SAT Subject Physics Practice Question 54: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 54

1. Characteristics of simple harmonic motion include which of the following?

I. The acceleration is constant.

II. The restoring force is proportional to the displacement.

III. The frequency is independent of the amplitude.

A. II only
B. I and II only
C. I and III only
D. II and III only
E. I, II, and III

Correct Answer: D


The acceleration of a simple harmonic oscillator is not constant, since the restoring force—and, consequently, the acceleration—depends on position. Therefore, I is false. However, both II and III are fundamental, defining characteristics of simple harmonic motion.

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