Chapter 10: Terms

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  1. periodic motion: motion which repeats itself.

  2. cycle: one complete repetition of the motion; one complete oscillation.

  3. oscillation: one repetition of the motion; one complete cycle.

  4. frequency: the number of time motion is repeated per time unit, measured in units of hertz (Hz), meaning cycles per second.

  5. period: the time required for one oscillation or cycle of the motion.

  6. amplitude: maximum displacement from equilibrium.

  7. simple harmonic motion: particular kind of periodic motion which occurs for many systems when disturbed from equilibrium. The restoring force which brings the system back to equilibrium is proportional to how far it has been disturbed from equilibrium. The period or frequency of simple harmonic motion is not affected by the amplitude.

  8. simple pendulum: a small mass attached to a string forms a simple pendulum. When disturbed from equilibrium with a small amplitude, this simple pendulum undergoes simple harmonic motion. The period or frequency of such a simple pendulum is determined only by the length of the string and the acceleration due to gravity.

  9. damping: friction in a system will cause the amplitude of an oscillator to become smaller.

  10. resonance: an external force applied with the resonance frequency of an oscillator can cause it to have a very large amplitude.

  11. natural frequency: the frequency a simple harmonic oscillator has when it is disturbed from equilibrium and released.

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