9 Damped Oscillation Examples In Physics & Real Life
Here are the top 9 real-life damped oscillation examples In Physics & Everyday Life.
Swinging Pendulum with air resistance
Shock Absorbers in vehicles
Vibrating smartphone or tablet:
Child’s spring-loaded rocking horse
We often encounter damped oscillations in everyday life without recognizing them. Damped oscillation is a phenomenon where the amplitude of a wave or oscillation gradually decreases with time. Examples of damped oscillation can be seen in a variety of contexts, from physics to engineering.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss several real-life examples of damped oscillation, including swinging pendulums, RLC circuits, and more.
- But before you read any further, it might be a good idea to understand what is damped oscillation In Physics briefly. It will help you to understand the examples better. If you are already familiar with the concept, you can skip it by clicking on the link below.
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What is Damped Oscillation in Physics?
Damped oscillation refers to the behavior of a vibrating or oscillating system where the amplitude of the oscillations decreases over time due to the presence of damping forces or resistive forces.
In an idealized, undamped oscillation, a system would continue oscillating indefinitely without losing energy. However, in real-world systems, there are often factors that cause energy dissipation, leading to a gradual decrease in the amplitude of the oscillations.
Damping can arise from various sources, such as air resistance, friction, or other dissipative forces within the system. As the system undergoes oscillations, these damping forces convert some of the system’s energy into heat or other forms of energy, resulting in a reduction in the oscillation’s amplitude.
Now let’s dive into the 9 damped oscillation examples in real life.
I am sure that the concept of damped oscillation is clear to you now. If not, you can comment below. Let us now move on to 9 examples of damped oscillation in physics & in real life.
Damped Oscillation Examples
Swinging Pendulum with Air Resistance:
When a pendulum swings back and forth, it experiences air resistance, which acts in the opposite direction to its motion. As the pendulum moves, it displaces air molecules, and the air resistance dissipates some of its energy in the form of heat. Consequently, the amplitude of the pendulum’s oscillations gradually decreases over time due to the damping effect of the air resistance.
Shock Absorbers in Vehicles:
Shock absorbers are crucial components in vehicles designed to dampen the oscillations of the suspension system. When a vehicle encounters bumps or uneven road surfaces, its suspension system undergoes oscillations. The shock absorbers work by converting the kinetic energy of the bouncing suspension into heat energy, thereby controlling and reducing the amplitude of the oscillations, leading to a smoother ride.
Door closers are hydraulic or pneumatic mechanisms commonly used indoors to ensure controlled and slow closing. When the door is opened, the closer compresses air or hydraulic fluid, storing potential energy. Upon release, the stored energy is slowly released, causing the door to close at a controlled rate. This process involves damped oscillations as the door gradually reaches its closed position due to energy dissipation in the hydraulic or pneumatic system.
In bungee jumping, an elastic cord is attached to the jumper’s body and a fixed point, such as a bridge. When the person jumps, the cord stretches, storing potential energy. As the cord contracts, the potential energy is converted back into kinetic energy, resulting in damped oscillations. The cord gradually loses energy due to air resistance and internal damping, causing the bounces to decrease in amplitude until the person comes to rest.
RLC circuits consist of resistors, inductors, and capacitors and can undergo damped oscillations in transient responses. When the circuit experiences a sudden change, such as a step input, it enters a transient state. The energy oscillates between the inductor’s magnetic field and the capacitor’s electric field, gradually being dissipated by the resistance in the circuit, leading to damped oscillations until the circuit reaches a steady state.
Recommended Read: Damped Oscillations in RLC Circuits
Vibrating Smartphone or Tablet:
When a smartphone or tablet vibrates, it experiences damped oscillations due to energy dissipation. The vibration motor inside the device creates mechanical oscillations, but these vibrations gradually lose energy due to friction between internal components and air resistance, resulting in the decay of the vibration amplitude.
A basketball, when bounced on the ground, undergoes damped oscillations. As it hits the ground, it compresses, storing potential energy that is converted into kinetic energy as it rebounds. However, with each bounce, some energy is lost as heat due to the ball’s deformation and friction with the ground, leading to a gradual reduction in bounce height until the ball comes to rest.
When a tuning fork is struck, it vibrates at its natural frequency, producing a distinct sound. However, the vibrations gradually decrease in amplitude due to air resistance and internal damping within the tuning fork’s material, resulting in the fading of the sound over time.
Child’s Spring-Loaded Rocking Horse:
A spring-loaded rocking horse moves back and forth when a child sits on it and pushes off the ground. The energy stored in the compressed spring causes the rocking motion. However, the motion is damped due to friction at the pivot point and air resistance, causing the rocking horse to gradually slow down and stop.
- Geeks For Geeks: Simple Harmonic Motion
The article titled “Simple Harmonic Motion” on GeeksforGeeks discusses the concept of simple harmonic motion (SHM) in physics. It provides an overview of SHM, including its definition, characteristics, equations, and examples. The topic will also relate to other oscillations concepts.
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