Restoring force, in a physics context, is a force that gives rise to an equilibrium in a physical system. If the system is perturbed away from the equilibrium, the restoring force will tend to bring the system back toward equilibrium. The restoring force is a function only of position of the mass or particle. It is always directed back toward the equilibrium position of the system. The restoring force is often referred to in simple harmonic motion. The force which is responsible to restore original size and shape is called restoring force.
Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its motion and behavior through space and time, and that studies the related entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, and its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves.
In physics, a force is any interaction that, when unopposed, will change the motion of an object. A force can cause an object with mass to change its velocity, i.e., to accelerate. Force can also be described intuitively as a push or a pull. A force has both magnitude and direction, making it a vector quantity. It is measured in the SI unit of newtons and represented by the symbol F.
In classical mechanics, a particle is in mechanical equilibrium if the net force on that particle is zero. By extension, a physical system made up of many parts is in mechanical equilibrium if the net force on each of its individual parts is zero.
An example is the action of a spring. An idealized spring exerts a force that is proportional to the amount of deformation of the spring from its equilibrium length, exerted in a direction to oppose the deformation. Pulling the spring to a greater length causes it to exert a force that brings the spring back toward its equilibrium length. The amount of force can be determined by multiplying the spring constant of the spring by the amount of stretch, also known as the Hooke's Law.
A spring is an elastic object that stores mechanical energy. Springs are typically made of spring steel. There are many spring designs. In everyday use, the term often refers to coil springs.
Hooke's law is a law of physics that states that the force needed to extend or compress a spring by some distance x scales linearly with respect to that distance. That is: , where k is a constant factor characteristic of the spring: its stiffness, and x is small compared to the total possible deformation of the spring. The law is named after 17th-century British physicist Robert Hooke. He first stated the law in 1676 as a Latin anagram. He published the solution of his anagram in 1678 as: ut tensio, sic vis. Hooke states in the 1678 work that he was aware of the law already in 1660.
Another example is of a pendulum. When the pendulum is not swinging all the forces acting on the pendulum are in equilibrium. The force due to gravity and the mass of the object at the end of the pendulum is equal to the tension in the string holding that object up. When a pendulum is put in motion the place of equilibrium is at the bottom of the swing, the place where the pendulum rests. When the pendulum is at the top of its swing the force bringing the pendulum back down to this midpoint is gravity. As a result gravity can be seen as the restoring force in this.
In classical mechanics, a harmonic oscillator is a system that, when displaced from its equilibrium position, experiences a restoring force F proportional to the displacement x:
Oscillation is the repetitive variation, typically in time, of some measure about a central value or between two or more different states. The term vibration is precisely used to describe mechanical oscillation. Familiar examples of oscillation include a swinging pendulum and alternating current.
In mechanics and physics, simple harmonic motion is a special type of periodic motion or oscillation where the restoring force is directly proportional to the displacement and acts in the direction opposite to that of displacement.
In science and engineering, the weight of an object is related to the amount of force acting on the object, either due to gravity or to a reaction force that holds it in place.
In mechanical systems, resonance is a phenomenon that only occurs when the frequency at which a force is periodically applied is equal or nearly equal to one of the natural frequencies of the system on which it acts. This causes the system to oscillate with larger amplitude than when the force is applied at other frequencies.
A pendulum is a weight suspended from a pivot so that it can swing freely. When a pendulum is displaced sideways from its resting, equilibrium position, it is subject to a restoring force due to gravity that will accelerate it back toward the equilibrium position. When released, the restoring force acting on the pendulum's mass causes it to oscillate about the equilibrium position, swinging back and forth. The time for one complete cycle, a left swing and a right swing, is called the period. The period depends on the length of the pendulum and also to a slight degree on the amplitude, the width of the pendulum's swing.
A torsion spring is a spring that works by twisting its end along its axis; that is, a flexible elastic object that stores mechanical energy when it is twisted. When it is twisted, it exerts a force in the opposite direction, proportional to the amount (angle) it is twisted. There are various types:
Dynamical simulation, in computational physics, is the simulation of systems of objects that are free to move, usually in three dimensions according to Newton's laws of dynamics, or approximations thereof. Dynamical simulation is used in computer animation to assist animators to produce realistic motion, in industrial design, and in video games. Body movement is calculated using time integration methods.
In physics, complex harmonic motion is a complicated realm based on the simple harmonic motion. The word "complex" refers to different situations. Unlike simple harmonic motion, which is regardless of air resistance, friction, etc., complex harmonic motion often has additional forces to dissipate the initial energy and lessen the speed and amplitude of an oscillation until the energy of the system is totally drained and the system comes to rest at its equilibrium point.
In classical mechanics, anharmonicity is the deviation of a system from being a harmonic oscillator. An oscillator that is not oscillating in harmonic motion is known as an anharmonic oscillator where the system can be approximated to a harmonic oscillator and the anharmonicity can be calculated using perturbation theory. If the anharmonicity is large, then other numerical techniques have to be used.
Mechanical resonance is the tendency of a mechanical system to respond at greater amplitude when the frequency of its oscillations matches the system's natural frequency of vibration than it does at other frequencies. It may cause violent swaying motions and even catastrophic failure in improperly constructed structures including bridges, buildings and airplanes. This is a phenomenon known as resonance disaster.
Rotational–vibrational coupling occurs when the rotation frequency of an object is close to or identical to a natural internal vibration frequency. The animation on the right shows a simple example. The motion depicted in the animation is for the idealized situation that the force exerted by the spring increases linearly with the distance to the center of rotation. Also, the animation depicts what would occur if there would not be any friction.
In physics, tension may be described as the pulling force transmitted axially by the means of a string, cable, chain, or similar one-dimensional continuous object, or by each end of a rod, truss member, or similar three-dimensional object; tension might also be described as the action-reaction pair of forces acting at each end of said elements. Tension could be the opposite of compression.
A pendulum is a body suspended from a fixed support so that it swings freely back and forth under the influence of gravity. When a pendulum is displaced sideways from its resting, equilibrium position, it is subject to a restoring force due to gravity that will accelerate it back toward the equilibrium position. When released, the restoring force acting on the pendulum's mass causes it to oscillate about the equilibrium position, swinging back and forth. The mathematics of pendulums are in general quite complicated. Simplifying assumptions can be made, which in the case of a simple pendulum allow the equations of motion to be solved analytically for small-angle oscillations.
In Newtonian mechanics, the centrifugal force is an inertial force that appears to act on all objects when viewed in a rotating frame of reference. It is directed away from an axis passing through the coordinate system's origin and parallel to the axis of rotation. If the axis of rotation passes through the coordinate system's origin, the centrifugal force is directed radially outwards from that axis. The concept of centrifugal force can be applied in rotating devices, such as centrifuges, centrifugal pumps, centrifugal governors, and centrifugal clutches, and in centrifugal railways, planetary orbits and banked curves, when they are analyzed in a rotating coordinate system. The term has sometimes also been used for the reactive centrifugal force that may be viewed as a reaction to a centripetal force in some circumstances.
Vibration is a mechanical phenomenon whereby oscillations occur about an equilibrium point. The word comes from Latin vibrationem. The oscillations may be periodic, such as the motion of a pendulum—or random, such as the movement of a tire on a gravel road.
This glossary of physics is a list of definitions of terms and concepts relevant to physics, its sub-disciplines, and related fields, including mechanics, materials science, nuclear physics, particle physics, and thermodynamics.