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PHYS1200
PHYSICS II
SPRING 2006
Class 13 Activity: Mechanical Waves
SOLUTION
Before You Start
1.
A general expression for a wave is
y
(
x
,
t
) =
y
m
sin(
kx
±
ϖ
t
).
If a wave is moving to the right
(toward positive
x
), which sign should be used in the above expression?
The negative sign.
If the
negative sign is used, for a point of constant phase, x must increase as t increases. Thus, the wave
moves in the positive x direction.
2.
If the expression for the wave is
y
(
x
,
t
) =
y
m
sin(–
kx
±
ϖ
t
), which sign should be used to describe
a wave that is moving to the left (toward negative
x
)?
The negative sign.
If the negative sign is
used, for a point of constant phase, x must decrease as t increases. Thus, the wave moves in the
negative x direction.
3.
Which (if any) of the following parameters of the above wave will change as the wave moves:
amplitude
y
m
, shape (sinusoidal), wavelength
λ
, or speed
v
?
None of them will change.
Taking Data
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 Spring '06
 Stoler
 Physics, Frequency, Hertz, Wavelength

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