Skip to main content
\(\require{cancel}\)
Physics LibreTexts

14: Coupled Linear Oscillators

  • Page ID
    9641
    • 14.1: Introduction to Coupled Linear Oscillators
      Coupled linear oscillators are ubiquitous in life.
    • 14.2: Two Coupled Linear Oscillators
      A basic two-coupled oscillator system.
    • 14.3: Normal Modes
      Independent modes of two coupled linear oscillators.
    • 14.4: Center of Mass Oscillations
      Spurious center of mass oscillations.
    • 14.5: Weak Coupling
      There are myriad examples involving weakly-coupled oscillators in many aspects of the natural world. There are many examples applied to musical instruments, acoustics, and engineering. Weakly coupled oscillators are a dominant theme throughout biology as illustrated by congregations of synchronously flashing fireflies, crickets that chirp in unison, an audience clapping at the end of a performance.
    • 14.6: General Analytic Theory for Coupled Linear Oscillators
      The development of a general analytic theory  of n coupled linear oscillators, that is capable of finding the normal modes and their eigenvalues and eigenvectors. The solution of many coupled linear oscillators is a classic eigenvalue problem where one has to rotate to the principal axis system to project out the normal modes. The following discussion presents a general approach to the problem of finding the normal coordinates for a system of n coupled linear oscillators.
    • 14.7: Two-body coupled oscillator systems
      Examples of two-body coupled oscillators.
    • 14.8: Three-body coupled linear oscillator systems
      Mean field and nearest neighbor coupling.
    • 14.9: Molecular coupled oscillator systems
      Linear and ring molecular systems.
    • 14.10: Discrete Lattice Chain
      A crystalline lattice comprises thousands of coupled oscillators in a three dimensional matrix. A classical treatment of lattice dynamics of is of interest since classical mechanics underlies many features of the motion of atoms in a crystalline lattice. The linear discrete lattice chain is the simplest example of many-body coupled oscillator systems that can illuminate the physics underlying a range of interesting phenomena in solid-state physics.
    • 14.11: Damped Coupled Linear Oscillators
      In general, dissipative forces are non linear which greatly complicates solving the equations of motion for damped coupled oscillator systems. However, for some systems the dissipative forces depend linearly on velocity which allows use of the Rayleigh dissipation function.
    • 14.12: Collective Synchronization of Coupled Oscillators
      Collective synchronization of coupled oscillators is a multifaceted phenomenon where large ensembles of coupled oscillators, with comparable natural frequencies, self synchronize leading to coherent collective modes of motion. Biological examples include congregations of synchronously flashing fireflies, crickets that chirp in unison, an audience clapping at the end of a performance, networks of pacemaker cells in the heart, as well as neural networks in the brain and spinal cord.
    • 14.E: Coupled linear oscillators (Exercises)
    • 14.S: Coupled linear oscillators (Summary)

    Thumbnail: A double pendulum consists of two pendulums attached end to end. (CC BY-SA 3.0; 100Miezekatzen).

    • Was this article helpful?