Example of Oscillators

This video features a series of demonstrations of different oscillators, based upon the classic Nuffield Physics "D Circus" of experiments. The aim of these experiments was to demonstrate the property of isochronicity - i.e. that for Simple Harmonic Oscillators the time period of the oscillation is independent of the amplitude of the oscillation.

Whilst simple harmonic oscillators are common on the atomic and molecular scale, in the macroscopic world around us there are very few examples of true simple harmonic oscillators. The majority of oscillators, however, may be approximately modelled as simple harmonic oscillators or may approximately obey simple harmonic motion when their oscillations are small (this is the case for a pendulum). One of the simplest ways of testing for simple harmonic motion is to test for isochronicity. By demonstrating both small and large oscillations this video allows such a test to be carried out and discussions to be held regarding each video. The video ends with a quick demonstration of chaotic (unpredictable) motion.

Main points covered include:

    • The variety of different types of oscillations

    • Isochronic motion

    • Simple Harmonic Motion

    • Chaotic motion