The Physics of Coupled Oscillators

Rhett Allain
19 min readMay 3, 2023
Photo: Rhett Allain. Coupled oscillators

I know you’ve looked at a mass on a spring, but have you looked at 2 masses with THREE springs? It looks like this:

There are two masses (the yellow and cyan blocks) with a spring connecting between them. Then there are two more springs connecting each mass to the fixed points on the outside (the red balls). We call this a coupled oscillator since there are two oscillating masses and they are coupled…

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Rhett Allain

Physics faculty, science blogger of all things geek. Technical Consultant for CBS MacGyver and MythBusters. WIRED blogger.