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6
votes
2answers
543 views

Is the usually taught solution to forced harmonic motion just a special solution?

Let's say we have a mass on a spring being driven by a forcing function. Given hook's law, $F = -kx$, and a forcing function of $$F(t) = F_0\sin(\omega t) .$$ We can write: $$ m\frac{d^2x}{dt^2} = ...
6
votes
5answers
922 views

Why do harmonics occur when you pluck a string?

When you energise a taut string, the following resonant modes of vibration occur: Plotting on the frequency domain, you can see their corresponding frequencies: But what is the underlying ...
5
votes
3answers
457 views

Physics of a guitar

I understand that when you pluck a guitar string, then a bunch of harmonic frequencies are produced rather than just the frequency of the desired note. If this is true, why does C2 sound so different ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Using $\sin()$ or $\cos()$ for computing SHM?

In simple harmonic motion, you can use either the sin or cos form of the equation but my question is which one do you use when and why? I am having a tough time understanding this, so any help would ...