Chapter 5

Shock and Vibration – Theory and Practice

“If the assumptions are wrong, the conclusions aren't likely to be very good”.

Robert E. Machol

5.1 Overview

Of all the effects of environmental stresses to which electronic equipment may be exposed, shock and vibration are arguably the least well understood. Sources of shock and vibration energy have changed with the evolution of more advanced forms of handling, transportation and operational use over the last century. Attempts to simulate real-life sources of shock and vibration energy have resulted in the design of sophisticated laboratory test and measurement systems. Pusey [1] points out in an interesting paper that the study of dynamics began not just 60 years ago but as early as 1579 when a young medical student at Pisa was worshipping in the cathedral. The noise of an oscillating chain, caused by the filling of an oil lamp, distracted the student from his devotion. He observed that the swinging lamp was oscillating at a constant period in spite of the fact that the amplitude of oscillation was diminishing, and later conducted experiments that verified the rhythmic principle of nature that is applied today in the counting of the human pulse, the measurement of time using a clock, the eclipse of the sun and the movement of the planets. The young man was Galileo the founder of the science of kinematics.

The most significant contribution to the development of shock and vibration test and measurement technology was the development ...

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