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INDIANA UNIVERSITY, DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS, P309 LABORATORY
Laboratory #16: Dispersion of Surface Waves
Goal: Investigate how the propagation velocity of surface waves depends on the
wavelength
Equipment: Ripple tank, linear motion device (Central Scientific #36803), function
generator (Global Specialties 2002), audio amplifier, frequency counter (Fluke 1900A),
surface tension torsion balance (White type E2), smallweight set (Ohaus), inch tape.
Mounted at the ceiling: triggerable stroboscopic light source (Pasco SF9211), iris
diaphragm for stroboscope.
(A)
Physics:
In general, a wave is described by a periodic function of position and time. For one
dimensional waves,
u
,
(1)
)
(
0
)
,
(
t
kx
i
e
u
t
x
ω
−
±
=
where
k
is the wave number and
ω
the angular frequency which can also be expressed in
terms of the wavelength (
k
=2
π
/
λ
) or the frequency
f
(
ω
=2
π
f
). The propagation velocity of
the wave is
v=
λ
f
. A medium is called dispersive when
v
is not a constant, but depends on
λ
(or, k).
An example of dispersive wave propagation is a wave on the surface of a layer of
liquid. The depth of the liquid shall be
h
. One can then derive an expression for
v(
λ
)
(see
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 Spring '11
 Urheim

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