PURPOSE: To demonstrate coupled oscillations and normal modes in a system of two identical coupled air track gliders.
DESCRIPTION: Two moveable air track gliders are connected by three springs to fixed gliders (at each end). Pushing one of the gliders causes motion which rapidly couples back and forth between the two gliders. The two normal modes can be excited by giving the two gliders the same displacements, either (1) in phase, or (2) out of phase, before releasing them from rest simultaneously.
REFERENCES: (PIRA 3A75.10) See Demonstration Reference File for further information on this system.
EQUIPMENT: Air track with four gliders and three soft springs.
SETUP TIME: 5 min.
Go back to Lecture-Demonstration Home Page.