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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) = - w2x

where w is a constant (not to be confused with angular velocity). The value of w depends on the particular system of oscillation.
© Keith Gibbs/John Bourne 2008