Simple harmonic motion

Knowledge work is a pendulum. Think. Do. Think. Do. You can use other labels – act/reflect, execute/measure – but gravity is the same everywhere.

Oscillation is a natural part of every system, of course, but let’s look closer. Here’s the speed at which a pendulum travels, superimposed on its motion.

(The mathematically-minded will recognise this as the modulus of the first derivative: |d(sin θ)/dθ|, i.e. |cos θ|.)

(The mathematically-minded will recognise this as the modulus of the first derivative: |d(sin θ)/dθ|, i.e. |cos θ|.)

At the point of largest displacement – when you’re deepest in a particular phase – you’re actually at a standstill. Only when swinging from one phase to the other do you reach your top speed.