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Peter

Your analogy of resonance is appropriate.

Resonance in chemistry usually refers to a molecule whose structure seems to
be able to fit more than one description.  It normally refers to the
location of single, double and/or triple bonds within the molecule but also
can refer to "charge" location. The diagram which we humans use to diagram
molecules can take more than one form for that molecule and we "say" it
"resonates" between them.  Actually it does no such thing it is of one form
but that form cannot be diagramed using the rules we have for diagramming
molecules.

Furthering your analogy, "resonance" in a molecule accords that molecule a
stability it would not otherwise have.

A molecule can also vibrate as the water molecule does with the hydrogens
bending back and forth about the Oxygen. This quality is what your microwave
oven exploits to heat your tea water.  Vibration in a molecule is not
resonance.

To be totally pedantic subatomic particles do not resonate. 

Rick Seddon
Portales, NM