Worksheet: Forced Oscillations

In this worksheet, we will practice applying simple harmonic motion equations to oscillators driven at various frequencies, including their natural frequency.


When divers dive from a 1 m high springboard, before they jump off the board, they bounce on the end of it to increase the height above the pool that they achieve. For a short time, their motion can be modeled as simple harmonic motion.

Consider a diver of mass 55.0 kg who bounces on a springboard with a period of motion of 0.800 s. A second diver bounces on the same springboard with a period of 1.05 s. What is the mass of the second diver?


A suspension bridge was found to have an effective force constant of 1.94×10 N/m when determining how it oscillates.

How much energy is needed to make the bridge oscillate with an amplitude of 0.210 m?

  • A8.15×10 J
  • B1.71×10 J
  • C4.28×10 J
  • D2.04×10 J
  • E8.56×10 J

Soldiers march across the bridge and the time between their footfalls is equal to the reciprocal of the bridge’s natural frequency. The soldiers impart 1.54×10 J of energy each second. For how long must the soldiers march on the bridge in order to increase the amplitude of the bridge’s oscillations from 0.210 m to 0.500 m?


An unloaded diving board oscillates at a frequency of 8.06 Hz. The board has an effective mass of 14.2 kg. What is the frequency of the oscillations of the board if a diver of mass 86.5 kg jumps up and down on it?

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