Critical 20+ Resonance Examples in daily life with Explanations, FAQs


What is resonance explain with example ?

Resonance Examples in daily life | Practical examples of resonance.

Common Resonance Examples in daily life such as resonance because of car engine sound, Breaking of Glass, Oscillations of a suspension bridge because of wind, Microwave Resonance Heating, Radio Channel Control using Resonance frequency, Vibration because of Loud Music System and other has been explained.

  • Engine Sound : The rattling sound of a bus or a truck engine that we often hear when the bus is left idle is an example of the occurrence of the resonance phenomenon. The vibrations of a motor engine can cause resonating waves in the adjoining structures when the frequency of vibration of the engine is comparable to the frequency of vibrations of the surrounding structures.
  • Breaking of Glass : The breaking of a wine glass by a high pitched noise belonging to the resonant frequency range of the glass. This is an acoustic resonance examples.
  • Oscillations of a suspension bridge : The wind can amplify the oscillations of a suspension bridge by making the bridge oscillate at a frequency that is equal to its resonance frequency. Strong winds can induce structural resonance in a suspension bridge that can cause its disastrous collapse.
  • Swings can be pushed at regular intervals to match its natural resonance frequency to set it into an oscillating motion with high amplitude.
  • Microwave Resonance Heating : The phenomenon of resonance also helps in quickly heating up food in a microwave. The microwave oven emits microwave radiation that belong to a certain wavelength and frequency, for cooking food. If the frequency of the radiation matches with the resonance frequency of the food molecules then the molecules start absorbing the wavelengths and begins to vibrate, thereby cooking and heating up of the food.
  • Radio Channel Control using Resonance : The function of the knob of the radio is to change the normal frequency of the receiver. This normal frequency of the receiver is the made to match with the transmission frequency of the radio station for the occurrence of energy transfer. This energy transfer then enables us to hear the sound of the channel selected.
  • Vibration because of Loud Music System : A loud music system can at times cause the home furniture and walls to vibrate. This happened if the natural freq. of the furniture synchronize with the resonant frequency of the vibration of the musical system.
  • Time keeping mechanism of modern watch.
  • The coherent light creation by optical resonance in a laser cavities. This is also a common resonance examples.
  • Tidal resonance of the Bay.
  • Acoustic resonance examples found in various musical instruments etc.

What is resonance and its practical uses? | What is resonance theory ?

Resonance Definition :

Resonance in physics refers to the phenomenon in which amplitude of a wave increases when the frequency of a force (or its Fourier component) that is periodically applied becomes comparable or equal to the natural frequency of the system that the force is acting upon. In a dynamic system, if we apply an oscillating force at the resonant frequency, then we can observe that the system starts oscillating at an amplitude higher than the resultant amplitude when a non-resonant frequency experiences the same oscillating force.

The word “resonance” was coined from the Latin word “resonantia” and “resonare” that meant ‘echo’ and ‘resound’ respectively.  The term found its being primarily in the domain of acoustics, mainly from the sympathetic resonance that could be seen in musical instruments such as a guitar in which one string begins vibrating and producing sound after some other string is struck.

At times frequency of resonance or resonant frequency also refers to the frequency that causes the response amplitude to be a relative maximum. Large amplitude oscillations can be generated by the effect of small periodic force those are comparable to the resonance frequency of the system as they have the ability to store vibration energy.

What are the types of resonance frequencies?

Different types of Resonance Frequency :

The phenomenon of resonance can take place in different kinds of vibrations or waves. Some of the most notable vibrations where resonance plays a major role are

  1. Mechanical vibrations or waves (mechanical resonance),
  2. Acoustic vibrations or waves (acoustic resonance),
  3. Electromagnetic vibrations or waves (electromagnetic resonance),
  4. Nuclear magnetic vibrations or waves (nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)),
  5. Electron spin vibrations or waves (electron spin resonance (ESR)),
  6. Quantum wave function resonance.

A definite frequency can be achieved by using a resonant system for generating vibrations. Such applications are required in musical instruments or in filters to select a definite frequency or a small range of frequencies from a complex vibration that comprises of a number of different frequencies.

Practical examples of forced oscillations and resonance

Let us have a look at the different types of physical resonance examples:

Mechanical resonance frequency

Mechanical resonance refers to the phenomenon of the affinity of a mechanical system to react at an increased amplitude when the frequency of its oscillation will match with the system’s natural freq. of vibration (at its resonance freq. or resonant freq.) than it does at some other frequencies and this might lead to vicious fluctuating motions and possibly disastrous failure in inadequately built constructions such as bridges, buildings and airplanes. Such types of occurrence are termed as resonance disasters.

It is known that a resonant object can possess more than one resonance frequency. This means that at those frequencies the object is more likely to vibrate easily, and comparatively less for the other frequencies. The phenomenon of mechanical resonance is used by clocks for keeping time by matching the frequencies of the pendulum, balance wheel, or quartz crystal.

Acoustic resonance frequency

Acoustic resonance refers to the phenomenon where an auditory system is able to amplify the sound waves belonging to a frequency that equals with one of the natural frequencies of vibration or frequencies of resonance. Acoustic resonance can be termed as a narrow part of mechanical resonance belonging to the range of frequencies of human hearing. However, in a broader sense acoustics governs the vibrational waves in matter, therefore, it is possible for acoustic resonance to take place at frequencies beyond the range of frequencies belonging to the audible range of human beings.

Typically, it is seen that an acoustically resonant object possesses more than one frequencies of resonance. This is observed more at the harmonics of the strongest acoustic resonance of the material. This means that at those frequencies the object is more likely to vibrate easily, and comparatively less for the other frequencies. A resonant object general chooses or “picks out” its frequency of resonance from a range of complex excitation, for example, an impulse noise excitation or a wideband noise excitation. In consequence, the object filters out all the remaining frequencies that does not belong to its resonance frequency range.

Similar to mechanical resonance, acoustic resonance can also lead to fluctuating motions possibly due to the failure in vibrators. A very common resonance examples that we face in our daily life is the breaking a wine glass by a high pitched noise belonging to the resonant frequency range of the glass.

“Resonator” by Travis Isaacs is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Electromagnetic resonance frequency (EMR)

Electromagnetic resonance refers to the phenomenon of regulating both the magnetic field strength and the radiation frequency for producing the absorption of the radiation. This electromagnetic resonance effect is generated by concurrently applying stable magnetic field and electromagnetic radiation (generally in the form of radio waves) to a sample of electrons.

Electron magnetic resonance(EMR) is considered to be an interdisciplinary domain having numerous different types in physics, chemistry and biology. Some of the forms of electron magnetic resonance are electron paramagnetic resonance(EPR), electron spin resonance(ESR) and electron cyclotron resonance (ECR). In EMR, the attention is given to the electrons instead of nuclei or ions as observed in NMR and ICR respectively.

Nuclear magnetic resonance frequency (NMR)

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) refers to a physical phenomenon which involves perturbing nuclei in a very strong continuous magnetic field with the help of a weak oscillating magnetic field and making it retort by generating an electromagnetic signal possessing the characteristic frequency of the magnetic field present at the nucleus. This phenomenon is observed in the near resonance region where the frequency of oscillation can be compared with the intrinsic frequency of the nuclei.  This process is dependent upon the power of the static magnetic field, the chemical properties of the surrounding medium/material, and the properties of magnetism demonstrated by the isotope used.

For practical applications that involves static magnetic fields ranging up to ca. 20 tesla, the observed frequency is comparable to VHF (Very high frequency) and UHF (Ultra high frequency) television broadcasts that ranges from 60 MHz to about 1000 MHz. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) occurs due to certain special properties of magnetism demonstrated by certain atomic nuclei. The application of Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is widely seen for determining the arrangement of organic molecules in solution and studying the molecular physics of crystals as well as certain non-crystalline objects. Another application of Nuclear magnetic resonance or NMR is in the field of complex medical imaging techniques, for example magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Electron paramagnetic resonance frequency (EPR)

Electron paramagnetic resonance or EPR also known as electron spin resonance ESR spectroscopy refers to the process of examining and analyzing materials having unpaired electrons. The elementary theories of Electron paramagnetic resonance or EPR are equivalent to the concepts of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). However, in this the spins that are excited belong to the electrons as a replacement for the atomic nuclei. Electron paramagnetic resonance or EPR spectroscopy is predominantly valuable for analyzing metal complexes and organic radicals.

The first observation of Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) took place in Kazan State University. The experiment was carries out by a notable Soviet physicist Yevgeny Zavoisky in the year 1944 and was developed autonomously around the same period by Brebis Bleaney in the University of Oxford, UK. The application of EPR or ESR spectroscopy is present in numerous branches of science, broadly in biology, chemistry and physics and utilized for detecting and identifying free radicals in the solid, liquid, or gaseous state of materials and in paramagnetic centers such as F-centers.

Advantages of resonance

Advantages and disadvantage of resonance with proper explanation has been elaborated. Advantage such as measuring unknown frequencies of oscillating objects, generating different sound notes by musical instruments, radio for tuning different channels are few good applications .The phenomenon of resonance can sometimes lead disastrous results, few such resonance examples also explained with scientific explanations. Resonance is useful for various reasons such as:

  1. The phenomenon of resonance is widely used for measuring unknown frequencies of oscillating objects.
  2.  The phenomenon of resonance plays a very important role in generating different sound notes by musical instruments.
  3. The phenomenon of resonance is widely used in radio for tuning different channels.
  4. The phenomenon of resonance is widely used for analyzing musical notes.
  5. The phenomenon of resonance is widely used in microwave cooking.

Disadvantages of resonance

The phenomenon of resonance can sometimes lead disastrous results. Let us have a look:

  • We know that soldiers are trained to march together at regular intervals. So, their marching steps become periodic having a certain frequency. While marching on a narrow bridge having a flexible structure, if by chance the marching frequency of a troupe of soldiers matches with the resonance frequency of the bridge the latter can be set into large amplitude oscillations. Such an incident occurred in 12th of April, 1831 in Salford, England, where the Broughton Suspension Bridge collapsed when a troupe of British soldiers were marching on it. Ever since that incident, the British Army has ordered its soldiers to halt that pace while marching across bridges, for avoiding resonance caused due to their periodic marching pattern disturbing the bridge.
  • It is observed that the vibrations of a motor engine can cause resonating waves in the adjoining structures when the frequency of vibration of the engine is comparable to the frequency of vibrations of the surrounding structures. The rattling sound of a bus or a truck engine that we often hear when the bus is left idle is an example of the occurrence of such a phenomenon.
  • Strong winds can induce structural resonance in a suspension bridge that can cause its disastrous collapse. The wind power can amplify the oscillations if it can make the bridge oscillate at a frequency that is equal to its resonance frequency. This phenomenon is observed in numerous suspension bridges across Europe and USA. These suspension bridges collapsed due to the structural resonance made by moderate winds. Another important example is the collapsing of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on 7th November 1940.  However, scientist Robert H. Scanlan along with some other members of his team argued that the occurrence of such bridge collapses were instigated by aeroelastic flutter. Aeroelastic flutter is defined as a complex interaction between the passing wind and the bridge structures. This can be termed as a kind of self-oscillation, or a “self-sustaining vibration” in the field of nonlinear theory of vibrations.

Resonance Examples in daily life
Pushing a person in a swing is a common example of resonance. The loaded swing, a pendulum, has a natural frequency of oscillation, its resonant frequency, and resists being pushed at a faster or slower rate.
Image credit : Luiz CarlosLittle girl on swingCC BY 2.0

Frequently Asked Questions on Resonance

Q 1. Is an echo an example of resonance? | What is the difference between Resonance echo and reverberation ?

No, Resonance in physics refers to the phenomenon in which amplitude of a wave increases when the frequency of a force (or its Fourier component) that is periodically applied becomes comparable or equal to the natural frequency of the system that the force is acting upon. Whereas, an echo refers to the reflection of the sound wave (when it hits a rigid object) that reaches the listener with a bit of lag or delay after the original sound.

Q 2. Is Reverberation an example of resonance?

No, Resonance in physics refers to the phenomenon in which amplitude of a wave increases when the frequency of a force (or its Fourier component) that is periodically applied becomes comparable or equal to the natural frequency of the system that the force is acting upon. Whereas, reverberation refers to the occurrence of multiple sound reflections that creates a prolonged effect of the sound. It is often termed as multiple echos occurring together.

Q 3. What is amplitude resonance?

Amplitude resonance examples refer to the phenomenon where at a certain frequency of a given sinusoidal excitation, a system generates the maximum amplitude of oscillation.

Q 4. Is resonance a type of interference?

Yes, all forms of vibrational resonances take place as a result of constructive and destructive interference. At resonant frequencies, the resonating structures undergo constructive interferences to form standing waves having larger amplitudes. Whereas at all other frequencies apart from resonant frequencies, destructive interference occurs and the waves become absent. So resonance examples are type of interference.

Q 5. How is a swing an example of resonance ?

Swings can be pushed at regular intervals to match its natural resonance frequency to set it into an oscillating motion with high amplitude. Strong winds can induce structural resonance in a suspension bridge that can cause its disastrous collapse.

Sanchari Chakraborty

I am an eager learner, currently invested in the field of Applied Optics and Photonics. I am also an active member of SPIE (International society for optics and photonics) and OSI(Optical Society of India). My articles are aimed towards bringing quality science research topics to light in a simple yet informative way. Science has been evolving since time immemorial. So, I try my bit to tap into the evolution and present it to the readers. Let's connect through https://www.linkedin.com/in/sanchari-chakraborty-7b33b416a/

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