# 6.4: Applications of Resonance

- Page ID
- 1419

So far, the phenomenon of resonance appears to be a useless curiosity, or at most a nuisance to be avoided (especially if series resonance makes for a short-circuit across our AC voltage source!). However, this is not the case. Resonance is a very valuable property of reactive AC circuits, employed in a variety of applications.

One use for resonance is to establish a condition of stable frequency in circuits designed to produce AC signals. Usually, a parallel (tank) circuit is used for this purpose, with the capacitor and inductor directly connected together, exchanging energy between each other. Just as a pendulum can be used to stabilize the frequency of a clock mechanism’s oscillations, so can a tank circuit be used to stabilize the electrical frequency of an AC *oscillator* circuit. As was noted before, the frequency set by the tank circuit is solely dependent upon the values of L and C, and not on the magnitudes of voltage or current present in the oscillations: (Figure below)

*Resonant circuit serves as stable frequency source.*

Another use for resonance is in applications where the effects of greatly increased or decreased impedance at a particular frequency is desired. A resonant circuit can be used to “block” (present high impedance toward) a frequency or range of frequencies, thus acting as a sort of frequency “filter” to strain certain frequencies out of a mix of others. In fact, these particular circuits are called *filters*, and their design constitutes a discipline of study all by itself: (Figure below)

*Resonant circuit serves as filter.*

In essence, this is how analog radio receiver tuner circuits work to filter, or select, one station frequency out of the mix of different radio station frequency signals intercepted by the antenna.

## REVIEW

- Resonance can be employed to maintain AC circuit oscillations at a constant frequency, just as a pendulum can be used to maintain constant oscillation speed in a timekeeping mechanism.
- Resonance can be exploited for its impedance properties: either dramatically increasing or decreasing impedance for certain frequencies. Circuits designed to screen certain frequencies out of a mix of different frequencies are called
*filters*.