NCERT Class 11 Physics Solutions: Chapter 14 – Oscillations-Part 1 (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Question 14.1:

Which of the following examples represent periodic motion?

(a) A swimmer completing one (return) trip from one bank of a river to the other and back.

(b) A freely suspended bar magnet displaced from its N) S direction and released.

(c) A hydrogen molecule rotating about its center of mass.

(d) An arrow released from a bow.



The Periodic Motion is Showing in Figure


The swimmer՚s motion is not periodic. The motion of the swimmer between the banks of a river is back and forth. However, it does not have a definite period. This is because the time taken by the swimmer during his back and forth journey may not be the same.


The motion of a freely suspended magnet, if displaced from its N-S direction and released, is periodic. This is because the magnet oscillates about its position with a definite period of time.


When a hydrogen molecule rotates about its centre of mass, it comes to the same position again and again after an equal interval of time. Such motion is periodic.


An arrow released from a bow moves only in the forward direction. It does not come backward. Hence, this motion is not a periodic.

Question 14.2:

Which of the following examples represent (nearly) simple harmonic motion and which represent periodic but not simple harmonic motion?

(a) The rotation of earth about its axis.

(b) Motion of an oscillating mercury column in a U-tube.

(c) Motion of a ball bearing inside a smooth curved bowl, when released from a point slightly above the lower most point.

(d) General vibrations of a polyatomic molecule about its equilibrium position.


Are simple harmonic motion

Are periodic, but not simple harmonic motion


The Periodic Motion and Simple Harmonic Motion Are Showing …

During its rotation about its axis, earth comes to the same position again and again in equal intervals of time. Hence, it is a periodic motion. However, this motion is not simple harmonic. This is because earth does not have a to and from motion about its axis.

An oscillating mercury column in a U-tube is simple harmonic. This is because the mercury moves to and from on the same path, about the fixed position, with a certain period of time.

The ball moves to and from about the lowermost point of the bowl when released. Also, the ball comes back to its initial position in the same period of time, again and again. Hence, its motion is periodic as well as simple harmonic.

A polyatomic molecule has many natural frequencies of oscillation. Its vibration is the superposition of individual simple harmonic motions of a number of different molecules. Hence, it is not simple harmonic, but periodic.