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In mechanics and physics,

**simple harmonic motion**is a type of periodic motion or oscillation motion where the restoring force is directly proportional to the displacement and acts in the direction opposite to that of displacement .

Simple harmonic motion can serve as a mathematical model for a variety of motions, such as the oscillation of a spring. In addition, other phenomena can be approximated by simple harmonic motion, including the motion of a simple pendulum as well as molecular vibration. Simple harmonic motion is typified by the motion of a mass on a spring when it is subject to the linear elastic restoring force given by Hooke's Law. The motion is sinusoidal in time and demonstrates a single resonant frequency. For simple harmonic motion to be an accurate model for a pendulum, the net force on the object at the end of the pendulum must be proportional to the displacement. This is a good approximation when the angle of the swing is small.

Simple harmonic motion provides a basis for the characterization of more complicated motions through the techniques of Fourier analysis.

## Introduction

The motion of a particle moving along a straight line with an acceleration which is always towards a fixed point on the line and whose magnitude is proportional to the distance from the fixed point is called simple harmonic motion [SHM].^{[citation needed]}

In the diagram, a simple harmonic oscillator, consisting of a weight attached to one end of a spring, is shown. The other end of the spring is connected to a rigid support such as a wall. If the system is left at rest at the equilibrium position then there is no net force acting on the mass. However, if the mass is displaced from the equilibrium position, the spring exerts a restoring elastic force that obeys Hooke's law.

Mathematically, the restoring force

**F**is given by

**F**is the restoring elastic force exerted by the spring (in SI units: N),

*k*is the spring constant (N·m

^{−1}), and

**x**is the displacement from the equilibrium position (m).

For any simple mechanical harmonic oscillator:

- When the system is displaced from its equilibrium position, a restoring force that obeys Hooke's law tends to restore the system to equilibrium.

*x*= 0, the mass has momentum because of the acceleration that the restoring force has imparted. Therefore, the mass continues past the equilibrium position, compressing the spring. A net restoring force then slows it down until its velocity reaches zero, whereupon it is accelerated back to the equilibrium position again.

As long as the system has no energy loss, the mass continues to oscillate. Thus simple harmonic motion is a type of periodic motion.

## Dynamics

For one-dimensional simple harmonic motion, the equation of motion, which is a second-order linear ordinary differential equation with constant coefficients, can be obtained by means of Newton's second law (and Hooke's law for a mass on a spring).*m*is the inertial mass of the oscillating body,

*x*is its displacement from the equilibrium (or mean) position, and

*k*is a constant (the spring constant for a mass on a spring).

Therefore,

*c*

_{1}and

*c*

_{2}are two constants determined by the initial conditions, and the origin is set to be the equilibrium position.

^{[A]}Each of these constants carries a physical meaning of the motion:

*A*is the amplitude (maximum displacement from the equilibrium position),

*ω*= 2π

*f*is the angular frequency, and

*φ*is the phase.

^{[B]}

Using the techniques of calculus, the velocity and acceleration as a function of time can be found:

*ωA*(at equilibrium point)

*Aω*

^{2}(at extreme points)

By definition, if a mass

*m*is under SHM its acceleration is directly proportional to displacement.

*ω*= 2π

*f*,

*T*= 1/

*f*where

*T*is the time period,

## Energy

Substituting*ω*

^{2}with

*k/m*, the kinetic energy

*K*of the system at time

*t*is

## Examples

The following physical systems are some examples of simple harmonic oscillator.

### Mass on a spring

A mass*m*attached to a spring of spring constant

*k*exhibits simple harmonic motion in closed space. The equation for describing the period

### Uniform circular motion

Simple harmonic motion can be considered the one-dimensional projection of uniform circular motion. If an object moves with angular speed*ω*around a circle of radius

*r*centered at the origin of the

*xy*-plane, then its motion along each coordinate is simple harmonic motion with amplitude

*r*and angular frequency

*ω*.

### Mass of a simple pendulum

In the small-angle approximation, the motion of a simple pendulum is approximated by simple harmonic motion. The period of a mass attached to a pendulum of length

*l*with gravitational acceleration is given by

This approximation is accurate only for small angles because of the expression for angular acceleration

*α*being proportional to the sine of the displacement angle:

*I*is the moment of inertia. When

*θ*is small, sin

*θ*≈

*θ*and therefore the expression becomes

*θ*, satisfying the definition of simple harmonic motion.