A system with damping is much more difficult to model than an undamped system. In particular, the effect of damping on a multi-degree-of-freedom system is not a straightforward extension of the damping found in a single-degree-of-freedom system. The complications of a multi-degree-of-freedom system are first examined by investigating the acoustic modes of a pipe with energy leaking from the boundaries. This system can be modelled exactly and identifies the complexities that need to be understood. Although this is a linear system it is found that in contradistinction to an undamped system it cannot be separated into individual modes of vibration. Modes which bear some similarity to undamped modes can be found but these are always coupled by damping effects which, to add more complications, may involve some modes being active and supplying energy to other modes. The original acoustic system is simplified to systems of finite and eventually two-degrees-of-freedom in an effort to understand the effects of damping. It is found that when damping is added to a system some damping ratios may decrease moving the system into an unfavourable state. Overall some general properties of damping, for example, the constancy of average damping, are deduced.

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