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August 10, 2015
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Refers to harmonic oscillator whose parameters oscillate in time. A well known parametric oscillator is a child swing by periodically standing and squatting to increase the size of the swing's oscillations. Unlike simple harmonic motion where you repeat the same motion back and forth, the motion for parametric resonance is unstable. That's why children can swing fully why thrusting themselves.

It is theoretically shown that parametric resonance is strongest when the frequency of parameter change is twice as the frequency of natural harmonic oscillator in the absence of parameter changes. Again, this is why if children push them fort and back twice in one full cycle in one swing, they will get the maximum height and hence the joy from their efforts.

(see: Physics is Cool)
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by pseudoscientist 2 years ago
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