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written by John Walkup
content provider: Angel Franco Garcia
This student activity uses a Java applet to show the relationship between simple harmonic motion and constant velocity circular motion. The applet features three parts: 1) A particle undergoing circular motion at a constant rate; 2) The same particle on a vertical spring; and 3) A graph that plots the time evolution of the system, resulting in a sine wave.

Editor's Note:  This resource is especially appropriate for high school physics, as it contains step-by-step instructions and a question set designed to probe student understanding.  It gives the beginning student a highly visual pathway to see how the acceleration vectors of the two particles are related, which will be beneficial when they learn to calculate angular frequency.

This is part of a larger collection of applet-based learning activities.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Rotational Dynamics
Oscillations & Waves
- Oscillations
= Hooke's Law
= Simple Harmonic Motion
= Springs and Oscillators
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- Assessment
- New teachers
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Free access
© 2003 John Walkup
circular motion, hooke's law, rotational kinematics, shm, simple harmonic motion, spring force, springs, waves
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created November 23, 2008 by Alea Smith
Record Updated:
March 8, 2012 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
October 21, 2007
Other Collections:

Harmonic Oscillator

Author: Dileep Sathe
Posted: May 12, 2009 at 5:22AM
Source: The PSRC collection

People interested in the above topic may find my following Letters to the Editor of Physics Education / UK / March 2001, p. 168, Force on a pendulum and Physics Education / UK / March 2003, p. 177, A problem in SHM. Contact me, if necessary, on +91=020=65100495  or dvsathe[at]gmail.com

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Record Link
AIP Format
J. Walkup, (2003), WWW Document, (http://www.nhn.ou.edu/walkup/demonstrations/WebAssignments/HarmonicMotion001.htm).
J. Walkup, Web Assignments: Harmonic Oscillator I (2003), <http://www.nhn.ou.edu/walkup/demonstrations/WebAssignments/HarmonicMotion001.htm>.
APA Format
Walkup, J. (2007, October 21). Web Assignments: Harmonic Oscillator I. Retrieved March 23, 2023, from http://www.nhn.ou.edu/walkup/demonstrations/WebAssignments/HarmonicMotion001.htm
Chicago Format
Walkup, John. Web Assignments: Harmonic Oscillator I. October 21, 2007. http://www.nhn.ou.edu/walkup/demonstrations/WebAssignments/HarmonicMotion001.htm (accessed 23 March 2023).
MLA Format
Walkup, John. Web Assignments: Harmonic Oscillator I. 2003. 21 Oct. 2007. 23 Mar. 2023 <http://www.nhn.ou.edu/walkup/demonstrations/WebAssignments/HarmonicMotion001.htm>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "John Walkup", Title = {Web Assignments: Harmonic Oscillator I}, Volume = {2023}, Number = {23 March 2023}, Month = {October 21, 2007}, Year = {2003} }
Refer Export Format

%A John Walkup %T Web Assignments: Harmonic Oscillator I %D October 21, 2007 %U http://www.nhn.ou.edu/walkup/demonstrations/WebAssignments/HarmonicMotion001.htm %O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %A Walkup, John %D October 21, 2007 %T Web Assignments: Harmonic Oscillator I %V 2023 %N 23 March 2023 %8 October 21, 2007 %9 application/java %U http://www.nhn.ou.edu/walkup/demonstrations/WebAssignments/HarmonicMotion001.htm

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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

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