npsm 새물리 New Physics : Sae Mulli

pISSN 0374-4914 eISSN 2289-0041


Research Paper

New Phys.: Sae Mulli 2020; 70: 871-879

Published online October 30, 2020

Copyright © New Physics: Sae Mulli.

Interactive Simulation of the Motions of a Linear Mass-Spring Chain with VPython

Chang-Bae KIM*, Dong Ryeol LEE, Hee-Sang KIM, in-Seok CHUNG, Myung Ki CHEOUN, Yunsang LEE, Jin-Min KIM, Taehoon LEE, Hangmo YI, Se Young PARK, Nammee KIM, Doris Yangsoo KIM, Hyunhee CHOI

Physics Department and Research Institute for Origin of Matter and Evolution of Galaxies, Soongsil University, Seoul 06978, Korea


Received: June 1, 2020; Revised: August 5, 2020; Accepted: August 21, 2020


A computer program written in the VPython language on the Glow Script platform is developed with a view to aiding the study of vibrations and the waves. It simulates the forced motions of coupled oscillators of arbitrarily large number. Understanding the harmonic oscillations of physical systems underlies the core curriculum of college physics. It normally starts with the simple harmonic oscillation of a single oscillator and, afterwards, adds damping and external harmonic forcing. More than one coupled oscillators are, then, introduced and they give ways for understanding waves in continuous media as the number of oscillators becomes large. The reported product visualizes the motions of coupled oscillators and enhance the comprehension of such concepts as the normal modes of vibration and stationary waves.

Keywords: Physics education, Coupled oscillators, Numerical simulation