earthquake modeling of vibrations in buildings

7 eigenperiods (in sec):  [9.504, 3.215, 1.987, 1.485, 1.228, 1.087, 1.016]
7 eigenfrequencies (in Hz = cycles per sec): [ .105, .311, .503, .674, .814, .920, .985]
The clock running in this video is almost synchronized with the real time elapsing.

7 story building profile horizontally shaken by earthquake, slowest to fastest mode (longest to shortest period) : left to right
[In the right view, each broken line segment is the profile of the building at maximum amplitude of the natural oscillation, while the left view is the corresponding animation for t = 0..10, about one period of the slowest mode.]
Unfortunately the animated GIF output from Maple does not show enough frames of the fastest mode 7 to make it look like a continuous oscillation, but its frequency is 10 times the slowest mode so the time scales are too far apart to do justice to both simultaneously without more sophisticated graphics handling.

Notice that the mode number is exactly the number of monotonically increasing or decreasing intervals of the horizontal displacement function as a function of the height. Who would have ever discovered this feature without technology being able to deliver this ordered sequence of normal model profiles? Of course it also makes perfect sense. The more adjacent springs oppose each other by oscillating 180 degrees out of phase, the bigger the deviations from equilibrium and the stronger the Hooke's law forces, and for an oscillation, stronger forces mean larger frequency.

For a good reference see Henri Gavin and John Dolbow, Civil and Environmental Engr., Duke University, Durham, NC:

These URL's appear near the beginning of this list of earthquake modeling references:

Some local Maple worksheets for the 7 story (or less) earthquake project: