Mathematics
  167 Downloads
Three particles A, B and C lie in that order in a straight smooth groove so that they can only move along the x-axis. Both A and C are of unit mass whilst B is of mass M. Particle B is joined to the other two by identical linear springs of unit stiffness.
(a) If the three particles are displaced from equilibrium by distances x1, x2 and x3 show that the equations of motion are d2x1/dt2 = x2 - x1, M d2x2/dt2 = x3 - 2x2 + x1, d2x3/dt2 = x2 - x3.
(b) Prove that the frequencies of the three normal modes are given by ? = 0, 1 and ?2 = 1 + (2/M). [5 marks]
(c) Describe the motions of the particles corresponding to the normal modes.[4 marks]
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