Schottenbauer Publishing

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Comparing Harmonic Oscillation and Rotation

Graphs of harmonic oscillation and rotation appear very similar when charted on graphs. Harmonic oscillation consists of a mass which moves back and forth in repetitive motion on one axis. Rotation consists of a mass in circular motion around a central point. On a graph, the mass appears to be moving back and forth in repetitive motion on each of two axes.

Consider the following graphs, excerpted from books by Schottenbauer Publishing.

Discussion Questions
  1. Which graphs show harmonic oscillation? 
  2. Which graphs show circular motion?
  3. Describe the relationship between x and y components in circular motion.
  4. Using these graphs, describe at least one similarity between harmonic oscillation and rotation.
  5. Using these graphs, describe at least one difference between harmonic oscillation and rotation.

Over 8,000 graphs from Schottenbauer Publishing provide real-life topics for student learning, including sports, transportation, construction, environment, music, entertainment/toys, and general physics.