The forced oscillations of a torsion spring pendulum excited by an external square-wave external torque are discussed. Two different ways of determining the steady-state response of the oscillator are described and compared. The behavior of this familiar mechanical system can help a student better understand why and how a LCR-circuit transfers a square-wave voltage from input to output with a distortion of its shape.

This content is only available via PDF.
AAPT members receive access to the American Journal of Physics and The Physics Teacher as a member benefit. To learn more about this member benefit and becoming an AAPT member, visit the Joining AAPT page.