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I recently came across the concept of the composition in simple harmonic motion. A paragraph says that: If

$$x_1 = A_1sin(\omega t)$$

$$x_2 = A_1sin(\omega t + \phi)$$

Then, the resultant displacement is $x_1 + x_2$

But what is exactly happening in this case that we are adding these positions? Are we assuming that the particle is initially and origin and forces f1 and f2 act on the body which cause the SHMs?

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For me this is quite intuitive... this is the superposition principle for coordinates. If you derive both sides, you will get an expression of v(t), that is also true to the superposition principle. Remember that oscillation or harmonic motion is also a motion therefore obey the principle of superpositon...

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  • $\begingroup$ yes do understand the superposition principle if constant forces act on a body. But i fail to understand it when variable forces are acting on that too which are proportional to the displacement from the origin as in the case of SHM. $\endgroup$ – Aman Sharma Sep 22 at 5:20
  • $\begingroup$ But when there is a simple physical pendulum, the force isnt constant either. $\endgroup$ – leokruglikov Sep 22 at 14:11

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