8.2 - Oscillation versus Vibration

8.2 - Oscillation versus Vibration
Dale Pond - 02/12/06

Keely distinguished between vibration and oscillation as being two distinctly different types of motion. Few, if any, have recognized or acknowledged this difference in their studies of Keely's work. This point is evident within his Laws wherein, for instance, a law was specified for Corporeal Vibrations and another law for Corporeal Oscillations. The same was done with Vibrating atomic Substances and Oscillating atomic Substances. Furthermore, these two motions are reciprocals of one another. As frequency of vibration increases frequency of oscillation decreases. [See Vibration, Oscillation]


According to Keely's own definitions of these two terms:

"Oscillation is a rhythmically recurring translatory movement." Keely
"Vibration is the rhythmical motion of a body within itself." Keely

As we can see these two definitions are quite different from modern definitions wherein no distinction is made between these two motions and are considered as the same type of motion:

1: the action or state of oscillating
3: a flow of Electricity changing periodically from a maximum to a minimum; especially : a flow periodically changing direction
4: a single swing (as of an oscillating body) from one extreme limit to the other. (Meriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary)

Vibration The act of moving to and fro. (Compendium of Noise Engineering - Part I)

Some may claim this distinction is trivial but it is not as the CAUSE of vibration is different from the CAUSE of oscillation and their motions are different. Hence EFFECTS of these CAUSES results in different complex manifestations or motions; i.e., vibration or oscillation.

For instance, a simple illustration is a child on a swing. The swinging back and forth (translation or "rhythmically recurring translatory movement" from one position to another) is rightfully termed an oscillation. At the same time the child's heart is vibrating within the oscillating body. The heart may also be considered to be oscillating along with, the same as, sympathetically or concurrently with the oscillations of the body as a whole. But the swinging motion is NOT a vibration. If the swinging were to stop the oscillation of the body would cease but the vibration of the heart would continue.

In this case vibration and oscillation are not coupled or locked together. In another example, that of a violin, they would be coupled. As a string is caused to oscillate the body of the violin vibrates correspondingly. Another example of coupled motions is that of planets orbiting (oscillating) around the Sun while rotating (vibrating) on their axis.

Below are Keely's Laws that clearly show this distinction:

Law of Corporeal Vibrations
"All coherent aggregates when isolated from like bodies, or when immersed or confined in media composed of matter in a different state, vibrate at a given ascertainable pitch." Keely

Law of Corporeal Oscillations
"All coherent aggregates not isolated from like bodies, oscillate at a period-frequency varying with the tensions that augment and diminish the state of equilibrium." Keely

Law of Harmonic Vibrations
"All coherent aggregates are perpetually vibrating at a period-frequency corresponding to some harmonic ratio of the fundamental pitch of the vibrating body; this pitch is a multiple of the pitch of the atomole." Keely

Law of Sympathetic Oscillation
"Coherent aggregates immersed in a medium pulsating at their natural pitch simultaneously oscillate with the same frequency, whether the pitch of the medium be a unison, or any harmonic of the fundamental pitch of the creative aggregate." Keely

Law of Oscillating atomic Substances
"Coherent atomic substances are capable of oscillating at a pitch varying directly as the density, and inversely as the linear dimensions from one period of frequency per unit of time to the 21st octave above, producing the creative force of Sonity, whose transmissive force (Sound) is propagated through the media of solids, liquids, and gases, and whose static effect (Sonism) produces attractions and repulsions between sympathetically vibrating bodies according to the ((Law of Harmonic Attraction and Repulsion))." Keely

Law of Vibrating Atomolic Substances
"Atoms are capable of vibrating within themselves at a pitch inversely as the Dyne (the local coefficient of Gravity), and as the atomic volume, directly as the atomic weight, producing the creative force (Electricity), whose transmissive force is propagated through atomolic solids, liquids, and gases, producing induction and the static effect of magnetism upon other atoms of attraction or repulsion, according to the Law of Harmonic Attraction and Repulsion.

Scholium: The phenomenon of Dynamic Electricity through a metallic conductor and of induction are identical. In a metallic conductor, the transmission is from atom to atom, through homologous interstices, filled with ether, presenting small areas in close proximity. In crystalline structures, heat, which expands the atoms, by twisting them produces striae, increases the resistance, etc. Between parallel wires and through air the induction takes place from large areas through a rarefied medium composed of a mixture of substances, whose atoms are separated by waves of repulsion of various pitches, discordant to electric vibrations; the said atoms sympathetically absorb the vibrations and dissipate from themselves, as centers, concentric waves of electric energy which produces heat and gravism." Keely

Effects from Oscillation (water dissociated by oscillation)

"In one experiment in liberating ozone by molecular percussion, including luminosity, a percussive molecular force of 110,000 lbs. per square inch was registered on the testing lever. This enormous pressure caused the heavy steel parts to so bend and bulge that the instrument was at that time unfitted for further experiments and had to be repaired.

"The Etheric vapor from the liberator registers 20,000 lbs. per square inch when the rotary atomic oscillation is 1333 1/3 times the normal diameter of the atmospheric molecule. At

20,000 lbs. when the range is 1333 1/3 x normal diameter of atmospheric molecule
10,000 lbs. when the range is 666 2/3 x normal diameter of atmospheric molecule
5,000 lbs. when the range is 333 1/3 x normal diameter of atmospheric molecule
2,500 lbs. when the range is 166 2/3 x normal diameter of atmospheric molecule
1,250 lbs. when the range is 83 1/3 x normal diameter of atmospheric molecule
625 lbs. when the range is 41 2/3 x normal diameter of atmospheric molecule

being normal at the commencement of the experiment, in other words, with no Vacuum or pressure in the sphere." The Snell Manuscript

See Also

12.38 - Orbital revolution
25 circles of oscillations
8.2 - Oscillation versus Vibration
8.20 - Law of Sympathetic Oscillation
9.23 - Circular Harmonic Orbit
9.24 - Elliptical Enharmonic Orbit
9.26 - Orbital Phases
Angular Momentum coupling
Center of Oscillation
Connecting Link
Differential Oscillation
Figure 13.01a - Countless Spinning Stars about their common Neutral Center
Figure 9.11 - Compression Wave with expanded and contracted Orbits
Fraunhofer Lines
half integer spin
Law of Oscillating Atomic Substances
Law of Variation of Atomic Oscillation by Sono-thermism
Law of Variation of Pitch of Atomic Oscillation by Pressure
laws of oscillatory and vibratory motions
molecular oscillation
oscillating proximately
oscillating range of motion
oscillatory motion
Pendulum Oscillation
Proximate Oscillation
Quantum coupling
Ramsay - PLATE IV - Oscillation and Vibration
Ramsay - PLATE V - Proximate and Differential Oscillations
Ramsay - The New Way of Reckoning a Pendulum Oscillation
Rotation and Revolution are Reciprocals
Rotational-vibrational coupling
Rovibrational coupling
rovibronic coupling
Sympathetic Oscillation
Sympathetic Vibration
Table 13.02 - Vibratory and Oscillatory Triple Force Functions
Vibronic coupling

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Wednesday September 14, 2022 05:44:24 MDT by Dale Pond.