Combination Oscillations

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Combination Oscillations


oscillations that arise when a nonlinear system is acted on by two or more harmonic oscillations with different frequency components. The frequencies of combination oscillations are expressed as the sum or difference of the frequencies of each pair of oscillations acting on the system or of their components.

In the simplest case, when two oscillations with frequencies v1 and v2 act on the system, the spectrum of forced oscillations contains components with frequencies v = n1v1 ± n2v2, where n1 and n2 are integers. The occurrence of combination oscillation underlies most frequency conversion methods—modulation, detection, and the production of an intermediate frequency. Combination oscillations may also arise in a linear system if one of its parameters changes periodically. In this case, combination oscillations with a frequency corresponding to a linear combination of two frequencies—the acting frequency and the frequency of the change in parameter— may occur even under the influence of one harmonic oscillation. This is precisely the mechanism of combination light scattering and of the parametric excitation and amplification of electric oscillations.


Gorelik, G. S. Kolebaniia i volny, 2nd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1959.
Kharkevich, A. A. Nelineinye i parametricheskie iavleniia v radiotekhnike. Moscow, 1956.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.