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Circular Motion in Phase Space


Circular Motion in Phase Space

Logo for Circular Motion in Phase Space
A demonstration of phase space (velocity/momentum as a function of position) of a simple harmonic oscillator.
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Material Type: Simulation
Technical Format: Java Applet
CAUTION: Java Applets may not run on all browsers
Date Added to MERLOT: May 11, 2000
Date Modified in MERLOT: February 26, 2003
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Submitter: John Walkup


  • Reviewed by members of Editorial board for inclusion in MERLOT.
    Editor Review (not reviewed)
  • User review 4.8 average rating
  • User Rating: 4.8 user rating
  • Discussion (5 Comments)
  • Learning Exercises (none)
  • Bookmark Collections (1)
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Primary Audience: College General Ed
Mobile Compatibility: Not specified at this time
Language: Spanish
Cost Involved: no
Source Code Available: no
Accessibility Information Available: no
Creative Commons: unsure


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Discussion for Circular Motion in Phase Space

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Avatar for Michelle Pinson
15 years ago

Michelle Pinson (Student)

Both demonstrations are easily understood and clearly presented. The
oscillating spring, x versus time graph, and the x versus velocity graph all
help to show the relationship of the velocities and accelerations at all points.
Also the total energy versus time graph aids to confirm the relationship
between oscillation and conservation of energy.

Avatar for Luke Boyer
15 years ago

Luke Boyer (Student)

Both applets demontrate the relationship of oscillatory motion and its phase
space diagram very well. They show how factors such as velocity and position
affect the spring's motion. The phase space diagram has a sine graph and a
circular graph which is a plus. Strongly recommended.

Avatar for William Atkins
15 years ago

William Atkins (Student)

The applets on this page do an excellent job of demonstrating how simple
harmonic oscillation (SHO) is affected by factors such as initial position,
velocity, and damping. Also clearly relates SHO to both wave and circular
functions. Definitely recommended for those wishing to see the correlation
between SHO and circular/periodic wave functions.

Avatar for Ashley Ferra
15 years ago

Ashley Ferra (Student)

Technical Remarks:

This applet does a remarkably good job at explaining simple harmonic
oscillation. It shows how velocity affect the oscillation of an object. It was
easy to understand and easy to use as well.

Avatar for John Walkup
16 years ago

John Walkup (Staff)

Two very well-done applets demonstrating pendulum motion and the respective phase space diagrams. Definitely recommended.