Tutorials on simple harmonic and non-harmonic oscillations

Simple harmonic

Pretest (.pdf)

Tutorial [vectors] (.pdf)

Tutorial [graphs] (.pdf)

Homework (.pdf)

Exam questions (.docx)

Instr. notes [vectors] (.pdf)

Instr. notes [graphs] (.pdf)

All materials (~2.4MB .zip,

    .docx and .pdf)

Tutorial title

Emphasis (what do students do?)

Links to materials

Examine equation of motion and solutions, focusing on vector kinematics or motion graphs (separate versions of the tutorial
focus on each)

Identify factors that do and do not affect oscillation frequency; relate initial phase angle to initial conditions

Harmonic motion in
two dimensions

Contact information for co-PIs

Bradley S. Ambrose

Department of Physics

118 Padnos Hall

Grand Valley State University

Allendale, MI 49401

Tel.:  616-331-2524

FAX:  616-331-3740

Email:  ambroseb@gvsu.edu

Michael C. Wittmann

Department of Physics and Astronomy

5709 Bennett Hall

University of Maine

Orono, ME  04401-5709

Tel.:  207-581-1237

FAX:  207-581-3410

Email:  wittmann@umit.maine.edu

Relate x-y trajectories of 2-D oscillators (isotropic and non-isotropic) to frequencies
and amplitudes along x- and y-axes

Explore effect of phase difference between x- and y-motions on trajectories of isotropic oscillators

Creative Commons License

Go back to IMT home pageIMT.html

Non-harmonic oscillations

Tutorial (.pdf)

Homework (.pdf)

All materials (~250KB .zip,

    .docx and .pdf)

Solve qualitative problems involving non-harmonic oscillators (e.g., restoring force independent of displacement from origin)

Set up and solve differential equations of motion for non-harmonic oscillators

Pretest (.pdf)

Tutorial (.pdf)

Homework (.pdf)

Exam questions (.docx)

Instructor notes (.pdf)

All materials (~2MB .zip,

    .docx and .pdf)

Sponsored in part by NSF grants DUE-0441426 and DUE-0442388


Intermediate Mechanics Tutorials are modeled after: 

  1. Tutorials in Introductory Physics, L.C. McDermott P.S. Shaffer, and the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington (Prentice Hall, 2002)

  1. Activity-Based Tutorials, M.C. Wittmann, R.N. Steinberg, E.F. Redish, and the University of Maryland Physics Education Research Group (Wiley, 2004 and 2005)