Damping is any effect, either deliberately engendered or inherent to a system, that tends to reduce the amplitude of oscillations of an oscillatory system.


In physics and engineering, damping may be mathematically modelled as a force synchronous with the velocity of the object but opposite in direction to it. If such force is also proportional to the velocity, as for a simple mechanical viscous damper (dashpot), the force F may be related to the velocity v by


where c is the viscous damping coefficient, given in units of newton-seconds per meter.

This relationship is perfectly analogous to electrical resistance. See Ohm's law.

This force is an approximation to the friction caused by drag.