Active Shock Absorbers

Requires a Wolfram Notebook System

Interact on desktop, mobile and cloud with the free Wolfram CDF Player or other Wolfram Language products.

Requires a Wolfram Notebook System

Edit on desktop, mobile and cloud with any Wolfram Language product.

Active shock absorbers are used in several kinds of machines and vehicles (for example, in a seat, as shown in the graphic). An active shock absorber is basically a damped harmonic oscillator with spring constant for a mass . This technology uses magnetorheological fluids that change their damping factor when a magnetic field is applied. Three different damping functions are considered here.

Contributed by: Enrique Zeleny (January 2013)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



The equation for the system is , where can be chosen according to the application.


[1] P. Blanchard, R. L. Devaney, and G. R. Hall, Differential Equations, 4th ed., Boston: Brooks/Cole, 2012 pp. 454–456.

[2] G. Stix, "Project Skyhook," Scientific American, 284(5) pp. 28–29.

[3] Wikipedia. "Magnetorheological Fluid." (Jan 15, 2012)

Feedback (field required)
Email (field required) Name
Occupation Organization
Note: Your message & contact information may be shared with the author of any specific Demonstration for which you give feedback.