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## AP®︎/College Physics 1

### Course: AP®︎/College Physics 1>Unit 8

Lesson 1: Introduction to simple harmonic motion

# Intuition about simple harmonic oscillators

David defines what it means for something to be a simple harmonic oscillator and gives some intuition about why oscillators do what they do as well as where the speed, acceleration, and force will be largest and smallest. Created by David SantoPietro.

## Want to join the conversation?

• I thought I understood this, but how could there be the greatest acceleration when the speed is 0?
• Think that you are pulling a rubber band with a velocity(say) ,you keep pulling and at one point you can no more pull, it stops (now the velocity is zero ) ,but at this point you experience the maximum pulling force on your fingers when the rubber band tries to get back to its original shape .It says that force need not depend on the velocity
• Can anyone please define a restoring force?
• A restoring force is the fore required to restore object to the equilibrium.
• What, exactly, is the definition of "spring constant?" I know that the unit is N/m, Newtons per meter, but I can't find a clear definition of what it is.
• I think about it this way:
It is just a proportionality constant but it does have some physical meaning. Higher the spring constant, k, more stiff the spring is.

Also, when you compress a spring with high spring constant, it has a lot of elastic potential energy stored in it and it can do a lot more work than th eone with lower spring constant.
• Silly question, but does a wave transfer matter along with energy? (I soooo hate myself at the moment)

Sorry if this question was made in the inappropriate place...
• It isn't a bad question, I've wondered about it too, when I was in grade 10. A wave does not transfer matter along with energy. It is just a disturbance in a medium in which the particles of the medium to vibrate about their mean positions meaning that they do not leave their actual positions.
• whenever I pull a branch of a tree and let it go it oscillates back and forth. What is the restoring force in this case?
• It is the elastic nature of the wood of the tree.
• Why is there a negative sign while calculating the restoring force of the spring?
• The restoring force is in the opposite direction to the displacement.
• Can someone define what is K equal to in the formula F = -kx?
• K is the spring constant, which is the force required to increase the length of a spring by a certian amount, like 1m.
And sorry I was quite late.
(1 vote)
• how can the acceleration be max when the velocity of the particle is zero?or when the paricle is at rest?
• acceleration is rate of change of velocity.acceleration is maximum when change in velocity max. Ex; if velocity is 30m/s then max change in velocity is 0m/s
(1 vote)
• How can you define earth revolving around sun as oscillations?
• Any oscillation has periodic behavior. Circular motion, which is always periodic, can be described as an oscillation for this reason. If you take the X and Y positions of uniform circular motion, it will generate a cosine and sine wave.
• Has restoring force something to do with inertia of the "system"?