The word resonance has Latin origin, which in English means ‘to sound’ to produce sound when a body produce sound which vibrates with the same sound wave length of another object.

What is Resonance?

The definition of Resonance in physics is a phenomenon in which an external force or a vibrating system forces another system around it to vibrate with greater amplitude at a specified frequency of operation. The frequency at which the second body starts oscillating or vibrating at higher amplitude is called the resonant frequency of the body. The best examples of resonance can be observed in various musical instruments around us.

Whenever any person hits, strikes, strums, drums or tweaks any musical instrument, the instrument is set into oscillation or vibration at the natural frequency of vibration of the instrument. A unique standing wave pattern defines each frequency of vibration as specific instrument. These natural frequencies of a musical instrument are known widely as the harmonics of the specified instrument. If a second interconnected object or instrument vibrates or oscillates at that specified frequency then the first object can be forced to vibrate at a frequency higher that its natural harmonic frequency. This phenomenon is known as resonance i.e. one object vibrating or oscillating at the natural frequency of another object forces the other object to vibrate at a frequency higher than its natural frequency.

Example of Resonance

A classic example of resonance is the swinging of a person sitting on a swing. A swing is a very good example of an object in oscillating motion. Initially the motion is slow and the swing doesn’t extend to its maximum potential. But once when the swing reaches its natural frequency of oscillation, a gentle push to the swing helps it maintain that amplitude of swing all throughout due to resonance.

In an ideal situation, with no friction at all, even that slight push won’t be necessary once the swing reaches its natural frequency for it to sustain the maximum amplitude forever. Also almost all musical instruments, like the flute, guitar etc work on the principle of resonance itself.

Read more about sound resonance and parallel resonance and learn how it is valid in practical life only through BYJU’S engaging videos.

Practise This Question

A resistance of 10 Ω capacitance of 0.1μF and an inductance of 2mH are connected in series across  source of alternating emf of variable frequency. At that frequency does maximum current flow?