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Vibrations Notes: 14:650:443 Spring 2013

Andrew Norris

Contents
1 Preliminary material and review 3
1.1 Basic equations review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

2 Damped Single Degree of Freedom Systems 4


2.1 Underdamped SDOF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.1.1 Period and logarithmic decrement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.2 Overdamped SDOF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.3 Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.4 Critically damped SDOF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.5 Springs and dashpots in parallel and in series . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

3 Sources of Vibration 11
3.1 Harmonically forced SDOF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.1.1 Interpretation of the particular solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.1.2 Initial value problem: harmonic forcing starting from rest . . . . . . . 17
3.2 Base excitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3.2.1 General solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3.2.2 Transmissibility: Forces on the mass and on the base . . . . . . . . . 20
3.2.3 Lo/Hi frequency: stiffness and mass regimes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
3.3 Rotating unbalance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

4 Measurement of vibration 25
4.1 Decibels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
4.2 Measuring instruments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
4.2.1 Accelerometer design considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

5 Multi-degree of freedom systems 29


5.1 Matrices M and K and the equation M u + Ku = 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
5.1.1 A 3-DOF system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
5.2 Stiffness and Flexibility matrix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
5.3 n-DOF chain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
5.4 Example: The double pendulum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
5.5 Rigid body modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
5.6 Modes of n-DOF Systems (skip) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
5.7 Orthogonality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

1
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 2

5.7.1 Orthogonality of modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33


5.7.2 Modal coordinates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

6 Forced multi-DOF Systems 34


6.1 Forced 2-DOF Systems: Vibration Absorber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
6.1.1 Example . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
6.2 Solution in modal coordinates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
6.3 Time harmonic forcing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
6.3.1 Time harmonic forcing: Modal coordinates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
6.4 Attached masses and impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
6.5 Impedance and power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
6.6 Impedance of a chain of masses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
6.6.1 Impedance of a chain of masses: N . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
6.7 Impedance of a bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
6.8 General structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Appendices 42

Appendix A Lagranges Equations 42


A.1 SDOF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
A.2 n-DOF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
1 Two masses and springs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
2 The double pendulum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
3 Small angle approximation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
A.3 General coordinates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
A.4 Origin of Lagranges equations (extra) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Appendix B Linear algebra 101 47


B.1 Basic matrix algebra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
B.2 The n-dof vibration problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
B.3 Matlab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 3

1 Preliminary material and review


1.1 Basic equations review
Complex numbers
i is defined as the square root of 1,

i= 1 = (1)1/2 ii = 1, i29 = i(1)14 = i, etc.

Any complex number z can be written z = x + iy where x and y are real (they can be positive, negative
p
or zero). The conjugate of z is z = x iy. The magnitude of z is |z| = x2 + y 2 .
If z1 = x1 + iy1 and z2 = x2 + iy2 , then z1 z2 = x1 x2 y1 y2 + i(x1 y2 + x2 y1 ). For instance, z z =

(x + iy)(x iy) = x2 + y 2 + i0 |z| = z z .
Any complex number can be reduced to the simple form z = x + iy. For example, z = zz12 = xx12 +iy +iy2 .
1

z1 z2 2
Multiply above and below by z2 z = z2 z2 . But z2 z2 = |z2 | and using the product formula for z1 z2

z1 x 1 x 2 + y1 y2 y1 x 2 y2 x 1
= x + iy, where x = , y= .
z2 x22 + y22 x22 + y22

y
Any complex number can be expressed as z = |z|ei where tan = . We can see this by using the
x
basic identity
ei = cos + i sin .
x y x y
First write z as z = |z|( |z| + i |z| ). Both |z| and |z| are real numbers such that the sum of their squares = 1.
x y
Therefore, we can define such that cos = |z| and sin = |z| . Then z = |z|(cos + i sin ) = |z|ei and
sin
cos = tan = xy .
Multiplication and division by complex numbers is much simpler in the form z = |z|ei . For example,
z1 = |z1 |ei1 and z2 = |z2 |ei2 z1 z2 = |z1 ||z2 |ei(1 +2 ) , z11 = |z11 | ei1 , z16.2 = |z1 |6.2 ei6.21 , zz12 =
|z1 | i(1 2 )
|z2 | e , etc.

Trigonometry formulas
1 i
Start with ei = cos + i sin , ei = cos i sin , then add them cos = (e + ei ) , sub-
2
1 i
tract them sin = (e ei ) . Multiply them ei(1 +2 ) = cos(1 + 2 ) + i sin(1 + 2 ). But
2i
ei(1 +2 ) = ei1 ei2 = (cos 1 + i sin 1 )(cos 2 + i sin 2 ) and multiply out ei(1 +2 ) = cos 1 cos 2
sin 1 sin 2 + i(sin 1 cos 2 + sin 2 cos 1 ). Comparing the real and imaginary parts

cos(1 + 2 ) = cos 1 cos 2 sin 1 sin 2 , sin(1 + 2 ) = sin 1 cos 2 + sin 2 cos 1 .

Other basic identities can be found in the same way.


Five of the most important numbers (1, 0, , e, i) are related by the formula

1 + ei = 0.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 4

2 Damped Single Degree of Freedom Systems


The governing equation for a spring-mass-damper with no forcing is

m
x = kx cx m
x + cx + kx = 0, (1)

or dividing by m, and using k/m = n2 and c/m = 2n (you can think of these as definitions for the two
parameters n and )
+ 2n x + n2 x = 0.
x (2)
Try x(t) = Aet , x = x, x
= 2 x, so that
 
2 + 2n + n2 x = 0. (3)

This can be zero in general only if the bracketed term is zero, and so there are two possible values for :
p
= n n 2 1 (4)

There are three cases that need to be looked at separately:

1. < 1, underdamped
2. > 1, overdamped
3. = 1, critically damped

2.1 Underdamped SDOF


p p
2
Since
p 1 < 0 we have 2 1 = i 1 2 , and hence the two s are complex valued = n
in 1 2 or
p
= n id where d = n 1 2 (5)
The general solution is a linear combination of the two types of solutions:

x(t) = C1 eid t + C2 eid t en t (6)

where C1 and C2 are constants. Equation (6) can be written



x(t) = C1 (cos d t + i sin d t) + C2 (cos d t i sin d t) en t
 (7)
= (C1 + C2 ) cos d t + i(C1 C2 ) sin d t) en t ,

or, by defining the new constants A1 = C1 + C2 and A2 = i(C1 C2 ),



x(t) = A1 cos d t + A2 sin d t) en t . (8)

Let us consider the Initial Value Problem (IVP):

x(0) = x0 , v(0) = v0 , (9)

where x(t) is given by (8) the velocity of the mass v = x follows from (8) as

v(t) = (d A2 n A1 ) cos d t (d A1 + n A2 ) sin d t) en t . (10)

Put t = 0 in (8) and (10) and use (9):

x0 = A1 + A2 , v0 = d A2 n A1 . (11)
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 5

These are now easily solved for A1 and A2 , to give the solution

 (v0 + n x0 ) 
x(t) = x0 cos d t + sin d t en t . (12)
d

We can rewrite this as


x(t) = C cos(d t ) en t (13)

where, from (12),


s
(v0 + n x0 )2 v0 + n x0
C= x20 + and tan = (14)
d2 d x 0

We could have found (13) and (14) by first starting with (13) as the assumed form of the general solution.
The actual values of C and for the IVP (9) follow by writing the velocity, from (13),
 
v(t) = C d sin(d t ) n cos(d t ) en t (15)

and then plugging in t = 0 into (13) and (15):

x0 = C cos (16)
v0 = C(d sin n cos ) = Cd sin n x0 (17)

and hence
v0 + n x0
C cos = x0 , C sin = (18)
d
from which C and follow as in (14). Another way of writing x follows from (13) and (18),

x0 v0 + n x0
x(t) = cos(d t ) en t , where = tan1 (19)
cos d x 0

2.1.1 Period and logarithmic decrement


If we plot x using, e.g. (19), it is clear that the period is

2
T = (20)
d

which follows from the fact that the zero crossings are spaced apart by /d . Actually, we need to be a
little bit careful about defining the period for an exponentially decreasing sinusoidal response. For instance,
is the period T also equal to twice the time between subsequent maxima? The answer is YES, as we can see
by using eq. (13) to write the velocity:
 
v(t) = C d sin(d t ) + n cos(d t ) en t (21)

This in turn can be rewritten using the trig identity sin(a + b) = sin a cos b + cos a sin b as

v(t) = n C sin(d t + ) en t (22)

where the additional phase angle is

n
tan = =p (23)
d 1 2

which depends only on the damping factor. Equation (22) implies in particular that the zeros of v(t) are
also spaced apart by T /2. But the zeros of v correspond to the maxima and minima of x, and therefore the
period T can also be defined by the time between subsequent maxima or subsequent minima of x(t).
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 6

Note that, for any value of t, we have

x(t + T ) = x(t) en T (24)

This clearly displays how the amplitude is decreasing because of the damping (when = 0 we have x(t+T ) =
x(t)). More generally, after n periods, where n = 1, 2, 3, . . .,

x(t + nT ) = x(t) enn T (25)

The logarithmic decrement is defined as

x(t + T )
= log (26)
x(t)

and hence, = n T , or equivalently = 2 nd . Using (5), we find that the logarithmic decrement depends
only on the damping factor:

= 2 p (27)
1 2

The damping factor can be expressed in terms of , from (27),


=p (28)
(2)2 + 2

This suggests a way to measure the damping factor by measuring the logarithmic decrement. In general the
latter is given by
1 x(0)
= log (29)
n x(nT )
which can be measured by observation of the damped oscillation over several n cycles. If the system is
weakly damped then typically a large value for n will be required (n > 10) in order to see significant change
from x(0) to x(nT ). Also, for small damping will be small ( 1), and therefore from (27) is also small.
Hence, by (28)

= for small damping. (30)
2

2.2 Overdamped SDOF


When > 1, the two roots given by (4) are real. Thus, let
p p
1 = n n 2 1, 2 = n + n 2 1, (31)
p p
then it is clear that 1 < 0. Also, 2 = n ( 2 1), and > 2 1, so 2 < 0 also. Thus, they are
both negative
1 < 2 < 0
It can easily be shown that in fact
1 < n < 2 < 0 (32)
The general solution
x(t) = A1 e1 t + A2 e2 t (33)
is a sum of two exponentially decreasing terms, and therefore the solution must decay to zero. It could
initially be increasing or decreasing in magnitude, depending on whether or not A1 and A2 are of the same
or opposite signs.
The IVP (9) can be solved by first writing the velocity, from (33),

v(t) = A1 1 e1 t + A2 2 e2 t (34)
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 7

and hence the initial values are

x0 = A1 + A2 , v0 = A1 1 + A2 2 (35)

or,
        1  
1 1 A1 x0 A1 1 1 x0
= = (36)
1 2 A2 v0 A2 1 2 v0

Using the general relation


 1  
a b 1 d b
= (37)
c d ad bc c a

we get
    
A1 1 2 1 x0
= (38)
A2 2 1 1 1 v0

Hence,
2 x 0 v 0 1 x0 + v0
A1 = p , A2 = p , (39)
2n 2 1 2n 2 1
or
x0 (n x0 + v0 ) x0 (n x0 + v0 )
A1 = p , A2 = + p , (40)
2 2n 2 1 2 2n 2 1
Equations (31), (33) and (40) imply that the solution to the IVP is

 x0 n 2 1t 2  ( x + v )
n 0 0
2 2 
x(t) = e + en 1t + p en 1t en 1t en t (41)
2 2n 2 1

Using
1 x 1 x
cosh x = (e + ex ), sinh x = (e ex ) (42)
2 2
gives
 p (n x0 + v0 ) p 
x(t) = x0 cosh n 2 1t + p sinh n 2 1t en t . (43)
n 2 1

We could have derived (43) by starting with the assumed form


 p p 
x(t) = A1 cosh n 2 1t + A2 sinh n 2 1t en t (44)
p p
since cosh n 2 1t en t and sinh n 2 1t en t are an alternative pair of linearly independent
solutions of the general equation (2).

2.3 Examples
Example 1
If m = 1 kg, c = 2 kg/s, and k = 10 N/m, calculate the values of and n . Is the system under- or
over-damped? p
Solution: n = 10/1 = 3.163 rad/s, = c/(2mn ) = 2/(2 3.163) = 0.3163, so the SDOF is
underdamped.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 8

Example 2
Find the solution of x
+ 4x + x = 0 with x(0) = 1, v(0) = 0.
Solution: n = 1 and = 2, so it is overdamped. The general solution is
2t3t
x(t) = A1 e2t 3t
+ A2 e2t+ 3t
v(t) = A1 (2 3)e + A2 ((2 + 3))e2t+ 3t

and with the given initial conditions:



A1 + A2 = 1, A1 (2 3) + A2 ((2 + 3)) = 0

Solving for A1 and A2 :



32 3+2
A1 = , A2 =
2 3 2 3
and so
x(t) = 0.077e3.73t + 1.077e0.27t

The same result follows from the general solution (41).

Example 3
It is known that the mass of a device must be between 2 and 3 kg. The support system and materials are
such that the stiffness
p of the system, p modeled as a SDOF, is 200 N/m. The natural frequency is therefore
restricted to n 200/2 and n 200/3, that is 8.16 n 10 rad/s. This system is being designed
to be subject to zero initial displacement and initial velocity always less than 8 cm/s in magnitude. Choose
a damping system such that the amplitude of vibration is always less than 1 cm, that is find the damping c.
Solution: From eq. (14), the maximum amplitude is
s
(v0 + n x0 )2
C= x20 + .
d2

When the initial displacement x0 is zero this simplifies to

v0 v
C= = p0 ,
d n 1 2

which can be rearranged as


v 0 2
2 = 1
Cn
For v0 = 8 cm/s and C = 1 cm, this implies the damping factor should be such that

64
2 1
n2

for any n . We need to make sure that this inequality holds for all possible frequencies, so it should hold for
the maximum n = 10 rad/s, implying that 2 1 0.64, or

0.60

The dimensional damping coefficient c is related to the damping factor by c = 2 km, and taking the
maximum mass m = 3 kg, implies that c 29.39 kg/s ensures that the amplitude of vibration is always less
than 1 cm.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 9

Pendulum with dashpot


Consider a bar of length L, mass m, suspended from O. The other, free end is connected to a horizon-
tally positioned dashpot. The equation for the moment balance about the support O is, for small angular
displacement ,
L
I0 = mg L(cL)
(45)
2
2
where I0 = m L3 . The first term on the right is moment of the weight mg with moment arm L2 sin L2 .
The second term is the moment of the dashpot force cv with moment arm L, where the velocity is v = L.
Both moments are in the sense opposite to the motion, hence the minus signs.
Dividing by I0 ,
cL2 mgL
+ + =0 (46)
I0 2I0
Therefore,

mgL 3g
n2 = = (47)
2I0 2L
cL2 3c
2n = = (48)
I0 m

2.4 Critically damped SDOF


When = 1 the two roots of (4) become identical: 1 = n , 2 = n . It is useful to draw a picture of
how the roots behave for different values of the damping factor - see Figure.
Both 1 and 2 are complex-valued for underdamping < 1, and it follows that the magnitude of both
is p
|| = 2 n2 + n2 (1 2 ) = n (49)
and so the underdamped rots lie on a circle in the complex plane of radius . The real parts are both
negative, and so they lie to the left of the imaginary axis. For overdamped systems, we saw in (32) that
they are both negative, and positioned as shown in the Figure. As 1 the pair 1 and 2 both coalesce
on n , and this is true whether we think of approaching = 1 from above or below.
The general solution of the IVP can also be considered as a limit of the underdamped solution, eqs.
(12), (13) or (19), or as a limit of the underdamped solution of eqs. (41) or (43). One way to find the
IVP solution for the critically damped SDOF is to take any one of these and take the appropriate limit.
We should get the same result no matter how we do it, so we may as well take one that looks relatively
easy. For instance, suppose we consider (43) in the limit as 1. There are three terms there that can
be considered separately:

p (n x0 + v0 ) p
x0 cosh n 2 1t, p sinh n 2 1t, en t . (50)
n 2 1
p
In the limit as 1 the last one becomes simply en t and the first is just x0 , because 2 1 0 and
cosh 0 = 1. We need to be more careful about the other term, because the numerator tends to zero, as does
the denominator. But it is easy to show that
p
sinh n 2 1t
lim p =t (51)
1 n 2 1

as can be seen using the Taylor series for sinh x = x + 61 x3 + . . .. Hence, the IVP solution is

 
x(t) = x0 + (n x0 + v0 )t en t (52)

It can be easily checked that this indeed satisfies the ICs of eq. (9).
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 10

The surprising feature of (52) is the term proportional to ten t . One way of seeing how this arises is
to go back to the general equation (60) for = 1:

+ 2n x + n2 x = 0.
x (53)

This can be written


d
(x + n x) + n (x + n x) = 0 (54)
dt
or
dy
+ n y = 0 (55)
dt
where y = x + n x. Equation (55) is a first order ordinary differential equation (ODE) that has the general
solution y = Ben t , or
x + n x = Ben t (56)

Multiply both sides by en t and combine the terms on the left:

d
(xen t ) = B (57)
dt

with solution
xen t = A + Bt x = Aen t + Bten t (58)

In other words, the two linearly independent solutions are en t and ten t . This is a common phenomenon,
and occurs when the solutions of a second order (or higher) ODE are no longer linearly independent. In
summary, the general form of the solution for critical damping is

x(t) = (A + Bt)en t (59)

and the IVP solution is (52).

2.5 Springs and dashpots in parallel and in series


Let us briefly consider some other examples of damped SDOF systems.

Springs in parallel and in series


If two springs, k1 and k2 , are placed in parallel, the effective spring has stiffness k = k1 + k2 . This follows
from the fact that the two have equal displacement x and the force due to each one is k1 x and k2 x, so the
total force is (k1 + k2 )x kx.
If the same two springs are placed in series, in this case the force on each is the same, say F , and the
displacements are x1 = F/k1 , x2 = F/k2 . The total displacement is x = x1 + x2 = F/k. The effective
stiffness is
1 1 1 k1 k2
= + k=
k k1 k2 k1 + k2

Dashpots in parallel and in series


The same type of relations hold for dashpots in parallel and in series. Thus two dashpots c1 and c2 in
parallel have effective damping coefficient c = c1 + c2 . The same two dashpots in series gives effective
damping coefficient c = c1 + c2 . The same two dashpots in series gives effective damping 1c = c11 + c12 .
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 11

Dashpots and springs in parallel and in series


What happens when a spring and a dashpot are combined? If the spring and dashpot are in parallel, then
the forces add. One force is kx and the other is cx.
The total force is F = kx + cx,
and we get the equation
of motion m x = (kx + cx),
or the usual

+ 2n x + n2 x = 0
x (60)
q
k
with n = m and
c c
= =
2mn 2 km
This is the standard example as we have considered it. It is generally more realistic, since it is more practical
and easier to place springs and dashpots in parallel, rather than in series (next).
The situation is a little different than all of the previous cases if the spring and dashpot are in series.
Then the forces on each is the same, say F , the spring displacement is x1 = F/k, and the dashpot velocity
is v2 = F/c. The total velocity is v = v1 + v2 where v1 = x1 . Hence, v = F /k F/c. The equation of
motion is
mv = F
which can be written in terms of the force alone as

d F F m m
m =F F + F +F =0 (61)
dt k c k c
Dividing by m and multiplying by k, gives

k k
F + F + F = 0 F + 2 n F + n2 F = 0 (62)
c m
q
k
where n = m as usual but the damping factor is now

k km
= =
2cn 2c

Equation (62) has the same general form as the damped SDOF equation but it is for the force not the
displacement. The effective damping factor has a quite different form. Note that it is inversely proportional
to the damping coefficient c. Also, in order to calculate the displacement we need to do a little bit more
calculation, which we leave for now.
Summary: when we have sets of springs alone in series or in parallel, or in more complex configurations,
we can always reduce it to a single effective spring constant. The same goes for dashpots. When we mix
the two then it can be complicated. For a spring and dashpot in parallel we get the classical equation
for a damped SDOF. When they are in series we get a similar looking equation but for the force, not the
displacement.

3 Sources of Vibration
So far we have considered SDOF systems, damped and undamped, which oscillate on the basis of Initial
Conditions (ICs). Any spring-mass-damper or equivalent system exhibits free vibration when given an initial
displacement and/or velocity. In the presence of damping all free vibration is transient, i.e it lasts for a finite
time, depending on the amount of damping.
Vibration problems in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and all other Engineering disciplines do
not usually arise from ICs but result from forcing. Typically, the forcing is associated with some energy
source, e.g. a motor, or some other regular source of energy input. The vibration can be desirable or
unwanted, and depending on the nature and design goal, the job of the vibration engineer can be different.
An example of desirable vibration energy is music, where the source is either analog or synthetic, but the
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 12

goal is to produce or reproduce the desired vibration - in this case ultimately the vibration of the tympani in
the inner ear - with the best precision possible. Undesirable vibration is unfortunately more common, and
all engineering design needs to take into account the possibility of vibration, and if necessary its suppression.
An example of this that is well known is the Tacoma Narrows bridge where wind could excite a mode of
oscillation of the bridge to the extent that it caused the structure to fail. More commonly, we experience
unwanted vibration in everyday circumstances. Think of examples.
A very common example of forced vibration is where the forcing is periodic - or harmonic - as occurs
in many if not most examples. The forcing typically comes from some external source, such as the periodic
forcing from a motor, which is very typical with electrical motors. Automobile engines are another very
important example, where the engine acts as a periodic source of many different frequencies, depending on
the RPM of the engine. Cars and similar engineering device must deal with the possibility of a wide range
of harmonic forcing - over a wide frequency range. Other systems, such as electric motors, have more well
defined frequencies. In general, any energetic system exhibits forcing at narrow or broad frequency bands.
Here we consider the generic problem of the mass-damper-spring system - the m-c-k system - subject to
forcing at a single frequency.
We imagine a mass, with spring k and dashpot c in parallel, connected to ground, i.e. a rigid block.
The mass is subject to the force of the spring and dashpot, Fspring = kx and Fdashpot = cv, respectively.
In addition there is an external force F acting, so that the eq. of motion is

m
x = kx cx + F. (1)

The force F can be imagined as acting in the positive xdirection, but F can be positive or negative.
Rewrite (1):
mx + cx + kx = F. (2)
We have seen cases where F = constant, as occurs if gravity acts (F = mg). Let us briefly reconsider
this case. The main idea is that the constant force shifts the static equilibrium position, and the resulting
equation is the same as that for free vibration. Thus, when there is no motion (x = x = 0) we find x = F/k.
Redefine y = x F/k, then y = 0 in the static situation. But x = y and x = y (because x and y only differ
by a constant) so (2) becomes

F
m
y + cy + ky = 0 for y = x , F = constant (3)
k

This is the equation for free vibration, already discussed.


We now consider the case where F is not constant but periodic.

3.1 Harmonically forced SDOF


We assume that the forcing is periodic:
F = F0 cos t (4)
Here is the frequency of the applied forcing, and is considered an independent quantity. That is, it is not
related to the frequency of the oscillator, whether n or d . We will think of as free tuning parameter,
that could take on any value, and sometimes does. We will be interested in how the response depends not
only on F0 but on the variable frequency . As we will see, things change considerably for different drive
frequencies .
Equations (2) and (4) give
m x + cx + kx = F0 cos t. (5)
There are several ways to solve this. Here we use complex numbers, based on the fact that

F0 cos t = Re F0 eit

so
x + cx + kx = Re F0 eit .
m (6)
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 13

The idea is simple but maybe subtle: let


x = Re z (7)
so that (6) becomes
z + cz + kz} = Re F0 eit .
Re {m (8)
This is true if we drop the Re, and require z to satisfy

z + cz + kz = F0 eit .
m (9)

We now have an equation where the RHS has a simple exponential form. In such cases it makes sense
to look for a particular solution that is of the same exponential form, so we try

z(t) = Aeit , (10)

so that z has the same frequency as the drive or forcing frequency. This is reasonable. Consequentially, (9)
becomes 
2 m + ic + k Aeit = F0 eit . (11)
We can divide both sides by eit to get the algebraic equation:

k 2 m + ic A = F0 (12)

or
F0
A= 2
(13)
k m + ic
To summarize so far: using (7), (10) and (13),
 F0 eit
x(t) = Re 2
(14)
k m + ic
What does this mean?
One way to rewrite (14) is
F0
x(t) = Re A eit , A= 2
. (15)
k m + ic
A is a complex number, which we can write as1

A = |A|ei (16)
where
F0 c
|A| = p , = tan1 . (17)
(k 2 m)2 + (c)2 k 2 m

Combine (16) and (15):


x(t) = Re |A| eiti , (18)
or
x(t) = |A| cos(t ). (19)
This is in a form that we can now interpret. The amplitude is |A| and the response has the same frequency
as the drive but with a phase shift .
Remember,(19) is only a particular solution of (5), one that gives us the correct RHS. In addition, we
always can add to this the general solution of the homogeneous equation (F = 0), i.e. x(t) = C cos(d t
) en t , so that the general solution of the inhomogeneous equation (5) is the sum of the particular and
the homogeneous solutions:

x(t) = |A| cos(t ) + C cos(d t ) en t (20)


1

Let z = a + ib, then z = a2 + b2 ei where tan = b/a. Hence 1/z = 1/ a2 + b2 ei . Eq. (15) follows
with z = k 2 m + ic.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 14

3.1.1 Interpretation of the particular solution


It is important to note that both the amplitude |A| and phase depend on the drive frequency . We now
examine this dependence. First, let us write them in terms of the parameters and n , or d . Thus,

k c 
k 2 m + ic = m 2 + i = m n2 2 + 2in
m m
k c
using m = n2 and m = 2n . Hence, the A in eq. (15) becomes

F0 1
A= (21)
m n2 2 + i2in

The magnitude is
F0 1
|A| = p (22)
m (n2 2 )2 + (2n )2

and the phase (A = |A|ei ) is


2n
= tan1 (23)
n2 2
Let us consider the amplitude and how it varies with drive frequency. Rewrite it as

F0 1 F0 1
|A| = q = q (24)
mn2 (1 
2 2
) + 2 n
2 k (1

2 2
) + 2 n
2
n n

Apart from the term F/k, the amplitude only depends on the ratio /n and the damping factor . Both
of these are non-dimensional, and we can get a good idea of all possibilities by looking at the plot of

k 1
B |A| =q 2 , r (25)
F0 n
(1 r2 )2 + 2r

for 0 < r < and for different values of , see Fig. 1.

3
6 10

5
2
10
4
B B
1
3 10

2
0
10
1

1
0 10
0 1 2
/ 3 4 0 0.5 1
/ 1.5 2
n n
(a) Top to bottom: =.1, .2, .3, .4, .5, 1, 2, 4 (b) =.0001, .001, .01, .1

Figure 1: The magnification factor B of eq. (25). Note the log scale for (b).
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 15

It is clear that there is a frequency at which the amplitude is maximum. We can find this by differentiating
B of (25) with respect to r and setting it to zero. Alternatively, the maximum of B will be where the minimum
2
of (1 r2 )2 + 2r occurs. Setting the derivative to zero:

d 2
[(1 r2 )2 + 2r ] = 2r[2(1 r2 ) + 4 2 ] = 0
dr

which occurs if r = 0 (which we can ignore as it is = 0) or

p
r= = 1 2 2 (26)
n

Plugging in this value:


2
(1 r2 )2 + 2r = 4 2 4 4 = 4 2 (1 2 )
and so the maximum amplitude is

1 p
Bmax = p at = n 1 2 2 (27)
2 1 2

This is a very interesting result. It says that the maximum possible amplitude depends only on the
damping factor . What happens when there is no damping? We can understand this limit by taking small
damping, in which case
1
Bmax for small damping ( 1) (28)
2
That is - it becomes unbounded.
Equation (26) implies that the maximum moves towards zero, and equals r = 0 for = 1/ 2 = 0.707.
For damping larger than this value there is no maximum (or the max is at = 0). These features are best
seen using a plot.
What about the phase?

c 2n 2r
A = |A|ei = tan1 = tan1 2 = tan1 . (29)
k 2 m n 2 1 r2

The response to time harmonic forcing can be best understood by considering the three cases in which
r = /n is much less than one, one, and much greater than one. Thus:

F0
Low frequency r1 B1 |A| 0,
k

1 F0
Resonance r=1 B= |A| = , (30)
2 2k 2

1 F0
High frequency r1 B |A| .
r2 m 2

At low frequency the motion is in phase with the driving force. At high frequency it is completely out
of phase with the driving force2 And at resonance, the motion is 90 out of phase.
Note- there is no maximum if
1
= 0.707 . . .
2
2
A phase shift = means that the forcing F = F0 cos t always has the opposite sign of the displacement
x given by (19).
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 16

Summary: The particular solution for the forced SDOF system (5) is

F0 cos(t )
x(t) = q 2 . (31)
k 2
(1 n )2 + 2 n

As the particular solution to the equation of motion this does not take into account the homogeneous
solution, that is required to satisfy the initial conditions, see eq. (20). However, it should be realized that
the additional homogeneous solution in (20) has the en t factor, which means that whatever effect the
initial condition have, it eventually dies away, and we are left with the steady state3 solution of (31). In other
words, no matter what the initial conditions are, the motion eventually reaches the steady state motion.

Example
A machine, m = 25 kg, rests on an elastic foundation. an oscillating force of magnitude 25 N is applied to
the machine at different drive frequencies. The maximum steady state response is found to be 1.3 mm and
occurs when the forcing has period of 0.22 s.
Find the equivalent stiffness and damping ratio of the foundation.
Given: m = 25 kg, Amax = 1.3 mm, F0 = 25 N, = 2/0.22 = 28.6 rad/s.
Find: k,
p
(a) Max occurs at r = /n = 1 2 2 , so
28.6
n = p
1 2 2
(b)Max amp is
F
p0 = 1.3 102 m
k2 1 2
or
25
1.3 102 = p
k2 1 2 2
Use k = mn2 , (a) and (b) imply
25(1 2 2 )
1.3 102 = p
25(28.6)2 2 1 2
or,
1 2 2
p = 1.066
2 1 2
Simplifying
4 2 (1 2 )(1.066)2 = 1 4 2 + 4 4
4 4(1 + (1.066)2 ) 2 4(1 + (1.066)2 ) + 1 = 0
4 2 + 0.117 = 0
r
2 1 1
= 0.117
2 2
= 0.368, or 0.930
but = 0.930 > 1 does not give a maximum, so
2

= 0.368
Go back:
28.6
n = p = 33.5 rad/s
1 2 2
and so
k = mn2 = 2.81 104 N/m
3
Steady state is here synonymous with time harmonic.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 17

3.1.2 Initial value problem: harmonic forcing starting from rest


Suppose the harmonic forcing (4) is turned on at time t = 0. Then the most general form of the response
is, see (20),
x(t) = |A| cos(t ) + C cos(d t ) en t for t 0 (32)
where |A| and are given by (17) in terms of the applied force magnitude F0 and the drive frequency .
The remaining two parameters C and in (32) are determined by the initial conditions x0 and v0 of the
system at t = 0.
Here we consider the important special case in which the system starts from rest: x0 = 0, v0 = 0. It is
straightforward to use (32) to show that these ICs translate into the following two conditions for C and :

C cos = |A| cos ,


|A| cos + C cos = 0,
n (33)
|A| sin + d C sin n C cos = 0, C sin = |A| sin |A| cos .
d d

The exact solution for t 0 is therefore

cos  
n
x(t) = |A| cos(t ) |A| cos(d t ) en t where = tan1 + tan . (34)
cos d d

Example: undamped system


For the case of a forced undamped system ( = 0, d = n ) starting from rest, the solution (34) simplifies
since = 0 and hence = 0. Also, using (21) with = 0, gives

F0 cos t cos n t
x(t) = for t 0. (35)
m n2 2

It is easy to check that x(0) = 0 and v(0) = 0, and that the displacement (35) satisfies eq. (5) with zero
damping (c = 0). This solution can be rewritten

F0 cos rn t cos n t
x(t) = for t 0, where r = . (36)
k 1 r2 n

15 10

10
5
k x(t)F0

5
k x(t)F

0 0

5
5
10

15 10
0 2 4 6 8 10 0 2 4 6 8 10
t t
(a) r=.2 (blue), .6 (green), .9 (red) (b) r=1.1 (blue), 2 (green), 5 (red)

Figure 2: The response of an undamped system under harmonic forcing eq. (36) for different
values of the drive frequency, with n = 2.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 18

The dependence of the solution on r is shown in Fig. 2. It is clear from the curves for r = 0.9 and r = 1.1
that something special happens when the drive frequency is close to the system natural frequency n .

40

30

20
0 10
k x(t)F

10

20

30

40
0 2 4 6 8 10
t

Figure 3: The response of an undamped system under harmonic forcing eq. (36) for =
1.001n with n = 2.

The limiting solutions that occurs when n is clear from Fig. 3. Starting at x = 0 at t = 0, the
amplitude of x grows linearly with time, while it oscillates with the natural frequency. The exact form of
the solution when = n can be obtained from(36) by taking the limit as r 1 by LHopitals rule:

d
F0 dr cos rn t cos n t)
= n : x(t) = d
 at r = 1. (37)
k dr 1 r
2

This gives

F0
= n : x(t) = t sin n t for t 0. (38)
2mn

Check that this satisfies eq. (5) with zero damping (c = 0).
Another way to look at the solution (35) is to use the trigonometric identity

1 1
cos cos = 2 sin ( ) sin ( + )
2 2

to express it as

2F0 sin 21 (n )t sin 12 (n + )t


x(t) = for t 0. (39)
m n n +
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 19

10

0
k x(t)F 0

10
0 10 20 t 30 40 50

Figure 4: The response of an undamped system under harmonic forcing eq. (36) or eq. (39)
for = 1.1n with n = 2.

Figure 4 plots the response for r = 1.1 (see Fig. 2b) for 50 cycles of the oscillator (which has unit period).
The two frequencies 12 (n + ) = 1.05n and 21 (n ) = 0.05n are evident in fast and the slow oscillation,
respectively. This effect, a slow modulation of a much faster oscillation is common, e.g. the phenomenon
of beats where the sound from two tuning forks have slightly different frequencies. The two sounds interfere
constructively and destructively to give rise to a single acoustic sound of the form shown in Fig. 4.
Note that the maximum amplitude of (39) occurs when both the sin functions reach the maximum
(unity) at appximately the same time. It follows that

F0
|xmax | . (40)
|r 1|k

This agrees with the maximum amplitude of 10 Fk0 in Fig. 4. Note that it takes about |r1| 1
cycles to reach
the maximum amplitude.
In summary, when the drive frequency equals the natural frequency and there is no damping, then the
system amplitude increases with time. In principle the amplitude grows without bound, but in practice some
physical effect limits the amplitude. The solution (38), shown in Fig. 3, explains how the particular solution
for harmonic forcing can become infinite, see Fig. 1b. In reality, it never reaches the steady state, or put
another way, it takes an infinite time to become infinite in amplitude.

3.2 Base excitation


3.2.1 General solution
In many engineering situations the external forcing on a SDOF system arises from the motion of the base,
rather than a force applied directly to the mass. In order to model this situation, we consider a mck SDOF
system, where the position of the base is allowed to vary with time. Let x still represent the position of the
mass, but now with respect to a fixed point (e.g. the position of the base if it is not moving). The base itself
is at position y(t), so that y = 0 would be the case when the base is fixed. The restoring forces on the mass
therefore depend on x y rather than x alone. That is, the spring exerts a force Fspring = k(x y) and
the dashpot force is Fdashpot = c(x y).
The equation of motion of the mass is therefore

m
x = k(x y) c(x y)
+F (41)

where F is the applied force acting directly on the mass. For the present we assume F = 0, so the equation
of motion can be written
mx + cx + kx = cy + ky (42)
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 20

Consider harmonic motion of the base:

y = Y sin b t (43)

where Y (constant) is the maximum amplitude, and b is the frequency of the base motion. Eq. (42)
becomes

m
x + cx + kx = cb Y cos b t + kY sin b t
= F0 cos(b t 0 ) (44)

where
p k
F0 = Y k 2 + (cb )2 , 0 = tan1 (45)
cb
Thus, the motion of the mass, described by eq. (44), is the same as if the base were fixed and the mass
subject to a harmonic forcing of amplitude F0 at frequency b , with a phase shift 0 . Using k = mn2 and
c = 2mn , allows us to rewrite the amplitude and phase as
p n
F0 = Y mn n2 + (2b )2 , 0 = tan1 (46)
2b

We can write down the particular solution for the mass motion using (19), and taking into account the phase
shift and the special form of the forcing:

F0 cos(b t 0 )
x(t) = q
k 2
(1 b )2 + 2 b
2
n n
s
n2 + (2b )2
= Y n 2 cos(b t 0 ) (47)
(n2 b2 )2 + 2b n

or
x(t) = X cos(b t 0 ) (48)
where s
1 + (2r)2 b
X=Y 2 , r= (49)
(1 r 2 )2 + 2r n

The ratio X/Y is called the transmissibility ratio. It clearly shows a resonance behavior, particularly
for small damping. For small values of , we can easily see that the maximum transmissibility ratio will be
1/(2). Hence, the motion of a lightly damped system can be very sensitive to the motion of its base. This
is the fundamental reason for vibration isolation of lightly damped systems.

3.2.2 Transmissibility: Forces on the mass and on the base


The base motion induces motion of the mass in the mck SDOF system. We saw that the transmissibility
ratio for the displacement X/Y can be resonant, meaning large motion of the mass for small base motion.
There are other measures of transmissibility, depending on the situation and depending on the quantity of
interest. For example, the force on the mass due to the base motion is

x = b2 mx FT cos(b t 0 )
F = m (50)

where
FT = mb2 X (51)
Thus,
FT X b2 X
= = r2 (52)
kY Y n2 Y
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 21

Force on base from forced SDOF


Lets go back to the first case of the fixed base and forced mass, and consider the force on the base due to
the harmonic forcing. The base is subject to the force of the spring and the dashpot (in parallel):

F = kx + cx = m(n2 x + 2n x)
(53)

Using
x = A cos(t ) (54)
gives
 
F = m n2 A cos(t ) 2n A sin(t )
 
= mn2 A cos(t ) 2r sin(t )
p
= kA 1 + (2r)2 cos(t + 2 )
Fb cos(t + 2 ) (55)

using cos(a + b) = cos a cos b sin a sin b, and where where r = /n and

2 = tan1 2r (56)

Also, from the solution for the forced mass:

F0 1
A= q (57)
k 2
(1 r2 )2 + 2r

and hence the ratio of base force to applied force is


p
Fb 1 + (2r)2
=q 2 , r= (58)
F0 n
(1 r2 )2 + 2r

Note that this force transmissibility FF0b is identical to the displacement transmissibility X
Y of (49) for the
system subject to base motion.
The base force is often a quantity that one wants to minimize. Hence, it is important to examine the
behavior of the ratio in (58). It clearly exhibits resonance, and if the base excitation is to be minimized,
then one should avoid forcing at the resonant frequency. What about low and high frequencies? These
can be understood by considering the limiting behavior of the ratio in (58) for small and large values of r,
respectively. Thus,

Fb 1
, r0
(59)
F0

0 , r

At low frequency the applied force is completely transmitted to the base, with no amplification, but with
no reduction. However, at high frequencies the transmitted base force tends to zero. This is a fundamental
result of great significance in designing systems, as it guarantees vibration isolation if the drive frequency is
far greater than the resonance frequency of the support system.

Example
The response of a car moving along a rolling road can, as a first approximation, be considered as a SDOF
system subject to base motion. Thus, suppose a car is traveling along a road with periodic peaks spaced 10
m apart. Calculate the the best choice for the damping factor among = 0.1, 0.4, 0.6 so that the motion of
the car is as small as possible for the case r = 2.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 22

The period of the base motion experienced by the car depends upon the car speed, and is

10 3
T = 10 (3600) s
v

where v is the speed in km/hr. The base motion frequency is therefore

2 2v
b = = rad/s (60)
T 36

The problem is to find the value of that minimizes the transmissibility X/Y at r = 2. Thus, from (49), at
r=2
s
X 1 + (2r)2
= 2
Y (1 r2 )2 + 2r
s
1 + 16 2
=
9 + 16 2
r
8
= 1 (61)
9 + 16 2

This shows that smaller smaller transmissibility. So = 0.1 is optimal.

3.2.3 Lo/Hi frequency: stiffness and mass regimes


We have seen several types of transmissibility, e.g. kX/F0 for the displacement of the SDOF mass subject to
the force of magnitude F0 . Similarly, FT /(kY ) of (52) is the force transmitted to the mass for base motion
of amplitude Y . We also saw the displacement and force ratios X/Y of (49) and Fb /F0 of (58), respectively.
They all exhibit resonance, and have limiting behavior at low and high frequencies that can be understood
simply.
For instance, consider FT /(kY ) of (52). At low frequency (r 1), it is approximately unity:

FT
1 FT = kY, b n (62)
kY

while at high frequency (r 1) it is approximately 1/r2 , or

FT 2
n2 FT = mb2 Y, b n (63)
kY b

where we used k = mn2 again. These two equations for low and high frequency show that in each regime
only one of the three physical parameters of the m c k system comes into play. Thus, at low frequency,
the stiffness dominates the motion, while at high frequency the mass is the dominant parameter. These
separate frequency regimes are sometimes referred to as the stiffness and mass regimes.
What happened to the dashpot parameter c? It does not have much effect in the stiffness or mass-
dominated regions, but it becomes important in thecrossover at resonance. We have seen that the limiting
1
amplitude at resonance is always of the form 2 = kmc which involves all three parameters.
Another way of looking at the low frequency, or stiffness regime, is that it is governed primarily by the
static response, because inertia and acceleration are small (they are proportional to (frequency)2 ). Therefore,
it is sometime appropriate to talk about a quasi-static response, where the motion is governed by the stiffness
primarily. However, near and above resonance, inertial effects are all-important, and cannot be ignored.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 23

3.3 Rotating unbalance


We have seen how resonance and vibration occurs as a result of (a) direct forcing on the mass and (b)
indirect forcing due to base motion. Another important source of excitation that is common in engineering
practice is the unbalanced rotor. The generic situation is the main mass as a box inside of which a second
mass rotates about a center, producing an oscillating force - an effective force on the SDOF system.
Let the total mass of the box and the rotating object be m, and the rotating mass is m0 . Let x represent
the position of the main mass and the rotor is at

x0 = x + e cos r t

where e is the radius of the rotor. We consider the system of box and rotor, which is subject to the external
forces kx and cx, while the momentum in the xdirection is made up of two parts: (m m0 )v and m0 v0
where v = x and v0 = x 0 . Hence, the equation of motion for the system is

(m m0 )
x + m0 x
0 = kx cx (64)

or 
(m m0 ) r2 e cos r t = kx cx
x + m0 x (65)
Rewrite this as a forced SDOF equation:

m
x + cx + kx = F0 cos r t, where F0 = em0 r2 (66)

Hence, the rotating mass induces a force of magnitude em0 r2 . In real systems, the distance e can arise
from a motor with an eccentric shaft, or in general an unbalanced motor. It is important to note that the
magnitude of the force increases as the square of the operating frequency.
Based on previous results, we have

x(t) = X cos(r t ) (67)

where
r2 1 2r r
X = em0 q 2 , = tan1 , r= (68)
k 1 r2 n
(1 r2 )2 + 2r

Using k = mn2 , gives the nondimensional displacement ratio

mX r2
=q 2 , (69)
m0 e
(1 r2 )2 + 2r

As usual, this displays a resonance. The low and high frequency limits for this nondimensional ratio are r2
and 1, respectively, or
(
m 2
e 0k r , r n ,
X (70)
em
m
0
, r n .

The latter result implies that at frequencies far above resonance, we have
m0
x(t) e cos(r t), r n (71)
m
which is completely out of phase (180 ) with the motion of the rotor.
Is the center of mass of the system fixed? the simple answer is no. The center of mass is at x
, where

m
x = (m m0 )x + m0 x0 = mx + m0 e cos r t
= mX cos(r t ) + m0 e cos r t
= (mX cos + m0 e) cos r t + mX sin sin r t (72)
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 24

But
1 r2 2r
cos = q 2 , sin = q 2 , (73)
(1 r2 )2 + 2r (1 r2 )2 + 2r
so, substituting into (64) and simplifying,
m0 e  2 2 3

x
= 2 (1 (1 4 )r ) cos r t + 2r sin r t
2 2
m[(1 r ) + 2r ]
= X
cos(r t ) (74)
where p
= e m0 (1 (1 4 2 )r2 )2 + (2r3 )2 2r3
X 2 , = tan1 , (75)
m (1 r2 )2 + 2r 1 (1 4 2 )r2
At low frequency the center of mass moves with the rotor, and is at the fractional radius em0 /m. At high
frequencies, above resonance, the center of mass does not move and becomes increasingly stationary. Thus,
while the center of mass does move (why?), at high frequency it becomes fixed as the main mass and the
rotating mass move out of phase with each other (one moves up as the other moves down, and vice versa).

Example
A motor, m = 150 kg, has a rotating unbalance m0 = 0.5 kg, e = 0.2 m. The mount is a cantilever beam,
length L = 1 m, E = 2.1 1011 N/m2 . The operating range is 500 1200 rpm and = 0.1. Find the
cross-sectional moment of inertia I which ensures that the amplitude of vibration is less than 1 mm.
Solution: Given,
mX 150 103
= = 1.5, (76)
m0 e 0.5 0.2
this maximum amplitude will be achieved at nondimensional frequency r satisfying
r2
1.5 = q 2 , (77)
(1 r2 )2 + 2r
or
0.556 r4 1.96 r2 + 1 = 0 r = 0.787, 1.706
Based on the curve of (69), we know that amplitude would be even greater if
0.787 < r < 1.706
and therefore we want to make sure that the operating frequency range does not lie in this region. This gives
us two options: the operating range is such that (a) r 0.787, or (b) r 1.706.
(a) r 0.787 implies that the upper frequency, r = 2(1200/60) corresponding to 1200 rpm is r 0.787.
That is,
1200(2)
0.787 if n 159.7 rad/s
60n
But r
3EI (159.7)2 (1500 rad2 m3 kg
n = 3
I
mL 3(2.1)1011 s2 N/m2
or
(a) I 6.07 106 m4
(b) r 1.706 must hold for the lowest operating frequency, implying
500(2)
1.706
60n
which in turn implies that
(b) I 2.2 107 m4
Hence, we get two design options which satisfy the criteria specified. We would need to consider other
constraints in order to choose between the two.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 25

4 Measurement of vibration
4.1 Decibels
Vibrational and acoustic energy is measured in dB, or decibels. The decibel level is defined as
Power P
decibel level 10 log10 = 10 log10 (1)
Power reference level P0
Power and energy are proportional to x2 , and since we are dealing with ratios, we can just as well define the
dB level in terms of a ratio of the displacement magnitude:

x2 x
decibel level 10 log10 2 = 20 log10 (2)
x0 x0
Often, x0 and P0 are chosen as the maximum values, so that the dB level is then negative. For instance,
if
1 x 1
P = P0 =
2 x0 2
then the dB level is 10 log10 2 3 (numerically). This particular dB level is called the 3 dB point,
and is commonly used in defining resonances and in practical measurements of vibrating systems. The 3 dB
points on either side of a resonance maximum define the frequency range over which the resonance is reduced
to one half (power) and the associated frequency width is called the 6 dB width. It gives a measure of the
sharpness of the resonance.
What are the 3 dB points? We can find them from the standard formula, e.g. for the forced SDOF
system, for which
F0
A= q 2 , (3)
k (1 r2 )2 + 2r
F0
The maximum value, assuming small damping ( small) is A0 k2 , and hence
q
A 2 1 2
=q 2 = 2 if (1 r2 )2 + 2r = 2 2 (4)
A0
(1 r2 )2 + 2r

Squaring and regrouping terms,


r4 2r2 (1 2 2 ) + 1 8 2 = 0 (5)
and hence
p
r2 = 1 2 2 2 1 + 2
1 2 (6)

since is small by assumption. Therefore, the 3 dB points are at

r 1 = n n (7)

Hence we have the important result: the 6 dB width is 2n (for lightly damped SDOF systems). This
provides another way to measure the damping, and it is a very practical and useful method. Note that
the width of the resonance is inversely proportional to its strength - which is a characteristic feature of the
resonance of a lightly damped system.
Other terminology used: The quality factor Q is the resonant amplification, i.e.
1 n
Q= = (8)
2 6 dB width
A high Q system is one that exhibits a sharp and strong resonance. In short:

High Q small damping narrow resonance.


Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 26

4.2 Measuring instruments


How do we measure vibration? We have seen enough of SDOF systems to understand the principles used
to measure vibration. All vibrational measurement instruments have mass and stiffness, and therefore they
have their own natural frequency, n . The characteristic feature of instruments is that they operate in either
the low or the high frequency regimes, relative to n , but not at or near the natural frequency itself.
The general feature of instruments is that they measure the relative motion of the interior, or active
mass, and the instrument body. The motion of the mass is therefore the motion of the mass in a SDOF
system subject to base excitation, at the operating frequency b . Recall the equation for the motion of the
mass under base excitation:
mx = k(x y) c(x y) (9)
Previously we solved for the motion of the mas, x(t), however, the quantity of interest and the quantity that
is measured in practice is the relative motion z = x y, which satisfies, from (9),

m
z + cz + kz = m
y (10)

or
z + 2n z + n2 z = b2 Y cos b t (11)
for harmonic (single frequency) base motion

y = Y cos b t

We previously solved for x and could easily get z from this, but we can just as easily solve for z directly. Let

z = Z cos(b t )

then
Y b2
Z=q 2 (12)
(n2 b2 )2 + 2b n
or
Z r2 2r b
=q 2 , = tan1 , r= (13)
Y 1 r2 n
(1 r2 )2 + 2r
We consider two common examples; the seismometer and the accelerometer.
Seismometer: This has a heavy internal mass that is spring-mounted. The mass is surrounded by coils
so that its motion induces an electric current, which is the actual signal that comes from the instrument.
It operates above the natural frequency, i.e. b n , or r 1. In this case the mass remains effectively
stationary as the body of the seismometer moves up and down about it.
In terms of the model above, the seismometer operates in the range r 1 and therefore

Z
1, seismometer
Y
The mass is usually surrounded by a coil so that it induces an electric voltage as it moves. The measured
voltage is therefore directly proportional to the velocity of the base.
Accelerometer: A stiff piezoelectric crystal (the spring) is placed in series with a small mass m. The
accelerometer is designed so that it operates at frequencies far below its own natural frequency, b n .
Therefore, the mass moves, and its relative displacement, from (12), is approximately

b2
z y
n2

The voltage that is measured is proportional to the relative displacement (through the squeezing of the
piezoelectric crystal) and therefore the voltage is directly proportional to the acceleration of the base. That
is, the accelerometer measures acceleration, hence its name.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 27

4.2.1 Accelerometer design considerations


The accelerometer is the workhorse of all vibrational measurements, and it is worth considering some of the
details that go into its design. When measuring vibration, we first must choose an accelerometer with a
frequency range of operation that includes the frequencies we are interested in, e.g. 0 10 kHz. The natural
frequency of the accelerometer must greatly exceed the upper frequency, this case 10 kHz or 10, 000 2
63, 000 rad/s. This can be achieved, e.g., by selecting a device with a small mass (the smaller the mass the
higher the natural frequency), and as a result, as the operating frequency increases, the accelerometer size
decreases.
Flatness of the response: the model is based on the low frequency approximation to the response,
which gives z proportional to the acceleration of the base. How well does this approximation hold, or how
flat is the response? The answer depends on the error, which is the difference between the approximation and
the exact response. Specifically, we define the error as the difference between the measured and predicted
values of Z/(r2 Y ),
1
error 1 q 2
(1 r2 )2 + 2r
Now, from (13)
1
1 q 2 = 1 [1 + (4 2 2)r2 + r4 ]1/2
(1 r2 )2 + 2r
1
= 1 [1 (4 2 2)r2 + . . .]
2
= (2 2 1)r2 + O(r4 ) (14)

where we have used the fact that r is small. The error can be minimized over awide range of frequency if
the damping is such that (14) is zero, to leading order, which occurs for = 1/ 2. Therefore, the optimal
damping for an accelerometer is = 1/ 2 which ensures a flat response over a wide range of frequency. Recall
that this value of is the one separating the occurrence of a definite peak in the response (for > 1/sqrt2),
from the case when there is no maximum.
Phase distortion: Practical measurements are not usually for a simple harmonic motion, but comprise
many frequencies simultaneously. Consider

y = Y1 cos 1 t + Y2 cos 2 t (15)

for which, using the linearity of the system and the equations

12 12
z= Y 1 cos( 1 t 1 ) + Y2 cos(2 t 2 ) (16)
n2 n2

But z is not proportional to y:


y = 12 Y1 cos 1 t 22 Y2 cos 2 t
The problem comes from the phase terms 1 and 2 . Any phase means that the measured response is not
exactly the same as the excitation, but is delayed in time. The problem can therefore be solved if both
signals have the same time delay, in which case the response will be proportional to the acceleration, but
delayed slightly. We therefore need
1 2
T (17)
1 2
where T is a time constant. If this is the case, then (16) implies
1
z(t) y(t T ) (18)
n2

Can we find T ? From (13),


2b /n
= tan1 (19)
1 (b /n )2
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 28

Let = T b , then
2b /n sin T b T b + . . .
= = (20)
1 (b /n )2 cos T b 1 12 (T b )2 + . . .
We can therefore get a very good approximation if both of the following hold:

b2 1 b
1 1 (T b )2 and 2 T b (21)
n2 2 n

Solving the first gives T , and plugging into the second gives :

2 1
T = and = (22)
n 2

We found = 12 before as the optimal damping (for giving a flat response). In addition, we see that the
same choice of damping is the only one that ensures a phase delay proportional to the excitation frequency,
and therefore it is the unique value of damping that minimizes the response distortion. In summary, the
optimal damping gives
1 2
z(t) 2 y(t ) (23)
n n

The actual time delay n2 is not significant; it is more important to ensure the fidelity of the instrument
under general excitation.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 29

5 Multi-degree of freedom systems


5.1 Matrices M and K and the equation M
u + Ku = 0
We first consider multi-degree of freedom systems made of springs and masses in a linear chain. The notation
is as follows:

1. |km indicates a SDOF spring and mass. The | means that the spring is attached at this end.

2. |kmk| is a SDOF mass with springs on either side. E.G. |k1 mk2 | 2 = (k1 + k2 )/m.

3. |kmkm is a 2-DOF system with the mass on the right attached only to one spring.

4. |kmkmk| is a 2-DOF system with the mass on the right attached to two springs.

5. mkm is a 2-DOF system with the masses connected by one spring, otherwise free.

6. |kmkmkmk| is a 3-DOF system with all masses attached to two springs.

7. mkmkm is a 3-DOF system with the masses connected by two springs, otherwise free.

8. |k |mk . . .{z
kmkmk} | is a n-DOF system with all masses attached to two springs.
n times

5.1.1 A 3-DOF system


Three masses and four springs in series |k1 m1 k2 m2 k3 m3 k4 | gives three eqs:

m1 x1 + (k1 + k2 )x1 k2 x2 =0 (1)


m2 x
2 k2 x1 + (k2 + k3 )x2 k3 x3 =0 (2)
m3 x
3 k3 x2 + (k3 + k4 )x3 =0 (3)

The 3 eqs are the same as a single vector eq:



m1 x1 + (k1 + k2 )x1 k2 x2 0
2 k2 x1 + (k2 + k3 )x2 k3 x3 = 0
m2 x (4)
m3 x3 k3 x2 + (k3 + k4 )x3 0

The vector is 3 1. But that is not much use. How about the sum of two vectors equals zero?

m1 x
1 (k1 + k2 )x1 k2 x2 0
2 + k2 x1 + (k2 + k3 )x2 k3 x3 = 0
m2 x (5)
m3 x
3 k3 x2 + (k3 + k4 )x3 0

Better but still not much different from (1). The real use of linalg is to use vectors together with matrices.
The idea is to multiply vectors by matrices. If A is a 3 3 matrix and v is a 3 1 (rows columns)
vector, then Av is 3 1, i.e. a column vector.

a11 a12 a13 v1 a11 v1 + a12 v2 + a13 v3
Av a21 a22 a23 v2 = a21 v1 + a22 v2 + a23 v3 (6)
a31 a32 a33 v3 a31 v1 + a32 v2 + a33 v3

So we can write (5) as



m1 0 0 x
1 k1 + k2 k2 0 x1 0
0 m2 2 + k2
0 x k2 + k3 k3 x2 = 0 (7)
0 0 m3 x
3 0 k3 k3 + k4 x3 0
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 30

Its simpler to write it as


u + Ku = 0,
M (8)
where
m1 0 0 k1 + k2 k2 0 x1
M= 0 m2 0 , K = k2 k2 + k3 k3 , u = x2 . (9)
0 0 m3 0 k3 k3 + k4 x3
Thus, M and K are 3 3 and u is 3 1. To find modes, we assume u(t) = Ueit , U and are constant,

so that u(t) = iUeit or more simply, u = iu. Hence, u = (i)2 u = 2 u, so the eq is
= i u or u

(K 2 M)U = 0, (10)

We have divided by the scalar factor eit . We started with a system of coupled ODEs, and we are left with
an algebraic equation. Algebraic equations are (nearly) always easier to deal with than ODEs.

5.2 Stiffness and Flexibility matrix


The Stiffness matrix K for an n-DOF system is an n n matrix with element kij , i, j = 1, 2, . . . , n. These
elements can be defined via


f1
k11 .. .. k1n x1

x2
f2 k 21 .. .. k 2n
f = Kx = (11)

.. .. .. .. .. ..


fn kn1 .. .. knn xn

Thus, if mass j is moved by the displacement xj and all the others are kept fixed (zero), then kij is the force
on mass i required to maintain this displacement for mass j.
The Flexibility matrix A is defined as the inverse of K:

A = K1 x = Af (12)

The element aij , i, j = 1, 2, . . . , n can be thought of as follows: if mass j is subject to the force fj and all
the others are not forced (zero forces), then aij is the displacement on mass i .

5.3 n-DOF chain


Consider a system |k1 m1 k2 m2 k3 . . . ki mi ki+1 mi+1 . . . mn kn+1 . . . mN kN +1 |. What is kii ? To find it, imagine
moving mi by xi with the others fixed. To do this, the force fi must counter the two springs on either side
of mi , that is kii = ki + ki+1 . What about ki i+1 ? This must be equal and opposite to the force on the
other end of the spring ki+1 , so ki i+1 = ki+1 . Similarly ki i1 = ki1 . The elements are zero except for
the nearest neighbors, because only the nearest neighbors need to be forced to maintain the displacement xj
with all others zero.
This is a slightly different way of looking at the issue than we discussed in class. There we looked at the
force on each mass, say mj , and argued that it only depends on the relative displacements of this mass and
its neighbors. We get the same result for K whatever way we look at it:

k1 + k2 k2
k2 k2 + k3 k3

k 3 k 3 + k 4

K= (13)
.. .. .. .. .. ..

.. kN
kN kN + kN +1

The equation for mass mi in the chain is

mi x
i = ki (xi xi1 ) ki+1 (xi xi+1 ) (14)
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 31

The ends are taken care of by defining x0 = 0 and xN +1 = 0. The ends are fixed. We could consider the
case of free ends by letting k1 = 0 (free at left end) and/or kN +1 = 0 (free at the right end).
For example, if n = 2, we have |k1 m1 k2 m2 k3 | and
 
k1 + k2 k2
K= (15)
k2 k2 + k3

The flexibility matrix can be determined from eqs. (12) and (15) as
 
1 k2 + k3 k2
A= (16)
k1 k2 + k2 k3 + k3 k1 k2 k1 + k2

5.4 Example: The double pendulum


The first pendulum, length l1 , mass m1 , hangs from a fixed point. The second pendulum, length l2 , mass
m1 , hangs from m1 . Let j , j = 1, 2 be the angle pendulum j makes with respect to the vertical. Assume
small angles of motion. The horizontal positions of the two masses are

x1 = l1 sin 1 l1 1 (17)
x2 = x1 + l2 sin 2 l1 1 + l2 2 (18)

The horizontal forces acting on the masses are due to the tensions. taking the components in the direction
of xj ,

on m1 : T1 sin 1 + T2 sin 2 T1 1 + T2 2 (19)


on m2 : T2 sin 2 T2 2 (20)

The equations of motion follow from (17) and (19)

m1 l1 1 = T1 1 + T2 2 (21)
m2 (l1 1 + l2 2 0 = T2 2 (22)

In the small angle approximation the tensions in the two strings are the same as in static equilibrium, that
is
T1 = (m1 + m2 )g, T 2 = m2 g (23)

Hence,

m1 l1 1 = (m1 + m2 )g1 + m2 g2 (24)


m2 (l1 1 + l2 2 ) = m2 g2 (25)
p
As an example, suppose m1 = m2 = m, l1 = l2 = l, and define 0 = g/l, the frequency of a single
pendulum of length l, then the equations become

1 = 202 1 + 02 2 (26)
1 + 2 = 02 2 (27)

Note that since these are two coupled linear equations, they can be rewritten in different ways, e.g.

1 = 202 1 + 02 2 (28)
2 = 202 (2 1 ) (29)
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 32

5.5 Rigid body modes


Consider an airplane modeled as a system of three masses, the two wings each of mass m and the fuselage
between them of mass 4m. The wings are modeled as beams under flexural displacement, each of stiffness
k = 3EI/L3 , where L is the distance of the center of mass of the wing from the center of the air plane. Let x1
and x3 represented the upward motion of the wings, and x2 is the center of the plane upward displacement.
Thus, the airplane acts like a 3-DOF system of the form mk4mkm, or

1 0 0 3 3 0
EI
M = m 0 4 0 , K = 3 3 6 3 , (30)
L
0 0 1 0 3 3

Thus,

3 1.5 0
= M1/2 KM1/2 EI EI
K = 1.5 1.5 1.5 K (31)
mL3 mL3
0 1.5 1.5

and

I = EI K I , EI

K 3
where = (32)
mL mL3
The equation for the modal frequencies is

3 1.5 0


det K I = 1.5 1.5 1.5 (33)
0 1.5 1.5
or
3 7.5 2 + 13.5 = 0 (34)
The three roots are = 0, 3, 4.5, or

1 = 0, 2 = 1.732, 3 = 2.121, (35)



where = . The eigenvectors v1 , v2 , v3 can be found by substituting these values of into (33), and
we get

0.4082 0.7071 0.5774
V = [v1 , v2 , v3 ] = 0.8165 0 0.5774 (36)
0.4082 0.7071 0.5774

The mode shape matrix S is



0.4082 0.7071 0.5774
S = M1/2 V = 0.4082 0 0.2887 (37)
0.4082 0.7071 0.5774

S is the mode shape matrix in physical coordinates.


The three columns in S correspond to the three modal frequencies in (35). Note how the first one for
1 = 0 has identical values in each row. This corresponds to a mode where each xj , j = 1, 2, 3 moves the
same amount and is known as a rigid body mode. The reason for this mode appearing now where it
did not before is that we have allowed the masses to be unconstrained. This extra degree of freedom arises
from the fact that we chose to use the three DOF, one for each mass. But in practice the interesting and
physically significant modes are the second and third ones. In the second mode the middle mass does not
move and each wing moves in opposite directions. In mode 3, the two wings move in the same direction and
the center in the opposite direction, such that the center of mass does not move.
In summary, the rigid body mode occurs if the entire structure can translate or rotate.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 33

5.6 Modes of n-DOF Systems (skip)


Assuming a time harmonic solution x = cos t for the unforced, undamped, equations of motion M{
x} +
Kx = 0, implies that the constant n vector satisfies

K 2 M = 0. (38)

This has several interpretations. First, is a null vector of the symmetric matrix K 2 M . A more
useful way to look at it is in terms of eigenvalues, that is, is a generalized eigenvector of the stiffness matrix
K and mass matrix M. The concept of eigenvector is usually restricted to the systems Av = v, which
is a particular case of the generalized system with M = I, the identity. However, numerical linear algebra
packages, Matlab included, usually handle the generalized system, see B.3 for details.
The way they normally do this is to convert to the simpler eigenvalue problem using Cholesky factoriza-
tion. The idea is to express the mass matrix as

M = [L][L]T , (39)

where [L] is lower diagonal, i.e., with zeroes in all elements above the diagonal, Lij = 0 for all i > j. The
actual Cholesky factorization is a relatively fast numerical process, based on a simple recursive algorithm
(not discussed here). The reason for using this type of decomposition of M is that lower diagonal matrices
are easily inverted. Normally the inverse [L]1 is not stored, since the system [L]{x} = {y} can be solved
for {x} quickly. Quickly, fast and other such terms indicate a numerical method that is an order of
magnitude more efficient that a full inverse of a dense matrix.
Returning to (38), we can rewrite it formally, by premultiplication by [L]1 , as

[L]1 K[L]T {v0 } = 2 {v0 }, (40)

where {x0 } = [L]T {v0 }. This yields a simple eigenvalue equation for the symmetric matrix

= [L]1 K[L]T .
K (41)

5.7 Orthogonality
5.7.1 Orthogonality of modes
Consider two distinct modes i and j , satisfying
 
K i2 M i = 0, K j2 M j = 0, i 6= j. (42)

Multiply the first on the left by Tj and the second on the left by Ti , to get

Tj Ki = i2 Tj Mi , Ti Kj = j2 Ti Mj . (43)

This is where we use the fact that the matrices M and K are symmetric, which implies

Tj Ki = Ti Kj , Tj Mi = Ti Mj . (44)

Hence, (43) implies


(i2 j2 )Ti Mj = 0 (45)
But by definition, i 6= j, and i 6= j , theretofore

Ti Mj = 0, and Ti Kj = 0 (46)

A vector v satisifying vT Bv = 0 is said to be orthogonal with respect to the matrix B. Thus, the modes
are orthogonal with respect to both the mass and the stiffness matrices.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 34

It is traditional to normalize the eigenvectors (modes) with respect to the mass matrix. Define

i
i = q , (47)
Ti Mi

then it is clear that these vectors satisfy the simpler orthogonality condition

Ti Mj = ij , where ij = 1, i = j; ij = 0, i 6= j. (48)

The reason for normalizing with the mass rather than the stiffness is that the former is often diagonal, and
in particular can be of the form M = mI, implying

1
Ti j = ij , for M = mI (49)
m

5.7.2 Modal coordinates


Define the N N matrix of modal vectors
 
= 1 , 2 , . . . , N (50)

Then

T1
T2  
T M = . M 1 , 2 , . . . , N

..
TN

1
1
= = I. (51)
...
1

At the same time, we can see that



12
22
T K =
...
2
N
2
 
nat . (52)

These are the fundamental relations that we will use below

6 Forced multi-DOF Systems


A n-DOF system subject to forcing can be represented as

x} + [C]{x}
M{ + Kx = {F (t)} (1)

where [C] is the damping matrix. We first consider a very important 2-DOF case.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 35

6.1 Forced 2-DOF Systems: Vibration Absorber


Consider a SDOF system m, k, without damping, where the mass is forced by the steady state forcing of
frequency ,
F = F0 sin t
p
The system resonates if the drive frequency equals the system natural frequency k/m. The vibration
absorber is a passive method to remove this resonance by adding an extra DOF with chosen properties.
Consider an added mass ma attached to the main mass by a spring of stiffness ka . The main mass is
attached to a rigid base via the spring k but the added mass is only connected by ka , that is the system is
like | k m ka ma where the forcing acts on m only. The coupled equations of motion are therefore
       
m 0 x k + ka ka x F0 sin t
+ = (2)
0 ma x
a ka ka xa 0

or
x} + Kx = {F0 } sin t
M{ (3)
where
 
F0
{F0 } = (4)
0

Assume x has the form (21), where the constant vector is


 
X
{X} = (5)
Xa

Equation (24) becomes


    
k + ka m 2 ka X F0
= (6)
ka k a ma 2 Xa 0

These simultaneous equations for X and Xa can be readily solved, giving

(ka ma 2 )F0
X= (7)
(k + ka m 2 )(ka ma 2 ) ka2

k a F0
Xa = (8)
(k + ka m 2 )(ka ma 2 ) ka2

The displacement of the main mass, given by (7), will be zero if the added mass and its spring are such
that ka ma 2 = 0 or
ma 2 = k a (9)
Thus, it is possible to completely eliminate the resonance by tuning the added mass to the drive frequency!
The added mass has non-zero displacement, equal to

F0
Xa = (10)
ka

6.1.1 Example
A rotating saw operating at 180 cycles per minute is positioned on a table. The saw is unbalanced so that
it exerts a force of magnitude 13 N on the table. Assume that the legs of the table have effective stiffness
of 2600 N/m. Find the parameters for an added mass vibration absorber which eliminates the vibration of
the saw, and is such that no part of the whole system vibrate with amplitude more than 2 mm.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 36

Here the saw acts as the main mass (unknown but assumed large relative to ma ) and the added mass
should make the amplitude of the saw vibration zero. Hence, according to (9),

ma (2180/60)2 = ka (11)

Since the saw does not vibrate (because we are choosing the added mass according to (9)), the only vibration
comes from the added mass itself, and is given by (10). hence we require that

13
2 103 m (12)
ka

Solving (11) and (12) implies that the vibration absorbed should be such that

ka 6, 500 N/m (13)

If ka = 6, 500 N/m then the mass should be 18.29 kg. This choice of vibration absorber will give the desired
response and is a valid design option.

6.2 Solution in modal coordinates


Assume that the displacements can be represented as

{x(t)} = []{q(t)} . (14)

Substituting into (1) gives


q } + K[]{q} = {F (t)}
M[]{ (15)

followed by left multiplication with []T ,

[]T M[]{
q } + []T K[]{q} = []T {F (t)} (16)

This simplifies using the modal relation (51) and (52),

2
{
q } + [nat ]{q} = []T {F (t)} . (17)

The modal coordinates now satisfy uncoupled, or independent, equations of motion,

qj (t) + qj = [j ]T {F (t)} , j = 1, 2, . . . , N. (18)

Each equation is similar to that for a SDOF system, and can be solved accordingly. As with the SDOF
system we need to distinguish different types of forcing:

Transient, or forcing for t 0 only

Time harmonic {F (t)} = {F0 } sin t

In the former case, the general solution can be written formally using our previous results for the SDOF
forced system in terms of a convolution integral with the impulse-response function:
Z t
sin j
qj (t) = d [j ]T {F (t )} , j = 1, 2, . . . , N. (19)
0 j
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 37

6.3 Time harmonic forcing


Time harmonic forcing
F (t) = F0 cos(t 0 ), (20)
implies that the forcing has no beginning or end - it is a steady state situation. In this case we can assume
that the response of the system has the same steady state behavior, at the same frequency. That is
{x(t)} = Re {X}ei(t0 ) (21)
where {X} is a constant n 1 complex-valued vector. Note, we have kept the arbitrary phase 0 in both the
forcing and the response. Normally, we consider either F (t) = F0 cos t or F (t) = F0 sin t, corresponding
to 0 = 0 and 0 = 2 , respectively. In the latter case, we could replace (21) by {x(t)} = Im {X}eit . In
general, we will write
{x(t)} = {X}eit (22)
where it is understood that 0 = 0, and that the real part of the solution is implicit (complex-valued physical
quantities have no real meaning - pun intended). Plugging into (1) gives
2 M{X}eit i[C]{X}eit + K{X}eit = {F0 }eit (23)
or, since this is true for all t, 
K i[C] 2 M {X} = {F0 } (24)
This can be formally solved
1
{X} = K i[C] 2 M {F0 } (25)
We have already seen the very important example for n = 2: the vibration absorber in 6.1.

6.3.1 Time harmonic forcing: Modal coordinates


An alternate representation for the solution under time harmonic forcing can be found in the form (14),
specifically,
{q(t)} = {Q} cos t , qj (t) = Qj cos t , j = 1, 2, . . . , N. (26)
Then (18) implies
(j2 2 )Qj = [j ]T {F0 } , j = 1, 2, . . . , N, (27)
which determines Qj . Define the matrix
 1  1 1 1 
2 2
= diag 2 2
, 2 2
, ..., 2 2
, (28)
nat 1 2 N
then combining (14), (26) and (27), gives
 1  T
{x(t)} = [] 2 [] {F0 } cos t. (29)
nat 2
It is interesting to compare (29) with the direct solution found previously, (25). Comparing this with
the modal approach gives two alternate representations for the amplitude vector:
1
{X} = K 2 M {F0 }, (30)
 1 
{X} = [] 2 []T {F0 }. (31)
nat 2
Since the forcing vector is arbitrary, this implies the identity
1  1  T
K 2 M = [] 2 2
[] . (32)
nat

The proof of this identity can be found directly by multiplication with K 2 M , followed by use of the
identities (51) and (52), and relations of the type
 2 
K[] = M[] nat . (33)
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 38

6.4 Attached masses and impedance


We can find explicit solutions for a very useful type of N-DOF system, comprising N distinct masses attached
to a common mass-less base. As a preliminary, consider a single spring-mass-dashpot system (m, k, c),
attached to a base, where the base is driven by the forcing F . Let x(t) and y(t) denote the motion of the
mass and base, respectively. The equilibrium equations for the mass and the base are then,

m
x(t) = k(x y) c(x y),
(34)
0 = F + k(x y) + c(x y),
(35)

respectively (recall, the mass of the base is zero). Assuming time harmonic forcing: F = F0 eit , we let
x = Xeit and y = Y eit , and solving for Y we find
F0 02 2 2i0 
Y = . (36)
m 2 02 2i0
Define the drive impedance as the ratio of the force to the velocity at the drive point:
F0
Z= , (37)
V
where V = iY is the velocity of the base. Thus,

im02 1 2i 0
Z= (38)
2 02 + 2i0
Now consider the same base with N attached spring-mass-dashpot systems (mj , kj , cj ), j = 1, 2, . . . , N ,
and the base is again subject to the forcing F . Let xj (t) represent the motion of mass j, and y is the base
motion, then we obtain N + 1 equations for the masses and the base:

mj x
j (t) = kj (xj y) cj (x j y),
j = 1, 2, . . . , N (39)
N
X  
0=F + kj (xj y) + cj (x j y)
. (40)
j=1

Assuming time harmonic forcing and motion, F = F0 eit , xj = Xj eit and y = Y eit , the equation for
mass j yields  
j2 2ij j
Xj = Y. (41)
j2 2 2ij j
Substituting into the equation for the base, gives
N
X mj 2 (j2 2ij j )
F = Y. (42)
j=1
2 j2 + 2ij j

Hence, the drive point impedance Z = F0 /(iY ), is now


N im 2 1 2i

X j j j j
Z= (43)
j=1
2 j2 + 2ij j

or
N
X
Z= Zj , (44)
j=1

where the individual impedances are



imj j2 1 2i j j
Zj = (45)
2 j2 + 2ij j

It is perhaps not surprising that the impedances add, since the masses are attached in parallel.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 39

6.5 Impedance and power


The power dissipated by the force is, at any given instant,

P (t) = F v (46)

With V = iY , this can be written

P (t) = Re(F0 eit ) Re(V eit )


1 1 1 1
= F0 V ei2t + F0 V ei2t + F0 V + F0 V (47)
4 4 4 4


where signifies the complex conjugate. Taking the average over one cycle, 0 t 2/, gives

1
P = Re(F0 V ) (48)
2

or
1
P = |V |2 Re Z . (49)
2
since the impedance is defined as Z = F0 /V .
In any physically realistic system, which does not generate its own power, a force that is applied to the
system should use external energy. That is, the work done - the integral of the power over time - should be
non-negative. The limit of zero is achieved for a system of zero damping. There, eq. (49) implies that

Re Z 0, with equality only for a system of zero damping. (50)

We may check this on the above example. Thus, from (45), we have

2mj j j 4
Re(Zj ) = , (51)
( 2 j2 )2 + (2j j )2

which is positive as long as cj = 2mj j j > 0. That is, power is dissipated if and only if the internal damping
is positive.

6.6 Impedance of a chain of masses


The drive point impedance of a linear chain can be derived, formally but not explicitly, using the system
defined in (13). Thus, assume the force is applied to mass m1 , and in order to be consistent with the previous
example, let k1 = 0, m1 = 0. We must then consider a system of size N 2 to model a chain of N 1
masses. The condition at the right end of the chain can be free (kN +1 = 0) or fixed. The force, applied only
to mass 1, is {F } = (1, 0, 0, . . . , 0)T F0 eit . The impedance is Z = F0 /(iX1 ), where x1 = X1 eit , or

1
Z= , k1 = 0, m1 = 0. (52)
i(K 2 M)1
11

Alternatively, based on (32)

1
Z=  1
 . (53)
i([] 2
nat 2
[]T )11
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 40

6.6.1 Impedance of a chain of masses: N


Consider the case of a chain that is free at the right end. Let the masses and springs be equal, then in the
limit as N the modes that need to be considered, according to the previous discussion are the free-free
modes of a bar. The non-normalized eigenvectors are
x
j (x) = cos(2j 1) , j = 1, 2, 3, . . . . (54)
2L
How do we normalize these? The inner product of (48) translates to the integral identity

ZL
i (x)j (x)1 (x)dx = ij , (55)
0

where 1 is the density per unit length, which is uniform in this case and equal to M/L, M being the total
mass (M = AL). Therefore, the eigenvalues and eigenvectors are, from (??), (54) and (55)
r
c 2 x
j = (2j 1) , j (x) = cos(2j 1) , j = 1, 2, 3, . . . , (56)
2L M 2L
p
where c = E/.
The general result (53) becomes, in the -DOF limit,
1
Z= . (57)
P 2j (0)
i j2 2
j=1

In the particular case of the uniform bar, we get


M
Z=
P . (58)
1
i2 c
2
j=1 (2j1) 2L 2

or

1 X 1
= , (59)
Z Z
j=1 j

with
M c 2
Zj = [ (2j 1) 2 ]. (60)
i2 2L

6.7 Impedance of a bar


Consider a uniform elastic bar of length L, cross-sectional area A, Youngs modulus E and density . The
end x = 0 is subject to the driving force F = F0 cos t, and the end x = L is free (zero traction). The
displacement is assumed to be of the form

u(x, t) = U (x) eit , (61)

so that equation (??) becomes


U (x) + k 2 U = 0, 0 < x < L, (62)
p
where k = /c, and c = E/. and the end conditions are

EAU (0) = F0 , EAU (L) = 0. (63)

These arise from the fact that the axial stress, xx , in the xdirection is EU , and the force is Axx . The
negative sign in the first of (63) arises from the fact that the normal at that end is in the negative direction,
and therefore the force acting in the positive xdirection is Axx nx = Axx since nx = 1.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 41

The general solution of (62) is U = a1 eikx + a2 eikx , where a1 , a2 are constants. These are determined
from the end conditions (63) as a2 = a1 ei2kL , and a1 = F0 /[EAik(1 ei2kL )]. Thus,

F0 eik(xL) + eik(xL)  ikL


U (x) = e (64)
EAik 1 eik2L

or, more simply,


F0 cos k(x L)
U (x) = (65)
EAk sin kL
F0
The impedance of the bar - more precisely the impedance of the drive point, is Z = iU (0) ,

Z = icA tan kL . (66)

This can be written in resonance form, i.e. a form that more clearly displays the resonances, by noting that
tan y is a meromorphic function (it only has poles) and it is bounded at infinity in the complex plane. It
can be shown that this implies it must be of the form

X dj
tan y = (67)
j
y yj

where yn are the poles. These are clearly (n 12 ), n = 1, 2, . . .. We can obtain the values of dj by equating
the residues of (67) with those of the function at each pole. Thus, we find that dj = 1 for all j, and hence


X 1 X 1
tan y = 1 +
n=1
y (n 2 ) n=1
y + (n 21 )

X 2y
= (68)
n=1
y2 (n 12 )2 2

Therefore, the impedance (66) can be rewritten


X 1
Z = i2m (69)
n=1
(kL)2 (n 12 )2 2

where we have used k = /c, and m = AL is the total mass of the bas. Alternatively, we can write Z as


X imn n2
Z= (70)
n=1
2 n2

where n = (n 21 )c/L are the resonance frequencies of the free-free bar, and the masses are defined as

2m
mn = (71)
(n 12 )2 2

This form of the impedance is identical in form to that for the finite system of uncoupled masses in (44)
and (45). w Damping can be included in the usual manner. For a SDOF system we replace k by k ic.
This translates to the replacement n2 n2 2in n in the multi-DOF system, with k mn n2 and
c 2mn n n .
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 42

6.8 General structures


The drive point impedance Z for any structure can be expressed in terms of its discrete modes, as

N
X
Z= Zj , (72)
j=1

where N for a continuous system - one with an infinite number of DOFs. The impedance associated
with each mode can be written, in general, as

imn n2 (1 21 n n )
Zn = . (73)
2 n2 + 2in n

This form is motivated by the previous results for the uncoupled masses, and for the bar, each of which can
be cast in this form. It is not difficult to recognize that (73) should be true in general, based on the fact
that the impedance must possess resonances, i.e.poles in the plane, and that these poles must be in the
lower half plane, see Appendix A.
Note that the real part of this expression disappears in the limit as n 0, except at resonance frequency.
We need to take care in taking this limit. Let y = 2 n2 , then dy = 2d. Let be a real positive number
consider the integral

Z Z
id 1 idy (y i)
Re = Re
n2 + i
2 2 y 2 + 2

Z
1 dy
=
2 y2 + 2

Z
1 ds
=
2 s2 +1


= , (74)
2

independent of . Therefore in the limit of zero damping, we should interpret the real part of the impedance
as

Re Zn = mn n2 ( n ), n 0 (75)
2
where is the Dirac delta function.
The impedance, being complex valued, can be expressed

Z = R + iX (76)

Appendix
Appendix A Lagranges Equations
Deriving the equations of motion is often a non-trivial task, especially for multi-DOF systems. We start by
analyzing the forces, and then equate the force with the mass times acceleration for each DOF. Lagranges
equations provide an alternate procedure to get the equations of motion, and is generally preferable when
there are many DOFs. For simplicity, here we will discuss the procedure for conservative systems, that is,
with no damping.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 43

A.1 SDOF
Consider a mass/spring system, and define the kinetic and potential energies

1 1 2
T = mx 2 , V = kx ,
2 2
respectively. The Lagrangian is defined as

L = T V.

Note that it is not T + V which is the total energy of the system. L can be considered as a function that
depends on x, on x and on t. Lagranges equation for the mass/spring system is
 
d L L
=0 (A.1)
dt x x

Let us see what this equation yields. First, the only place that x occurs in L is in V and so

L V
= = kx (A.2)
x x
Similarly, x only appears in T , and so
L T
= = mx (A.3)
x x
Then,  
d L d
= mx = m
x (A.4)
dt x dt
Combining eqs. (A.1)-(A.4) gives
m
x + kx = 0 (A.5)
Summary: Once we have an expression for the Lagrangian L(x, x) then we plug it into the Euler-Lagrange
equation (A.1). The only real work that we have to do is (1) construct L, and (2) do some differentiation.
Constructing L means writing out expressions for the KE and PE, which is always easier than dealing
with free body diagrams, writing forces, etc. The real power of the method is for n-DOF. In these problems
dealing with forces can be extremely difficult, particularly if there are moments and forces, linear and angular
momentum. In an n-DOF system, each mass can be acted on by many forces, most of which depend upon
the other n 1 coordinates.

A.2 n-DOF
The power of Lagranges equations is the applicability to arbitrary systems, of one, two or an infinite number
of DOFs. Let us do some examples.

1 Two masses and springs


For instance, consider a two DOF system of two mass spring systems (m1 , k1 ) and (m2 , k2 ) with a spring kc
connecting the masses. We have seen this system before in class, and know that the equations are

m1 x
1 = k1 x1 kc (x1 x2 ) (A.6)
m2 x
2 = k2 x2 kc (x2 x1 ) (A.7)

The same equations can be derived by first writing out the Lagrangian, again defined as L = T V , where
now the KE and the PE depend on the two coordinates and their time derivatives:

1 1 1 1 1
T = m1 x 21 + m2 x 22 , V = k1 x21 + k2 x22 + kc (x1 x2 )2 (A.8)
2 2 2 2 2
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 44

The final term in V comes from the fact that the extension/compression of the coupling spring is (x1 x2 ).
Lagranges equations for a multi-DOF Lagrangian L(x1 , x 1 , . . . , xn , x n , t) are
 
d L L
= 0, i = 1, 2, . . . , n (A.9)
dt x i xi

Taking i = 1, we have
L T
= = m1 x 1 (A.10)
x 1 x 1
and
L V
= = k1 x1 kc (x1 x2 ) (A.11)
x1 x1
Therefore,  
d L L
= m1 x
1 + k1 x1 + kc (x1 x2 ) = 0 (A.12)
dt x 1 x1
which is exactly equation (A.6). The other equation follows taking i = 2 in (A.9).

2 The double pendulum


As a second example, consider the double pendulum, i.e. one pendulum of mass m1 , length l1 , with another
pendulum, m2 , l2 , hanging from m1 . Let 1 and 2 be the angles from the vertical for each pendulum. The
elevation of the first mass from its equilibrium position is l1 (1cos 1 ) and its PE is therefore m1 gl1 (1cos 1 ).
The elevation of the second mass from its equilibrium position is l1 (1 cos 1 ) + l2 (1 cos 2 ) because it is
raised up by the first pendulum also. The total PE is therefore

V = (m1 + m2 )gl1 (1 cos 1 ) + m2 gl2 (1 cos 2 ) (A.13)

The KE is
1 1
T = m1 |v1 |2 + m2 |v2 |2 (A.14)
2 2
where vi is the vector velocity of mass i. The string holding the first mass is attached to a fixed point, and
v1 = l1 1 e1 so that |v1 |2 = (l1 1 )2 . The velocity of the second mass is v2 = v1 + l2 2 e2 and therefore

|v2 |2 = |l1 1 e1 + l2 2 e2 |2 = (l1 1 )2 + (l2 2 )2 + 2l1 l2 1 2 cos(1 2 )

Thus,
1 1
T = (m1 + m2 )(l1 1 )2 + m2 [(l2 2 )2 + 2l1 l2 1 2 cos(1 2 )] (A.15)
2 2
Note that we have not made any small angle approximations yet. The theory is exact no matter how big or
small the angles.
The Lagranges equations for this system are
 
d L L
= 0, i = 1, 2, (A.16)
dt i i

where, as usual, L = T V , and L = L(1 , 1 , 2 , 2 ). This just means that our independent coordinates are
1 and 2 (n=2). Note that in this case, the KE depends on the coordinates 1 and 2 , in addition to the
angular velocities. This makes the differentiation a little bit more complicated but we can be confident that
the final equations are exact: thus

(m1 + m2 )l1 1 + m2 l2 2 cos(1 2 ) + m2 l2 22 sin(1 2 ) + (m1 + m2 )g sin 1 = 0 (A.17)


m2 l2 2 + m2 l1 1 cos(1 2 ) + m1 l1 12 sin(2 1 ) + m2 g sin 2 = 0 (A.18)
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 45

3 Small angle approximation


In the above example we have not assumed the usual small angle approximation. This amounts to assuming
that all angle and angular velocities are small, so that

sin i i , cos i 1

Applying this to (A.17) and (A.18), with cos(1 2 ) = 1 and sin(2 1 ) = 2 1 , we get

(m1 + m2 )l1 1 + m2 l2 2 + m2 l2 22 (1 2 ) + (m1 + m2 )g1 = 0 (A.19)


m2 l2 2 + m2 l1 1 + m1 l1 12 (2 1 ) + m2 g2 = 0 (A.20)

We can now consistently neglect the nonlinear terms 22 (1 2 ) and 12 (2 1 ), so that the linearized
equations are

(m1 + m2 )l1 1 + m2 l2 2 + (m1 + m2 )g1 = 0 (A.21)


m2 l2 2 + m2 l1 1 + m2 g2 = 0 (A.22)

We can also obtain the linearized equations (small angle approx) by first approximating the PE and KE
in eqs. (A.13) and (A.15). In this case we need to retain the terms that quadratic in the small quantities,
but ignore those of higher order. Thus, we need to use cos i 1 12 i2 so that we get

1 1
T = (m1 + m2 )(l1 1 )2 + m2 [(l2 2 )2 + 2l1 l2 1 2 ] (A.23)
2 2
1 1
V = (m1 + m2 )gl1 1 + m2 gl2 22
2
(A.24)
2 2
Applying the Lagrange equations (A.16) directly now gives the linearized equations (A.21) and (A.22).
It is worth noting that the [M ] and [K] matrices of (A.21) and (A.22) correspond to

(m1 + m2 )l1 m2 l2 (m1 + m2 )g 0
[M ] = , [K] = (A.25)
m2 l 1 m2 l2 0 m2 g

This might look unusual, because the mass matrix is not diagonal - it contains off-diagonal terms. However,
we can rearrange (A.21) and (A.22), by combining them, to get

m1 l1 1 + (m1 + m2 )g1 m2 g2 = 0 (A.26)


m1 l2 2 (m1 + m2 )g1 + (m1 + m2 )g2 = 0 (A.27)

Divide the first by m2 and the second by (m1 + m2 ),


m1 m1
l1 1 + ( + 1)g1 g2 = 0 (A.28)
m2 m2
m1 l2
2 g1 + g2 = 0 (A.29)
m1 + m2
or
m1
m 2 l1 0 (m
m2 + 1)g
1
g
[M ] = , [K] = (A.30)
m 1 l2
0 m1 +m2 g g

Now the mass matrix is diagonal and the stiffness is not. Comparison of (A.25) and (A.30) shows that the
mass and stiffness matrices are not unique, which is not surprising because we can always rearrange systems
of linear equations. However, no matter how we rearrange them the modes and modal frequencies are not
changed.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 46

A.3 General coordinates


The real potential of Lagranges equations is for systems with coordinates that are more general. It is
common to call the generalized coordinates for an n-DOF system qi , i = 1, 2, 3, . . . , n. Then we express the
PE and KE in terms of qi and qi , and the n Lagranges equations are
 
d L L
= 0, i = 1, 2, . . . , n (A.31)
dt qi qi
For instance, consider a pendulum of length r mass m2 that hangs from the mass m1 of a mass/spring
system of stiffness k. The mass m1 moves horizontally with coordinate x and the mass m2 swings from the
moving mass m1 with angle from the vertical. The two generalized coordinates are q1 = x and q2 = .
The KE of the system is
1 1
T = m1 x 2 + m2 (x 22 + y 22 )
2 2
where (x2 , y2 ) are the rectangular coordinates of m2 . Thus, x2 = x + r cos , y2 = r sin , and hence
1 1 1 2
T = m1 x 2 + m2 [(x + r cos )2 + (r sin )2 ], V = kx + m2 gr(1 cos ) (A.32)
2 2 2
The 2 equations of motion then follow from the lagrange equations
   
d L L d L L
= 0, =0 (A.33)
dt x x dt
In the small angle approximation, we can simplify T and V of (A.32) to become
1 1 2, 1 2 1
T = m1 x 2 + m2 (x + r) V = kx + m2 gr2 (A.34)
2 2 2 2
It is easier to find the equations of motion in the small angle approximation. Applying (A.33) gives

x + m2 r + kx
(m1 + m2 ) = 0 (A.35)
m2 ( + m2 g
x + r) = 0 (A.36)

A.4 Origin of Lagranges equations (extra)


What is the basis for Lagranges equations? One way is to derive them from Newtons 2nd Law. A more
general and more profound basis is the so-called Principle of Least Action. The idea is to define the
action as the integral Z
I Ldt

Then the actual solution of a dynamical system is the one which minimizes the action. That is, we consider
all possible qi (t) and minimize the integral with respect to these. Since there are n-variables, we get n
minimization conditions, and each one is the Lagrange equation for that variable. The actual minimization
proceeds as follows: Z
I L L qi 
= + dt
qi qi qi qi
The second term is simplified by integrating by parts (ignoring the end contributions to the integral):
Z Z Z
L qi d L  qi d L 
dt = dt = dt
qi qi dt qi qi dt qi
and so Z
I  d L  L 
= dt
qi dt qi qi
The integrand has to be zero at each instant, hence we get the Lagrange equations. This powerful method
of deriving equations is also known as Variational Calculus, or the Calculus of Variations, and is at the
heart of Finite Element Methods.
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 47

Appendix B Linear algebra 101


B.1 Basic matrix algebra
Algebra involves multiplication (division is aspecial case of multiplication). We can multiply matrices: if A
and B are m n and n p then AB is m p. Note the matrix on the left has to have the same number of
columns as the number of rows of the matrix on the right. If A and B are 3 2 and 2 4 then AB is 3 4
but BA does not make sense.
A matrix is square if the number of rows and columns is equal. If A and B are both square n n
matrices, then AB and BA are square n n matrices but in general

AB 6= BA (B.1)

The order of multiplication is important!


The identity n n matrix I has the property that AI = A and IA = A for any n n matrix A.
The inverse of a square nn matrix A is a square nn matrix A1 such that AA1 = I and A1 A = I.
Not every square n n matrix has an inverse, e.g.
 
1 0
(B.2)
0 0

The condition that the inverse exists is that det A 6= 0. AlAnother way os saying this is that the inverse
does not exist if det A = 0.
If A is an n n matrix and v is an n 1 vector and

Av = 0 (B.3)

then there are two possibilities: (1) the inverse of exists A, or (2) it does not. If (1) then multiply by A1 ,
so
A1 Av = 0 Iv = 0 (B.4)
but Iv = v so v = 0. In conclusion, the only way to get a nonzero v is if (2) holds, that is if det A = 0.
Another common matrix-vector equation is
Bv = v, (B.5)
where B is an n n matrix and v is an n 1 vector. This is in the form (B.3) with A = B I. So the
condition that (B.5) has a non-zero v is that det(B I) = 0. Generally, a matrix times a vector is not
proportional (parallel) to the vector. So (B.5) is a special relation, for a given matrix B, it only works for
certain vectors, called the eigenvectors, and the associated values of are the eigenvalues. An n n matrix
can have n distinct eigenvalues, each with its own eigenvector.

B.2 The n-dof vibration problem


In the n-dof vibration problem, A = K 2 M and the condition for a mode is that

det(K 2 M) = 0. (B.6)

For example, take the 3-dof system in (7) with m1 = m2 = m3 = m and k1 = k2 = k3 = k4 = k, then

2 1 0 2 1 0 2 1 0
K 2 M = k 1 2 1 2 mI = k 1 2 1 kI = k 1 2 1 (B.7)
0 1 2 0 1 2 0 1 2

where = 2 m/k. Now, if det A = 0 then det cA = 0 where c is any scalar factor. That is, multiplying
every element by the sme constant does not change the equation det A = 0. So, the modal frequency is
obtained by
2 1 0
det 1 2 1 = 0 (2 )[(2 )2 1] (2 ) = 0 (B.8)
0 1 2
Vibrations Notes April 1, 2013 Norris 48

(2 ) is a factor, so = 2 is a root, and the other two satisfy (2 )2 2 = 0. Putting the three in
ascending order 0 < 1 < 2 < 3 , they are 1 = 2 2, 2 = 2, 3 = 2 + 2.
Multiply (10) from the left by M1 , and rewrite as

M1 KU = 2 U. (B.9)

In this form U is an eigenvector of M1 K

B.3 Matlab
In matlab, if A is an n n matrix, then eig(A) returns the n eigenvalues. Do help eig to see how you
can get the eigenvectors using eig. So in principle, we just need to use the matrix M1 K. However, the
function eig is even better. If k and m are the matrices in matlab, then a=eig(k,m) returns a vector of the
eigenvalues, i.e. a(1) = 12 , . . . a(n) = n2 .
Try running the following:

m=eye(3)
k = [2 -1 0; -1 2 -1; 0 -1 2]
[V,D]=eig(k,m)

The output is

m =
1 0 0
0 1 0
0 0 1

k =
2 -1 0
-1 2 -1
0 -1 2

V =
0.5000 -0.7071 -0.5000
0.7071 0.0000 0.7071
0.5000 0.7071 -0.5000

D =
0.5858 0 0
0 2.0000 0
0 0 3.4142

The eigenvalues are on the diagonal of the diagonal matrix D, with D(1, 1) = 12 , . . . D(n, n) = n2 . The
columns of the matrix V are the eigenvalues