July 16, 2008 Issue

Physics To Go 53 - World's smallest guitar

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Physics in Your World

Tuned Mass Damper image
image credit: © Guillaume Paumier / Wikimedia Commons; image source; larger image

Tuned Mass Damper

This driven pendulum damps oscillations in one of the world's tallest buildings, Taipei 101. To find out how a mass damper works, visit Wikipedia: Tuned Mass Damper. To see how the system responded to the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake, check out this YouTube video.

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Physics at Home

PhET: Masses & Springs

Security note:
Once you have clicked on the "simulation" link below, be sure to read the Java Security Advisory before running the simulation: To do that, click the "Read now" button on the yellow band near the top of the PhET page.

Visit PhET: Masses & Springs for a realistic virtual mass-and-spring lab. You can change variables and see the effect on the motion of the mass. To find out what happens when the mass is driven by an external force, check out Damped Driven Simple Harmonic Oscillator and Driven Harmonic Oscillator.


From Physics Research

Cornell News: New Nanoguitar image
image credit: L. Sekaric & H. Craighead, Cornell University; larger image

Cornell News: New Nanoguitar

This tiny guitar, about the size of a cell, can be played--by a 40 megahertz laser beam. To learn more, see this Guardian article, and for much more information, visit Cornell News: New Nanoguitar.

(This feature was updated on 6/26/2013.)

Worth a Look

Simple Harmonic Motion

In resonance, an applied periodic force makes an object vibrate at its natural frequency. To find out more, visit Hyperphysics: Resonance. To learn about simple harmonic motion, visit Hyperphysics: Simple Harmonic Motion.

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