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Any mechanical system can be modeled either as a continuous system or a discrete system. The choice depends on the level of accuracy that is required and the simplicity of analysis that is desired. Quite many times a compromise is made on these two opposing factors. The complexity is proportional to the number of co-ordinates that are used. The number of independent co-ordinates involved to define completely the system/model constitutes the degrees of freedom. System Type Degrees of Freedom Discrete System Finite: Single Double Multiple Continuous System Infinite

Number of Natural Frequencies

Same as the number of degrees of freedom

Degrees of Freedom If several co-ordinates are used in a system, the number of degrees of freedom need not be the same number. The number of independent co-ordinates should be determined to define the number of degrees of freedom the system. Consider an example of a simple pendulum constrained to oscillate in a plane. This system can be described by the position of the mass suspended in an inextensible string of length L by different sets of co-ordinates: x and y; or L and . Here L is a constant not a coordinate. Hence there are 3 co-ordinates x, y and .. Are they independent? Let us examine. There are two relations among them. x = L sin , y = L cos These are called constraints. If is known x and y could be found. Therefore alone is independent co-ordinate. Or x alone or y alone could be independent co-ordinate. Thus the number of degrees of freedom is only one. Said in other words, the number of independent co-ordinates that define the number of degrees of freedom is equal to the number of co-ordinates minus the number of constraints among the coordinates. Analysis Since the number of natural frequencies is same as the number of degrees of freedom, a continuous system that has infinite degrees of freedom has also infinite number of discrete natural frequencies. A continuous system, wherever required can be modeled, as an approximation as a discrete system of any finite number of degrees of freedom, which would depend on the level of accuracy required. If it is modeled as a discrete system of say n degrees of freedom, the number of natural frequencies of that model would be n and they will be approximations only. If n is large, the accuracy of solution, in general, will improve. There are several powerful approximate methods that are both simple and at the same time adequately accurate. One of the popular approximate methods is after Lord Raleigh, a Nobel Laureate (1904) Normally in a class lecture, the system will be defined /modeled , equations formulated, solution found, results interpreted and application studied, system by system, starting from single degree of freedom system through double and multiple degrees of freedom systems to continuous system in that order. (At times the order may be changed depending on the situation in our class lectures)

1. System definition / description / modeling 2. Formulation of equations 3. Solution to equations 4. Interpretation of results 5. Applications

Definition of Systems The simplest are the ideal undamped spring-mass systems and viscously damped spring-mass systems. They are linearised to make them readily amenable for easier mathematical analysis. Such undamped and damped discrete systems will be considered first. They may include spring-mass, pendulum or combination of these, taut string attached with masses, rollers on curved surfaces or combined with pendulum and/or springs and masses, liquid in U-tubes, floating bodies etc. The continuous systems like taut strings, membranes, rods, shafts, beams. etc. will be taken up lastly for analysis. 2.0 Methods of Formulation of Equations There are several methods, based on equilibrium or energy. Some of them are listed here. 2.1 Equilibrium Method Newtons Law DAlamberts Principle 2.2 Energy Methods Conservation of Energy Lagrange Method 3.0 Solution: Methods and Results A: Free Vibrations Natural Vibrations I: Undamped Systems II: Damped Systems 3.1 Solving only for Natural Frequencies only (Eigen Values) Exact Methods All frequencies Approximate Methods Selected number of frequencies or all frequencies 3.2 Solving both for Natural Frequencies (Eigen Values) and Modes (Eigen Vectors); Exact Methods Approximate Methods Selected Modes 3.3 Response to Initial Conditions B: Forced Vibrations I: Undamped Systems II: Damped Systems 3.4 Mostly response to specific forcing function: Forces applied on the mass or masses Motions (displacements) applied on supports They may be harmonic or nonhormonic; impulse or impact or general 4.0 Interpretation of results 5.0 Applications 5.1 Vibration Damping 5.2 Damping Measurement 5.3 Vibration Isolation 5.4 Vibration Absorption