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# Vibrations and Waves MP205, Assignment 3 Solutions

## 1. A platform is executing simple harmonic motion in a vertical direction. A block is placed

on the platform at the lowest point of its path. Assuming that the block does not impact
the motion of the platform,
(a) Draw a force diagram for the block.
(b) State the conditions you would need for the block to leave the platform.

(a) Force diagram:

kx is the force exerted by the platform on the block (due to the simple harmonic motion),
W is the weight of the block, and N is the force exerted by the block on the platform (the
normal force).
(b) Relative to the block, the net force is 0 for as long as the block is on the platform.
This force N is the force keeping the block on the platform, it is NOT constant, and changes
with respect to x.
We want to find the point when N = 0 - this is the point the block leaves the platform.
kx = W N
kx = W

## looking at the point where N = 0

* 2. A uniform rod of length L is nailed to a post so that two thirds of its length is below the
nail. What is the period of small oscillations of the rod?

If we look at the period in terms of the center of mass, where the center of mass C is a distance h
from the point of suspension, and k is the radius of gyration of the body.
In this case, the period T is given by:

T = 2

h2 + k 2
gh

 12

## Looking at our system:

Our center of mass C will be at the center of the rod, so our h is given by
h=

2L L
L
=
3
2
6

To get k, we recall that I = mk 2 , and that the moment of inertia of a rod (through its center of mass)
1
is given by I = 12
mL2 .
I = mk 2
I
k2 =
m
L2
=
12
This gives us the period:
L2
36

T = 2

L2
12

!1
2

gL
6

= 2
s
= 2

1
6

+
g

1
2

 ! 12

2L
3g

3. A circular hoop of diameter d hangs on a nail. What is the period of its oscillations at
small amplitude? 
If we look at the period in terms of the center of mass, where the center of mass C is a distance h
from the point of suspension, and k is the radius of gyration of the body.
In this case, the period T is given by:

T = 2
Looking at our system:

h2 + k 2
gh

 12

Our center of mass will be at the center of the circle, so our h is just the radius of the circle.
The moment of inertia through the centre of mass of a thin hoop with an axis is rotation perpendicular
to the hoop is given by I = mr2 = mk 2 so k is also just the radius.
This gives us the period:
r2 + r2
T = 2
gr
 1
2r 2
= 2
g
r
2r
= 2
g


 12

But 2r = d
s
T = 2

d
g

* 4. (a) An object of mass 0.5 kg is hung from the end of a steel wire of length 2 m and of
diameter 0.5 mm. (Youngs modulus = 2 1011 N/m2 ). What is the extension of the
wire?
(b) The object is lifted through a distance h (thus allowing the wire to become slack)
and is then dropped so that the wire receives a sudden jerk. The ultimate strength
of steel is 1.1109 N/m2 . What is the largest possible value of h if the wire is not to
break?
(a)
Y =

stress
=
strain

P
A
l
l0

P = mg = (0.5)(9.8) = 4.9N

2
0.5 103
2
A = r =
= 1.96 107 m2
2
l0 = 2m
Y = 2 1011 Nm2
11

2 10

2 1011 =

4.9
1.96107
l
2
5 107

l
5 107
l =
= 2.5 104 m = 0.25mm
2 1011

We know that:
Y =

stress
strain

## Y is constant, so if we have maximum stress, this corresponds to the maximum strain.

To get the maximum extension l we need to get the maximum strain, as l strain.
max stress
max strain
1.1 109
2 1011 =
max strain
1.1 109
max strain =
= 5.5 103
2 1011
maxl
= 5.5 103
l
maxl
= 5.5 103
2
maxl = 0.011m
Y =

So the maximum change in length before the wire will break is 0.011m.
To find the maximum height we can lift the object, we look at the energy of the system when
lifted to a height h, and the energy of the system at the lowest point l0 .
At the highest point (h) the total energy is just the potential energy: mgh.
At the lowest point (l) the total energy is just kinetic energy: 12 kx2 = 12 kl02
Using conservation of energy: mgh = 12 kl2
k is just given by k =

AY
l0

(1.96107 )(21011 )
2

= 19600.

kl2
2mg
(19600)(0.011)2
=
2(0.5)(9.8)
= 0.24m

h=

5. A solid steel ball is to be hung at the bottom end of a steel wire of length 2m and radius
1mm. The ultimate strength (max stress) of steel is 1.1 109 N/m2 . What are:
(a) the mass of the biggest ball the wire can bear 
(b) the radius of the biggest ball the wire can bear  [Hint: use the fact that the density
of steel is given by s = 7900kgm3 ]
(a) We know the ultimate strength of steel is 1.1 109 N/m2 , and r = 1mm = 0.001m:
P
A
mg
= 2
r
m(9.8)
=
(0.001)2
3455.75 = 9.8m

1.1 109 =

m = 352.6kg

## (b) We know the density of steel is s = 7900kgm3 , and m = V :

m=V
4
= r3
3
3m
3
r =
4
3(352.6)
=
4(3.14)(7900)
= 0.0107
r = 0.22m
6. A metal rod, 0.5 m long, has a rectangular cross section of area 2 mm2 . With the rod
vertical and a mass of 60kg hung from the bottom, there is an extension of 0.25 mm.
What is the Youngs modulus ( N/m2 ) for the material of the rod? 
Given m = 60 kg, h = 0.25 mm = 0.25 103 m, `0 = 0.5 m and A = 2 mm2 = 2 106 m2 . We also
know that
Y =
=

P
A
l
l0

mgl0
Al

(60)(9.8)(0.5)
= 5.88 1011 Nm2
(2 106 )(0.25 103 )

## Careful with the mm2 m2 conversion here:

mm 1 103 m
mm2 (1 103 )2 m2 = 1 106 m2
7. (a) Show that the frequency of vibration under adiabatic conditions of a column of gas
confined to a cylindrical tube, closed at one end, with a well-fitting but freely moving
piston of mass m is given by: 
r
Ap
=
lm
.
(b) A steel ball of diameter 2cm oscillates vertically in a 12-liter glass tube containing
air at atmospheric pressure (as pictured below). Verify that the period of oscillation
should be about 1 sec. (Assume adiabatic pressure change with = 1.4. Density of
steel = 7600kgm3 .) 

## (a) Under adiabatic conditions we have :pV = constant

pV = const
ln(pV ) = const
ln(p) + ln(V ) = const
ln(p) + ln(V ) = const

## Differentiating this w.r.t. V gives:

1 dp

+
=0
p dV
V
dp
p
+
=0
dV
V
dV p
dp =
V
Now we know we can express :
force F as F = Ap (= Adp)
volume V as V = Al
the change in volume V as V = Ay (= dV )
dV p
= A
V
A2 yp
=
Al
Ap
y
=
l
Ap
ma =
y
l
Ap
a=
y
ml
We know a = 2 y
Ap
ml
r
Ap
=
ml

2 =

(b)
4
4
mass of ball;m = V = r3 =
3
3

0.02
2

3
(7600) 0.032kg



0.02 2
0.012 = l
2
l 38.2m
Using this:
r
=
s
=

Ap
ml


0.02 2
(1.4)(101325)
2

(38.2)(0.032)
2
2
=
= 1.04 1sec
T =

6.04

36.5 = 6.04sec1