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In solid mechanics, in the field of rotordynamics, the critical speed is the theoretical angular velocity that excites the natural frequency of a rotating object, such as a shaft, propeller, leadscrew, or gear. As the speed of rotation approaches the object's natural frequency, the object begins to resonate, which dramatically increases system vibration. The resulting resonance occurs regardless of orientation. When the rotational speed is equal to the numerical value of the natural vibration, then that speed is referred to as critical speed. In solid mechanics, in the field of rotordynamics, the critical speed is the theoretical angular velocity that excites the natural frequency of a rotating object, such as a shaft, propeller, leadscrew, or gear. As the speed of rotation approaches the object's natural frequency, the object begins to resonate, which dramatically increases system vibration. The resulting resonance occurs regardless of orientation. When the rotational speed is equal to the numerical value of the natural vibration, then that speed is referred to as critical speed.

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