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# Cushioning and damping

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I often have difficulty understanding the difference between these two possible translations for "Dämpfung" and would like to get it straight in my mind. Are there any technically-minded people out there who can help me out?

Thanks!
AuthorNic20 Sep 05, 16:41
Comment I'm not going to answer this this evening because I'm about to go home, but if you would like a nice technical answer tomorrow, it would help if you could tell me whether you are familiar with basic calculus (specifically, second-order linear differential equations).
Comment I am not technically minded. But I think: cushioning = abfedern (derived from the thing (*s.a.*) that actually reduces impact)damping = dämpfend (also in metaphorical sense, as in sounds, etc.)
Comment Thanks to both of you. Oh dear, Joe W, I'm afraid I'm not at all familiar with such things. Had maths to O-level and have since managed to forget most of that ;-). Could you perhaps give me an idea of contexts where cushioning would be used as opposed to dampening and vice versa? Have a nice evening!
Comment One common example would be a car: A car has springs to cushion the shock of hitting a pothole, but the schock absorbers dampen the bouncing of the car. Without the dampening effect of the shock absorbers, the car would continue to bounce up and down on the springs for a long time.
Comment OK. So you don't want a really really technical answer, so I'll do what I can without the maths.1. Dampening: making something slightly wet, not to be confused with damping!2. Cushioning: preventing bumps, clonks and jerks by means of a cushion or something similar.3. Damping: reducing the amplitude of an oscillatory phenomenon so as to reduce the tendency to oscillate (typically by taking energy out of the system).4. Attenuation: the reduction in strength of a signal due to damping. (This is also simply called "Dämpfung" in German.)That's a brief overview as I see it. I'll be happy to enlarge on anything you would like clarified, or engage in debate if anyone thinks I could have put things better.
Comment @all, Thank you very much - it's a lot clearer now!

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