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Unformatted text preview: il some external force stops it. If we let x(t) denote the
object’s displacement from the equilibrium position at time t, then x(t) = 0 means the object is at
the equilibrium position, x(t) < 0 means the object is above the equilibrium position, and x(t) > 0
means the object is below the equilibrium position. The function x(t) is called the ‘equation of
motion’ of the object.12 x(t) = 0 at the
equilibrium position x(t) < 0 above the
equilibrium position x(t) > 0 below the
equilibrium position If we ignore all other inﬂuences on the system except gravity and the spring force, then Physics
tells us that gravity and the spring force will battle each other forever and the object will oscillate
indeﬁnitely. In this case, we describe the motion as ‘free’ (meaning there is no external force causing
the motion) and ‘undamped’ (meaning we ignore friction caused by surrounding medium, which
8 Well, assuming the object isn’t subjected to relativistic speeds . . .
This is a consequence of Newton’s Second Law of Motion F = ma where F is force, m is mass and a is accel...
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