleration
of a system.
Newtons second law can be applied to see the
relationship between acceleration and natural frequency.

13.3 Resonance and Energy

Key Question:
What is resonance and
why is it important?

*Students read Section 13.3

AFTER Investigation 13.3

13.3 Resonance and Energy

Harmonic motion involves both potential energy and
kinetic energy.
Oscillators like a pendulum, or a mass on a spring,
continually exchange energy back and forth between
potential and kinetic.

13.3 Resonance
A good way to understand resonance is to think
about three distinct parts of any interaction
between a system and a force.

13.3 Energy, resonance and damping

Steady state is a balance between damping from
friction and the strength of the applied force.
Dribbling a basketball on a
floor is a good example of
resonance with steady state
balance between energy loss
from damping and energy
input from your hand.

Application: Quartz Crystals