By Jordan G. Brankov

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By means of further collisions, this energy is gradually distributed among the surrounding molecules. The net result is to retard the incoming particle, and to increase the average energy of the molecules in the medium. This increased energy appears macroscopically as heat, and results in a rise in the temperature of the medium. 3): T˙ = F x. 25) where is called the work done by the force F in the inﬁnitesimal displacement dx. ) The work is therefore a measure of the amount of energy converted to kinetic energy from other forms, and the rate P of doing work (the power ) is deﬁned as F x.

In a real mechanical system, there is usually some loss of mechanical (kinetic or potential) energy to heat or other forms. Correspondingly, there will be dissipative forces acting on the system. 2 that a particle near a position of stable equilibrium under a conservative force may always be treated approximately as a simple harmonic oscillator. If there is energy loss, we must include in the equation of motion a force depending on the velocity. So long as we are concerned only with small displacements from the equilibrium position, we may treat both x and x˙ as small quantities, and neglect x2 , xx˙ and x˙ 2 in comparison.

52), in which the interval between tr and tr+1 is ∆t and Ir = F (tr )∆t. The approximation will improve as ∆t is reduced, and become exact in the limit ∆t → 0. 52) goes over into an integral, and we ﬁnally obtain t x(t) = t0 G(t − t )F (t ) dt + transient. 54) The lower limit t0 is the initial time at which the initial conditions determining the arbitrary constants in the transient term are to be imposed. The upper limit may be taken to be t because G(t − t ) vanishes for t > t. 54) is very useful in practice, because it is an explicit solution requiring the evaluation of only one integral.