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Bounding curves in harmonic motion

Harmonic motion graphs may be enclosed by bounding curves. When a function has a varying amplitude    , such that the amplitude rises and falls multiple times within a period, we can determine the bounding curves from part of the function.

Graphing an oscillating cosine curve

Graph the function f ( x ) = cos ( 2 π x ) cos ( 16 π x ) .

The graph produced by this function will be shown in two parts. The first graph will be the exact function f ( x ) (see [link] ), and the second graph is the exact function f ( x ) plus a bounding function (see [link] . The graphs look quite different.

Graph of f(x) = cos(2pi*x)cos(16pi*x), a sinusoidal function that increases and decreases its amplitude periodically.
Graph of f(x) = cos(2pi*x)cos(16pi*x), a sinusoidal function that increases and decreases its amplitude periodically. There is also a bonding function drawn over it in red, which makes the whole image look like a DNA (double helix) piece stretched along the x-axis.
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Access these online resources for additional instruction and practice with trigonometric applications.

Visit this website for additional practice questions from Learningpod.

Key equations

Standard form of sinusoidal equation y = A sin ( B t C ) + D or y = A cos ( B t C ) + D
Simple harmonic motion d = a cos ( ω t )   or   d = a sin ( ω t )
Damped harmonic motion f ( t ) = a e c t sin ( ω t ) or f ( t ) = a e c t cos ( ω t )

Key concepts

  • Sinusoidal functions are represented by the sine and cosine graphs. In standard form, we can find the amplitude, period, and horizontal and vertical shifts. See [link] and [link] .
  • Use key points to graph a sinusoidal function. The five key points include the minimum and maximum values and the midline values. See [link] .
  • Periodic functions can model events that reoccur in set cycles, like the phases of the moon, the hands on a clock, and the seasons in a year. See [link] , [link] , [link] and [link] .
  • Harmonic motion functions are modeled from given data. Similar to periodic motion applications, harmonic motion requires a restoring force. Examples include gravitational force and spring motion activated by weight. See [link] .
  • Damped harmonic motion is a form of periodic behavior affected by a damping factor. Energy dissipating factors, like friction, cause the displacement of the object to shrink. See [link] , [link] , [link] , [link] , and [link] .
  • Bounding curves delineate the graph of harmonic motion with variable maximum and minimum values. See [link] .

Section exercises


Explain what types of physical phenomena are best modeled by sinusoidal functions. What are the characteristics necessary?

Physical behavior should be periodic, or cyclical.

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What information is necessary to construct a trigonometric model of daily temperature? Give examples of two different sets of information that would enable modeling with an equation.

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If we want to model cumulative rainfall over the course of a year, would a sinusoidal function be a good model? Why or why not?

Since cumulative rainfall is always increasing, a sinusoidal function would not be ideal here.

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Explain the effect of a damping factor on the graphs of harmonic motion functions.

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For the following exercises, find a possible formula for the trigonometric function represented by the given table of values.

x y
0 4
3 1
6 2
9 1
12 4
15 1
18 2

y = 3 cos ( π 6 x ) 1

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x y
0 5
2 1
4 3
6 1
8 5
10 1
12 3
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x y
0 2
π 4 7
π 2 2
3 π 4 3
π 2
5 π 4 7
3 π 2 2

5 sin ( 2 x ) + 2

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x y
0 2
π 4 7
π 2 2
3 π 4 3
π 2
5 π 4 7
3 π 2 2
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x y
0 1
1 3
2 7
3 3
4 1
5 3
6 7

4 cos ( x π 2 ) 3

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x y
0 2
1 4
2 10
3 4
4 2
5 4
6 10
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Questions & Answers

can you not take the square root of a negative number
Sharon Reply
Suppose P= {-3,1,3} Q={-3,-2-1} and R= {-2,2,3}.what is the intersection
Elaine Reply
can I get some pretty basic questions
Ama Reply
In what way does set notation relate to function notation
is precalculus needed to take caculus
Amara Reply
It depends on what you already know. Just test yourself with some precalculus questions. If you find them easy, you're good to go.
the solution doesn't seem right for this problem
Mars Reply
what is the domain of f(x)=x-4/x^2-2x-15 then
Conney Reply
x is different from -5&3
All real x except 5 and - 3
how to prroved cos⁴x-sin⁴x= cos²x-sin²x are equal
jeric Reply
Don't think that you can.
how do you provided cos⁴x-sin⁴x = cos²x-sin²x are equal
jeric Reply
What are the question marks for?
Someone should please solve it for me Add 2over ×+3 +y-4 over 5 simplify (×+a)with square root of two -×root 2 all over a multiply 1over ×-y{(×-y)(×+y)} over ×y
Abena Reply
For the first question, I got (3y-2)/15 Second one, I got Root 2 Third one, I got 1/(y to the fourth power) I dont if it's right cause I can barely understand the question.
Is under distribute property, inverse function, algebra and addition and multiplication function; so is a combined question
find the equation of the line if m=3, and b=-2
Ashley Reply
graph the following linear equation using intercepts method. 2x+y=4
ok, one moment
how do I post your graph for you?
it won't let me send an image?
also for the first one... y=mx+b so.... y=3x-2
y=mx+b you were already given the 'm' and 'b'. so.. y=3x-2
Please were did you get y=mx+b from
y=mx+b is the formula of a straight line. where m = the slope & b = where the line crosses the y-axis. In this case, being that the "m" and "b", are given, all you have to do is plug them into the formula to complete the equation.
thanks Tommy
0=3x-2 2=3x x=3/2 then . y=3/2X-2 I think
co ordinates for x x=0,(-2,0) x=1,(1,1) x=2,(2,4)
"7"has an open circle and "10"has a filled in circle who can I have a set builder notation
Fiston Reply
Where do the rays point?
x=-b+_Гb2-(4ac) ______________ 2a
Ahlicia Reply
I've run into this: x = r*cos(angle1 + angle2) Which expands to: x = r(cos(angle1)*cos(angle2) - sin(angle1)*sin(angle2)) The r value confuses me here, because distributing it makes: (r*cos(angle2))(cos(angle1) - (r*sin(angle2))(sin(angle1)) How does this make sense? Why does the r distribute once
Carlos Reply
so good
this is an identity when 2 adding two angles within a cosine. it's called the cosine sum formula. there is also a different formula when cosine has an angle minus another angle it's called the sum and difference formulas and they are under any list of trig identities
strategies to form the general term
consider r(a+b) = ra + rb. The a and b are the trig identity.
How can you tell what type of parent function a graph is ?
Mary Reply
generally by how the graph looks and understanding what the base parent functions look like and perform on a graph
if you have a graphed line, you can have an idea by how the directions of the line turns, i.e. negative, positive, zero
y=x will obviously be a straight line with a zero slope
y=x^2 will have a parabolic line opening to positive infinity on both sides of the y axis vice versa with y=-x^2 you'll have both ends of the parabolic line pointing downward heading to negative infinity on both sides of the y axis
y=x will be a straight line, but it will have a slope of one. Remember, if y=1 then x=1, so for every unit you rise you move over positively one unit. To get a straight line with a slope of 0, set y=1 or any integer.
yes, correction on my end, I meant slope of 1 instead of slope of 0
what is f(x)=
Karim Reply
I don't understand
Typically a function 'f' will take 'x' as input, and produce 'y' as output. As 'f(x)=y'. According to Google, "The range of a function is the complete set of all possible resulting values of the dependent variable (y, usually), after we have substituted the domain."
Sorry, I don't know where the "Â"s came from. They shouldn't be there. Just ignore them. :-)
It is the  that should not be there. It doesn't seem to show if encloses in quotation marks. "Â" or 'Â' ... Â
Now it shows, go figure?
Practice Key Terms 2

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