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TC Neuhs
2/24/08
Lab Section LN Group 2
Standing Waves
Introduction
The main purpose of this lab was to observe standing waves.
In particular, we looked at the
relationship between the tension in the string and the number of antinodes and the frequencies at
which the stationary patterns (standing waves) occurred.
In part one we applied a hanging mass
to one end of the string while the other end was oscillated by a tuning fork.
These masses were
applied until the desired number of antinodes in the string was achieved.
If we observe the
following equations we find that the tension is
T =
4μf2l2n2
Where μ is the mass of the string, f is the frequency, l is the length of the string, and n is the
number of antinodes.
However, if we also look at Newton’s law
∑ F = ma
We can find that the tension in the string is exactly equal to the mass that we have added.
In
other words, the mass at which the string is oscillating at the desired number of antinodes is the
tension in the string.
In part two of the lab we used a stroboscope to determine the frequencies at
which the standing waves appeared.
This worked by having the stroboscope flashing over the
string while the flashes per minute were varied.
The correct frequencies were found when the
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 Spring '08
 Gallager
 Physics

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