Quality Factor

Description

In physics and engineering the quality factor or Q factor is a dimensionless parameter that describes how under-damped an oscillator or resonator is, or equivalently, characterizes a resonator’s bandwidth relative to its center frequency. Higher Q indicates a lower rate of energy loss relative to the stored energy of the resonator; the oscillations die out more slowly. A pendulum suspended from a high-quality bearing, oscillating in air, has a high Q, while a pendulum immersed in oil has a low one. Resonators with high quality factors have low damping so that they ring longer.

Related formulas

Variables

Qquality factor (dimensionless)
τexponential time constant (sec)
ω0angular resonant frequency (1/s)