Dolphins jumping during a delivery trip across the Mediterrean. Photo: Mark Roworth
Simple harmonic motion (SHM) is the oscillation of springs and pendulums. The motion follows a sinusoidal pattern. The term “simple” comes from the fact that it is the most basic of all modes of oscillation, which can get very complicated indeed! In this context, the term “harmonic” means a regular oscillation. SHM is found in a surprisingly large number of situations. For the AP course we consider the oscillation of the pendulum and that of a spring. The regularity of these vibrations led to the development of the first truly accurate clocks - first using a pendulum and later a spring mechanism.
- 2 - 4% exam weighting for Multiple Choice questions
- 2 - 5 lessons