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Free oscillation

  • The oscillation of a particle with fundamental frequency under the influence of restoring force are defined as free oscillations.
Fig. 10
  • The amplitude, frequency, and energy of oscillation remains constant.
  • Frequency of free oscillation is called natural frequency because it depends upon the nature and structure of the body.

Damped oscillation

  • The oscillation of a body whose amplitude goes on decreasing with time is defined as damped oscillation.
  • In these oscillations the amplitude of oscillation decreases exponentially due to damping forces like frictional force, viscous force, hystersis, etc.
Fig. 11
  • Due to decrease in amplitude, the energy of the oscillator also goes on decreasing exponentially

Forced oscillation

  • The oscillation in which a body oscillates under the influence of an external periodic force is known as forced oscillation.
  • The amplitude of oscillator decreases due to damping forces, but on account of the energy gained from the external source it remains constant.


When the frequency of external force is equal to the natural frequency of the oscillator, then this state is known as the state of resonance. And this frequency is known as resonant frequency.

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