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Suppose that x=A sin(ωt+α), where A(>0), ω and α are constants. This may, for example, give the displacement x of a particle, moving in a straight line, at time t. The particle is thus oscillating about the origin. The constant α is the phase. Two particles oscillating like this with the same amplitude and period (of oscillation) but with different phases are executing the same motion apart from a shift in time.

Subjects: Mathematics.

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