# Symbol for dashpot/damper (in a harmonic oscillator)

In diagrams that contain the dashpot symbol, sometimes the mass is attached to the "interior" end of the dashpot, other times the mass is attached to the "base" end.

For example, consider the following diagram (please ignore the equations):

Does it make any difference if the dashpot symbol in the above figure is reflected in the vertical line? If not, which is the conventional orientation to draw the dashpot in?

Thanks.

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By dashpot, do you mean the symbol below "C"? All you need to solve the problem is the differential equation, i.e the term proportional to the velocity. The picture is irrelevant. – Antillar Maximus Sep 1 '12 at 14:18
@AntillarMaximus Yes I mean that symbol. Oh I'm not trying to solve the problem (the picture was googled up). My question is about the symbol because I've seen it both ways in the notes I was given and I want to know what's the essential difference between the two differnt representations (orientated two different ways). – Ryan Sep 1 '12 at 14:25
You should look for the terms "driven" ,"damped" in the notes. This is what decides the behavior of your oscillator. No matter how the picture is, if your notes say "damped" you will have one form of the equation, if it says "driven" you will have the other form. Are you studying R-C oscillators? – Antillar Maximus Sep 1 '12 at 14:34
@AntillarMaximus I am merely asking about the symbol! Why is it sometimes directed one way and other times directed in the opposite direction? Ignore any perceived physics problem! – Ryan Sep 1 '12 at 14:59
It depends on the whim of the author I suppose. – Antillar Maximus Sep 1 '12 at 15:59