Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM): Definition, Formulas & Examples


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What is simple harmonic motion?

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1. Where in the oscillating motion of a mass on a spring, is the net force the greatest?


What is the magnitude of the amplitude of a spring-mass system where the angular frequency is π rad/s, and the mass is at a displacement of 4 cm at 1 second?

(Hint: You will need to adapt your equation to cosine as you are starting to measure time (t = 0) at maximum displacement, not in the center of the oscillation.)

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

This quiz/worksheet combo will test your understanding of simple harmonic motion and how it applies to objects such as springs and pendulums. The quiz questions will ask you to define simple harmonic motion and calculate displacement.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

This quiz and worksheet test you on the following aspects of oscillating motion of a mass on a spring:

  • The location where the net force is the greatest
  • Where the velocity of the mass is greatest
  • The location where the acceleration of the mass is greatest

Skills Practiced

These assessments allow students to use the following skills:

  • Problem solving - use acquired knowledge to solve a displacement practice problems
  • Defining key concepts - ensure that you can accurately define main phrases, such as simple harmonic motion
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding where net force is greatest in the oscillating motion of a mass on a spring
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about the location of the greatest velocity of a mass in the oscillating motion of the mass on a spring

Additional Learning

To learn more about simple harmonic motion, review the accompanying lesson Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM): Definition, Formulas & Examples. The lesson covers the following objectives:

  • Identify equations to describe simple harmonic motion
  • Define angular frequency
  • Calculate an example problem