10 Exclusive Periodic Motion Examples in Real Life

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By definition, Periodic motion is a motion that simply repeats itself in equal intervals of time. In general, an object that is moving in periodic motion must move under the influence of a varying force that is simply directed to some equilibrium position.

A typical example of periodic motion will be a simple harmonic motion or a uniform circular motion. In a uniform circular motion, the equilibrium position is the center of the circle.


Examples of Periodic Motion in Real Life

  • Movement of Pendulum
  • Church Bell
  • Rocking Chair
  • Earth orbiting Sun
  • Movement of Clock
  • Pirate Ride

Movement of Pendulum

Image Source: Science and Social Studies

By definition, Pendulum motion is the motion of a mass hanging from a string to swing freely in the back and forth direction. The pendulum has the following variables; location of the ball, string, mass, and length of the strings. Most construction engineers do apply the pendulum concept in all their daily activities.

In addition to that, we also have a pendulum in the recreation, ceremony, art, and science sectors. The main purpose of a pendulum is to regulate movement and even provide some measurements. One of the perfect applications of a pendulum movement is on the clocks. Well, the new millennial won’t be able to get this.

I mean if you have ever seen your grandfather’s clock you would simply understand what I am talking about. Not to mention, for time to be measured accurately first, you have to ensure that the pendulum clock is stationary. Otherwise, any motion or acceleration will affect the motion of the pendulum, causing inaccuracies.

The other common application of the pendulum is that its use in the metronome which is tasked with maintaining the speed of the music. The Metronome can achieve this by indicating the number of fluctuations per minute.


Church Bell

Image Source: Unsplash

Any person who goes to the church would have definitely heard the sound of the bell that is rung in a church for a variety of ceremonial purposes. A sound so loud that can easily be heard from outside the building. In case you don’t know that the dong in the church bell moves in a periodic motion.

The bells are usually located at the top of the tower of a church. In order to ring the bell, the bell ringer has to pull the rope which in turn causes the clapper to strike the inside of the bell ring. As a result, the sound of DONG is produced.


Rocking Chair


For a rocking chair to create a rocking effect it has to move to and fro. The to and fro motion is what we call the rocking motion and it’s periodic. A rocking chair has two curved bands called rockers that are fixed at the bottom of the legs.

The legs are then connected to provide structural support that simply helps to create the rocking effect. In fact, there are so many instances where you are likely to encounter a rocking chair. Apart from old age, you will find it evocative during parenting.

The gentle rocking motion of the chair i.e the periodic motion soothes infants and easily sends them off to sleep. Not to mention, the rocking chairs are very comfortable cause the chair starts to rock automatically until the center of gravity is met. This is one of the ergonomic benefits of the chair that can’t be underestimated.


Earth orbiting Sun

Image Source: Astronomy Trek

Yup, the earth orbiting the sun is one of the classic examples of periodic motion in real life. The periodic motion of the earth around the sun is characterized by time. It approximately takes 365 days for the earth to orbit around the sun.

In fact, the rotation of the earth on its own axis to form day and night is also an example of periodic movement. In this case, the earth approximately takes 24 hours to rotate on its own axis to form day and night.

Movement of Clock

Image Source: Laughing Squid

The movement of the clock sticks to indicate the time is also periodic. Well, you would have obviously noticed that the motion of the hands of the clock is repeated after an equal interval of time. This is how we measure time. A motion that repeats itself at a specific interval of time is what we call periodic.

This can also be classified as circular motion. Since the period is measured in seconds, the clock is the one that measures time. That’s why the movement of the clock also comes under my list of top 6 examples of circular motion in real life.

Pirate Ride

Image Source: Reddit

If you visit any recreational facility you will experience a lot of periodic motions. One perfect example is the swings. Obviously, you would have seen a trapeze artist that swings like a pendulum in the air.

For instance, the pirate ride is pendulum-like and has a gondola seat that swerves in a deep arc from one side to another. I hope you would have tried it. If not, then you should visit today. It’s awesome.


Some other Examples of Periodic Motion:

Apart from the above-mentioned examples, I am also mentioning a few here.

  • Bouncing Ball
  • Heartbeat
  • Tuning Fork
  • Rotation of moon around the earth, etc.

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I am a mechanical engineer by profession. Just because of my love for fundamental physics, I switched my career, and therefore I did my postgraduate degree in physics. Right now I am a loner (as ever) and a Physics blogger too. My sole future goal is to do a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, especially in the field of cosmology. Because in my view, every aspect of physics comes within the range of cosmology. And I love traveling, especially the Sole one.

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