Difference Between Damped Oscillation And Forced Oscillation:Insights


Understanding the difference between damped oscillation and forced oscillation is important as it is visible in our environment

Damped oscillation generally occurs at the natural frequency while forced oscillation occurs at the external frequency. Here in this article, we will understand the difference between damped oscillation and forced oscillation.

Image Credits: Gorham&JonesSwingCC BY-SA 3.0

Before understanding the difference between damped oscillation and forced oscillation, one must get a broad understanding of oscillation is necessary before you can grasp free-forced oscillation and damped oscillation. The time-varying variable can be measured using the term “oscillation.” When an oscillation is of a mechanical character, it is referred to as a vibratory motion (but sometimes used as a synonym for vibration). A pendulum motion is the most common and simplest type of oscillation.

Generally speaking, a simple harmonic motion happens when a mechanical motion occurs in such a way that the restoring force acts in the opposite direction of the object’s displacement while also being proportional to it. Again, the oscillation of a basic pendulum is an excellent example of this, as when it is moved in one direction, while the restoring force works in the other direction.

Difference Between Damped Oscillation And Forced Oscillation
Difference Between Damped Oscillation And Forced Oscillation

There are several different kinds of simple harmonic motion, which include the following:

  • Free Oscillation
  • Forced Oscillation
  • Damped Oscillation

Let us explore the basics and difference between damped oscillation and forced oscillation.

Damped Oscillations:

Once a harmonic oscillator is initiated, the energy of the oscillator remains constant. but gradually decreases with time. This is because friction (or damping) is always present in a real physical system. The damping force operates in contrast to the motion, exerting a net force on the system, resulting in energy dissipation.

The dampening is friction or resistance that is provided to the oscillating system. A damped oscillation is a phrase used to describe an oscillation that decreases in frequency as time passes. The amplitude of oscillations decreases with time as a result of damping. The loss of energy from the system as a result of overcoming external forces such as friction or air resistance, as well as other resistive factors, results in a reduction in amplitude.

This has the consequence that, as the amplitude of the system diminishes, so does the energy of the system diminish. We can observe and experience so many damped oscillation examples in our day-to-day life and surroundings. There are two distinct forms of damping, which are as follows:

  • Natural
  • Artificial
Difference Between Damped Oscillation And Forced Oscillation
Example of Damped Oscillation

Image Credits:  “Swinging Violet” (CC BY 2.0) by Joe Shlabotnik

Read more about examples of damped oscillations

Forced oscillations:

An oscillating system will normally oscillate at its natural frequency under normal conditions, provided there is no external damping or driving force applied to it. A driving force, on the other hand, is delivered to the system on a regular basis, and some energy is introduced into the system at a frequency that is different from the system’s natural frequency of oscillation. The difference between the natural frequency and the driving force’s frequency determines the forced vibrations’ amplitude.

When a body oscillates as a result of an external periodic force, this is referred to as forced oscillation. In response to the addition of external energy to the system, the amplitude of the oscillation is decreased but remains constant in magnitude.

For example, if you are pushing someone sitting on a swing, you must maintain pushing them at regular intervals to ensure that the swing does not stop swinging.

Image Credits: “Mom pushing Crystal on a swing” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by ragesoss

Now, here we will explore and summarize the difference between damped oscillation and forced oscillation.

Difference between damped oscillation and forced oscillation:

Damped OscillationForced OscillationA damped oscillation is a type of oscillation in which the amplitude of a body’s oscillation decreases as time progresses. A change in amplitude is accompanied by a decrease in the energy of the system, which continues to decrease.An oscillating body is said to be forced to oscillate when it is subjected to an external periodic force that causes it to oscillate in response to the force. Because of the external energy supplied to the system, the amplitude of the oscillation is dampened but does not change over time.
This form of oscillation does not last for a long period of time and eventually comes to an end.They appear as a result of the effect of a periodic force that is provided externally.
Because the frequency of oscillation is determined by the system parameters, the frequency of oscillation remains constant.As long as the body is subjected to an external force, forced oscillations will continue to occur.
Eventually, damped oscillations come to an end.When a periodic force is applied to a body, the frequency of the periodic force equals the frequency of the applied force.
A swinging pendulum is an example of a damped oscillator, in which the oscillations slow down and eventually cease as time passes.As long as you keep pushing the swing each time it slows down, it will continue to swing since an external force is applied to it, resulting in it being referred to as a forced oscillator.

Difference Between Damped Oscillation And Forced Oscillation

This is the difference between damped oscillation and forced oscillation.


Prajakta Gharat

I am Prajakta Gharat. I have completed Post Graduation in physics in 2020. Currently I am working as a Subject Matter Expert in Physics for Lambdageeks. I try to explain Physics subject easily understandable in simple way.

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