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Coupled Air Track Gliders


To demonstrate coupled oscillations and normal modes in a system of two identical coupled air track gliders.


Air track with four gliders and three soft springs.

Setup Time

5 min.




Two moveable air track gliders are connected by three springs to fixed gliders (at each end). Pushing one of the gliders causes motion which rapidly couples back and forth between the two gliders. The two normal modes can be excited by giving the two gliders the same displacements, either (1) in phase, or (2) out of phase, before releasing them from rest simultaneously.


Novel Experiments in Physics: Coupled Linear Oscillator, University of Minnesota - Duluth. Franklin Miller, Jr., A Laboratory Experiment With Coupled Linear Oscillators, AJP 20, 23-25, (1952).

G. Vibrations And Mechanical Waves

G. Vibrations And Mechanical Waves

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