In this post, you are going to learn about the Difference between Free and Forced Oscillations.
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What are Free Oscillations?
A body is said to be executing free vibrations when it oscillates without the interference of an external force. For example, when the simple pendulum is slightly displaced from its mean position vibrates freely with its natural frequency that depends only upon the length of the pendulum.
Examples of Free Oscillations
Examples of this type of oscillation are a child left to swing on a swing or the vibration of a tuning fork.
What are Forced Oscillations?
If an oscillating system is subjected to an external periodic force, then forced vibrations will take place. For example, the mass of a vibrating pendulum is struck repeatedly, the forced vibrations are produced.
Examples of Forced or Damped Oscillations
Examples of this type of oscillation are a washing machine that produces jolts during spinning, vibrations from the car due to the motor itself or an uneven road, or oscillations in a building due to an earthquake.
See Also: Resonance
What is difference between Free and Forced Oscillations?
The free oscillations occur when a mechanical system is put into movement endowed with initial energy and allowed to swing freely. The mechanical system oscillates at one or more of its natural frequencies and would remain so if there were no dissipative forces.
The oscillations damped occur when the energy of the system is gradually ranging dissipated by friction or other resistance. Oscillations gradually reduce their elongation at a lower frequency than the free case. When they are completely reduced, movement ceases and the system returns to its equilibrium position.
The forced oscillations occur when applied to an oscillatory periodic system force from the outside. In linear systems, by applying a harmonic initial power, a harmonic response is obtained with the same frequency of the applied signal and amplitude-dependent on the characteristics of the mechanical system.