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# STWAVE - ST-WAVE Standing Waves on a String...

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1 Standing Waves on a String ( Students in PHYS 115 and 121 will do this experiment as well as the Standing Waves on a String experiment; Students in PHYS123 will do the CHAOS experiment. ) Learning Objectives: During this lab, you will 1. estimate the uncertainty in a quantity that is calculated from quantities that are uncertain. 2. test a physical law experimentally. A. Introduction We are continually bombarded by waves - radio, television, infrared heat, microwave communication, visible light and sound to name a few. Although these waves appear to be very different from each other, they have many features in common. In this experiment we shall investigate one particu- lar type of mechanical wave, waves that travel on a string. A string can support two different types of mechanical waves; longitudinal waves and transverse waves. Sound waves are longitu- dinal; however, these waves are difficult to observe and measure since the waves depend upon the compression and expansion of ele- ments of the string along its length. Transverse waves are easy to see; the string oscillates perpendicular to its length. You will examine transverse waves to learn about wave propagation. You will not write a report for this lab. Rather, you should fill out a worksheet for this experiment and for the accompanying lab on the velocity of sound and turn both in before you leave. Each lab experiment is set up at a different station; you will switch between the stations halfway through the lab period. B. Apparatus You will use an oscillator, an audio amplifier with a separate power supply, a wave driver based on an audio speaker, string, a pulley, hanger, weight, meter stick and the frequency counter function of a digi- tal multimeter. C. Theory We can represent a sinusoidal wave propagating in the x -direction as ψ ( x,t ) = ψ m sin( kx ± ω t + φ ) (1) ( is the Greek letter “psi” ) where ( x,t ) is the amplitude of the wave, m is the maximum value of the amplitude, k is the wave number , ω is the angular frequency , and is the phase angle of the wave. The wave number k is related to the wavelength λ by k = 2 π / , while the angular frequency is related to the period T of the oscillation by = 2 / T. The phase angle provides

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STWAVE - ST-WAVE Standing Waves on a String...

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