Distributed Oscillatory System

Distributed Oscillatory System

 

(also continuous oscillatory system), a physical system in which all its elements have to some extent properties that make them oscillatory, such as mass and elasticity in mechanical systems and inductance and capacitance in electrical systems, that is, a system in which these properties are distributed throughout the entire system. All actual oscillatory systems are distributed systems if their atomic structure is disregarded; this is permissible when a volume having the dimensions of the shortest wave that plays a role in a given problem involving the system’s oscillations contains a sufficiently large number of atoms.

Distributed oscillatory systems have quite a large number of degrees of freedom; as a result, an infinitely large number of normal modes is inherent in them. In some cases, the consideration of a strongly inhomogeneous distributed oscillatory system can be reduced to a limiting case, namely, a discrete system in which only one of the properties of the system is essential in some parts, while another property is essential in others.

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