Simple Harmonic Motion and Circular Motion

Compare the motion of these two balls.

animation of circular motion

Uniform Circular Motion (radius A, angular velocity \(\omega\))

Simple Harmonic Motion (amplitude A, angular frequency \(\omega\))

Simple harmonic motion can be visualized as the projection of uniform circular motion onto one axis.

The phase angle \(\omega t\) in SHM corresponds to the real angle \(\omega t\) through which the ball has moved in circular motion.