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Simple harmonic motion

This animation shows a ball oscillating with simple harmonic motion.

A body is undergoing simple harmonic motion if it has an acceleration which is:
(a) directed towards a fixed point, and
(b) proportional to the displacement of the body from that point.

The maximum displacement of the body on either side of its central position is called the amplitude (A).
The period of the motion (T) is the time it takes for the body to make one complete oscillation.

The equation for s.h.m. is usually written as acceleration (a) = - ω2x

where ω is a constant (not to be confused with angular velocity). The value of ω depends on the particular system of oscillation. In our example ω = 0.1.

The uinits for displacement, velocity and acceleration have their usually acepted values.
© Keith Gibbs and John Bourne 2016