American Journal of Physics -- April 2004 -- Volume 72, Issue 4, pp. 469-476

Square-wave excitation of a linear oscillator

Eugene I. Butikov
St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia

(Received 2 January 2003; accepted 23 May 2003)

The forced oscillations of a torsion spring pendulum excited by an external square-wave external torque are discussed. Two different ways of determining the steady-state response of the oscillator are described and compared. The behavior of this familiar mechanical system can help a student better understand why and how a LCR-circuit transfers a square-wave voltage from input to output with a distortion of its shape.

2004 American Association of Physics Teachers.

PACS: 01.50.-i, 07.10.-h, 45.40.Cc, 84.30.Ng

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