Oscillation vs Vibration
In the world of physics of sound and movement the terms oscillation and vibration occupy an important place. Both oscillation and vibration are seen in our daily life and sometimes they are beneficial and at times detrimental. Oscillation of a body is generally in a to and fro manner but vibration can be in all directions. Oscillation is a definite distance covered by the movement about its equilibrium position, vibration is referred to the physical change brought about due to movement of the body. Oscillation can be seen in the swinging of a pendulum clock and vibration in the plucking of guitar string.
What is Oscillation?
Oscillation is the movement of a body from its resting place to the maximum distance it can cover on one side to the maximum distance on the other side and back to its resting place. The maximum distance that the body covers on either side of its resting place is equal from its resting place and is called the amplitude or maximum displacement. The resting point of the body is known as its equilibrium state. Oscillation has a definite time period which means the body takes a definite time to complete one oscillation and will remain same for all oscillations if there is no outer force working on the system. It is known as periodic movement and time taken to complete one oscillation is its frequency.
What is Vibration?
Vibration of a body is the movement of the body about its mean position and can be linear, circular, periodic or non periodic. When an external force is applied to a body its atoms get displaced from their mean position and due to their binding force tend to come back to their mean position and due to the momentum they have gained during the motion tend to travel past their mean position to the opposite side and this phenomena continues till friction exhausts all their energy to stop. This movement of atoms cause vibration of a body and vibration stops when atoms come to halt at mean position. Application of vibrations is used in all the music instruments that are played by plucking strings. Loudspeakers work due to the vibrating diaphragm and we hear sound due to vibration of ear drums. Vibration that causes noise can be very harmful for us. Mechanical vibration cause fast wear and tear of machinery parts.
Difference between oscillation and vibration
• Oscillation is the definite displacement of a body in terms of distance or time where as vibration is the movement brought about in a body due to oscillation.
• Oscillation takes place in physical, biological systems and often in our society but vibrations is associated with mechanical systems only.
• Oscillation of a body dissipates energy due to friction which slows it down and ultimately ends the movement but it can be converted to a continuous one by applying external force. Vibrations tend to end after the dissipation of all the energy of the atoms.
• Oscillation of a body is used to study the nature of movement and calculations of different energy levels during movement but vibration has a varied range of applications in the industry.
• Oscillation is about a single body where as vibration is the result of collective oscillation of atoms.
Really This article cleared my confusion between oscillation and vibration
Raman Narasimhachariar says
in vibration center of mass is at rest while particles of the system are making to and fro motion in oscillation the center mass of the system is making to and fro motion
Roger G says
I don’t find that quite gets it.
Oscillation is uni-nodal, Vibration is multi-nodal.
In a clock pendulum the movement is centred on the point of attachment, so it’s uni-modal.
When you strike a guitar string, the vibration will occur along the whole length, having amplitude peaks at various spots (nodes) spaced along the string. At the lowest possible frequency there will be two nodes, one at each end.
Not that nice but yaa it’s fine
Tim Goullet says
Very clear differentiation between two (seemingly) similar phenomena.