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Question:
What is a sinusoidal curve? What is a physical example of something that would produce this curve?



Replies:
A sinusoidal curve is the graph of the sine function in trigonometry. A physical example is as follows: Set a pen on the bob of a pendulum that is quite long. Make sure the pen just touches paper just below it. Start the pendulum with a gentle, small motion. Pull the paper horizontally at a constant velocity under the paper. The path drawn is a sinusoidal curve.

This can be done in a similar method with a tuning fork, but is more difficult to set up.

---Nathan A. Unterman



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