Why is simple harmonic motion 'simple'? Is there a complex harmonic motion?
Asked by: Tek Yong
If you look at a text on Simple Harmonic Motion in a physics book you see that 'Simple' refers to
the ideal case where there is no friction, viscosity etc. Indeed, ideal cases are usually the
simples in Physics. But many books also have parts on 'Damped Oscillations' and 'Forced
Oscillations' but these are not considered as simple, because they are closer to real cases. Also
the solutions to ideal case is the simplest, and the solutions to forced and damped oscillations
are more complicated as one could expect.
Answered by: Ertan Salik, M.A. Physics, USC
'The difference between what the most and the least learned people know is inexpressibly trivial in relation to that which is unknown.'