Astrophysics (index)

Q Factor

(Quality Factor)
(measure of oscillator's damping)

The Q Factor (Quality Factor) is a quality of an oscillator reflecting how damped it is, the higher the Q factor, the less damping and the more the oscillator will resonate. For example, a pendulum's friction lowers its Q factor. The Q factor is defined as:

              Energy Stored
Q = 2π x ————————————————————————————
         Energy dissipated per cycle

In astrophysics, it is a factor in Orbital Resonances, for example.

(resonance,physics,orbits,celestial mechanics)