A Level Physics


Kit Betts-Masters

Simple Harmonic Motion


This topic builds upon the first year topic of waves.  Waves being an example of a simple harmonic oscillation.


It's really important that you have a good definition of simple harmonic motion (SHM) so that you can recognise the contexts that they give you where you can apply the equations and other details of the SHM section.


A simple harmonic motion is an oscillation around a point, where there is a force towards that point which is proportional to the object's displacement from that point.   That sounds like quite a lot, but it's not really complicated at all, in fact it can all be summed up in the equation F=-kx!  In other words, Hooke's Law but with an important minus sign!


There are some really interesting applications and contexts for SHM and there are some amazing sine function graphs to get your head around.