Simple Harmonic Motion

Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM) is the simplest type of oscillation. When the restoring force pushing an object to its equilibrium position is directly proportional to the displacement from the equilibrium, the object will move according to SHM.

The most common example of SHM is the movement of a mass attached to an ideal spring that obeys to Hooke’s law, like the one in this simulation. In this case, one can ignore all the messy real-world conditions (like the friction of the spring or the resistance of air) and focus on the key players of the motion: the restoring force and the resulting sinusoidal nature of the motion. Under these conditions (called 'ideal conditions'), once a mass is set in motion it will keep oscillating indefinitely.

The maximum distance between the mass and its equilibrium position is called amplitude, A.