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Quizbowl Physics

TermDefinition
Logarithmic Decrement The natural log of the ratio of the amplitudes of any two successive peaks. Used to find the damping ratio of an underdamped oscillator. Represented by a lowercase delta.
Phase Space A space which can represent all possible states of a system. Usually tracks position and momentum for mechanical systems. Harmonic oscillators form ellipses in it. Developed by by Ludwig Boltzmann, Henri Poincaré, and Willard Gibbs.
Damping Ratio The ratio of actual damping to critical damping in an oscillator. Less than 1 is underdamped, greater than 1 is overdamped, and equal to 1 is critically damped. Represented by a lowercase zeta.
Q Factor Refers to how damped an oscillator is. A higher number represents less damping, and vice versa. Critical damping occurs at a value of 0.5.
RLC Circuit A circuit composed of a resistor (R), inductor (L), and capacitor (C). Analogous to a simple harmonic oscillator. Can be represented by a second order homogeneous differential equation.
Created by: Silavite