Lesson 5.2a Wave Motion

Lesson 5.2a Wave Motion - Wave Motion If you tie one end of...

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Wave Motion If you tie one end of a rope to a support, stretch it pulling on the free end and give it a sudden upward jerk, what do you observe? Advancing pulse reflected pulse You see a pulse moving along the length of the rope. When the pulse reaches the support, it gets reflected and travels in the opposite direction. The jerk sets the segment of the string closes to your finger in an up and down vibration. 1
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Advancing pulse reflected pulse The energy of the jerk gets passed on from segment to segment due to the elastic properties of the string. The rope segments do not move along the rope. The segments simply vibrate up and down. The energy of vibration travels the length of the rope. Each segment of the rope is set into vibration a little later than the previous segment. The vibration of each segment of the rope is similar to the SHM of a loaded spring. 2
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When a pebble is dropped into a pond of water the pebble sets the molecules of water into SHM just as the oscillations of a loaded spring. As the energy reaches each molecule a little later than the previous one, the displacements of the molecules will be different in time. It is this progressive phase difference that gives rise to the wave profile. Each subsequent molecule will be in a slightly different phase of vibration than the previous one. 3
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Using this concept we can define wave motion as kind of energy transfer in a medium due to the vibration of the particles of the medium without the particles themselves moving away from their positions.
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Lesson 5.2a Wave Motion - Wave Motion If you tie one end of...

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