Simple Harmonic Motion

Simple Harmonic Motion

If we have studied physics in the higher classes, then we will have studied simple harmonic motion in extreme detail. But in this article, we will study this concept in more detail.

Simple Harmonic Motion is one of the important concepts in physics as it covers many topics that were once considered some of the most path breaking discoveries in this subject. The most common example of simple harmonic motion is the pendulum. The most affiliated term with simple harmonic motion is the restoring force. It is also abbreviated as the SHM. 

Concept of Simple Harmonic Motion 

Before going into much depth about the simple harmonic motion, let us discuss the periodic motion. Periodic motion is the type of motion in which the object that is being contemplated repeats its process after every short interval. The most common example of this is the pendulum as it repeats its path after every short interval. 

If we are to go into the depths of the restoring force then we can say that we can understand it in two different ways and those methods are theoretically and with the help of the formula. If we are to understand this with the help of formulas then we can say the restoring force equals the product of the spring constant which is usually represented by the alphabet, k and the alphabet, x, which usually represents the distance from the equilibrium position and usually the unit for it is metre and along with this product a negative sign is also incorporated with it. 

If we are to understand the concept of restoring force with the help of a definition then we can say that the restoring force is the type of force which is usually needed when we have to bring back an object from the position it is usually in to its normal position. 

Hooke’s Law 

The Hooke’s Law is one of the important laws in the concepts of friction and elasticity. It represents one of the most basic and easy laws in physics. In fact this law completely coincides with the equation of simple harmonic motion which we have discussed earlier. The only thing that differs from the equation is the statement of the law. 

This law states that the force that is required to bring the object back to its origin or the restoring force is directly proportional to the displacement of the string. Hence, the spring constant came into existence and again to mention this fact as it is important to say that the sign depends on which direction the spring is moving. If it is moving in the forward direction then we put on the positive sign and if it is moving in the backward direction then we write the negative sign in it. 

Dynamics of the equation of motion 

If we link the equation of motion or the dynamics of the equation of motion to differential mechanics, then we can say that many of those equations match the equations that were given by the concepts of classical mechanics when we linked these equations to them. Many of the constants that were written were exactly the same in both cases.

In the further articles, we will discuss the concepts of the waves in the subject of physics. We will come across many terms from it like the amplitude, omega, the constant phi and time,t . But it is actually best that we come across these terms early on in the chapters of the simple harmonic motion itself. 

Different terms regarding waves   

The amplitude is one of the most important terms that comes to mind when we talk about waves. It is represented by the capital A. It is one of the rare and major quantities that are always in whole numbers and can never be negative even when discussing the directions in which the waves proceed. The amplitude basically tells us about the change in the different periods regarding the waves when we specifically emphasise them. 

Now there are a lot of different terms that we have to talk about when we go into the depth of simple harmonic motion. Some of those terms are peak amplitude, semi-amplitude and ambiguity. Now, as the name suggests, the peak amplitude is the term that is used when the amplitude of any random wave reaches its highest point. 

The next term that we will talk about is semi-amplitude. The semi-amplitude, as the name suggests, is the half of the peak amplitude. It means that it is the position wherein we reach the half point of the highest point we can reach on a wave. These are the two most important terms that are used in the discussion whenever we talk about the simple harmonic motion.  

Now the next term to talk about is ambiguity. Now, in general many waves do not have a clear demarcation as to where they have their highest points. So, in general this is also called ambiguity in the English dictionary as well. But in the sense of simple harmonic motion. The method by which we can create this demarcation is called ambiguity and it is one of the most helpful methods. 


The concept of simple harmonic motion is one of the most important concepts when we talk about the section of physics. It forms the basis of many other sections of physics like the part of differential mechanics and the part of elasticity and waves as well.