Math 30

In order to develop the equations we need to describe the mass-spring oscillator in detail, calculus is required. However, given some of those equations, and your knowledge of trigonometric functions and of transformations, there are many useful observations we can make.

As we proceed through this module, you will gain an understanding of how changing the mass or spring constant of the system affects the motion of the system. Since the focus of this study is sinusoidal motion (also called simple harmonic motion, or undamped motion), we assume that there is no damping, and that the mass oscillates forever. Thus, whenever you are using the simulator, set the damping constant b = 0.

Throughout the module, there are exercises to ensure you have a good understanding of the material being covered. Use the simulator to visualize your work. In many cases, the simulator will provide you with an answer; however, ensure that you can do the calculations by hand, as you will need to know how in an exam situation for example.