“What is the maximum amplitude of an oscillating system?”
In the physical world, systems can vibrate at different frequencies with different outputs. But when the system achieves maximum vibration at a certain frequency, it is called a resonance. Resonance has large impacts on the design of systems, from constructing electrical circuits to achieve certain characteristics to analyzing vibrational characteristics of bridges
Total Solar Eclipse
“What happens when the moon totally blocks the sun?”
Every so often a very rare phenomenon happens. Under the right conditions, the path of the moon will pass completely in front of the sun and block all of the light, leaving only a glorious image of the Sun’s corona. After many millennia of research, Astronomers and Astrophysicists have termed this occurrence a total solar eclipse. While magnificent, total solar eclipses can also be quite dangerous, since looking directly into it without any protection can lead to permanent eye damage. An interesting consequences of total solar eclipses is that since the sun is absent from the sky, solar energy generation experiences a large drop, which can have devastating power consequences for regions that rely heavily on solar such as California
“What is the reaction to an abrupt change in conditions for a system?”
Complex systems are easily controlled by external forces, such as the flip of a switch. And when these forces do cause change, they can be quite quick and drastic, changing all of the conditions of the system. And since the reaction to such changes can be very quick and drastic as well, engineers and scientists have decided to term these changes as the step responses to the system. An example of a step response includes a mechanical body’s friction to moving forces.
“What process in Thermodynamics holds the pressure and volume to a constant?”
Thermodynamics is known for its intense reliance on processes. Some of the most important types are classified as Polytropic processes. In polytropic processes, the pressure and volume are held to the constant given by the relation pv^n=c, where p is pressure, v is volume, n is the polytropic index, and c is a constant. A process is polytropic if it obeys the ideal gas law and if the heat to energy transfer as work at each infinitesimal step of the process is kept constant
“What described the on and off period for a digital signal?”
Digital signals have only two modes: on and off. And sometimes they cycle through each at a constant period. So how can we describe this phenomenon? Well, after much research, engineers have come up with the concept of a duty cycle. A duty cycle determines for what time periods the signal is on duty and can be quantified by the percentage on vs off (for example, a signal that is active for 3/4ths of the time has a duty cycle of 75%)
“What is the frequency that causes machines to stop working efficiently?”
Many modern electrical machines depend on a frequency for some input. However, sometimes we don’t want it to be accessible to all inputs. To achieve this, we implement something called a cutoff frequency into the system. A cutoff frequency is the frequency point in which a machine’s output will stop working efficiently.
A visualization of reversible vs nonreversible processes
“What exactly is the difference between reversible and non-reversible systems?”
Reversible and non-reversible systems are two of the most fundamental and confusing concepts in thermodynamics. But this visualization should help clarify them. Let’s take a ping pong game. If we are playing without score, then after a round is over, everything goes back to normal with no change in the system, making it reversible. However, if we are keeping score, then after every round the number of points change forever, making this process non-reversible!