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Laboratory Manual "Phase Velocity of Ropes Waves"

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Wave length, phase velocity, group velocity, wave equation, 1. With constant tensile stress, the frequency f, which

harmonic wave. depends on the wavelength l of the wave that propagates

itself along the rope. The frequency is plotted as a function

Principle of 1/l. From this graph, the phase velocity c is determined.

A quadrangular rubber rope is inserted through the demon- 2. The phase velocity c of the rope waves, which depends on

stration motor and a linear polarised fixed wave is generated. the tensile stress on the rope is to be measured. The quad-

With the help of a stroboscope, the frequency and the wave rant of the phase velocity is plotted as a function of tensile

length are determined. Then the phase velocity of rope waves stress.

with a fixed tensile stress is ascertained. Subsequently, the

mathematical relationship between the phase velocity of the Set-up and procedure

rope and the tensile on the rope is examined.

The experimental set-up is done as per Fig. 1. A 3 to 6 meters

long rubber rope is tied to one end of a cotton cord of approx.

Equipment 40 cm length. The joint is reinforced by wrapping a silk thread

Grooved wheel, after Hoffmann 02860.00 1 around it and knotting it. A loop is formed of the other end of

Square section rubber strip, l = 10 m 03989.00 1 the cotton cord and hooked on to the rod. Similarly, a cotton

Laboratory motor, 220 V AC 11030.93 1 cord of approx. 50 – 60 cm length is tied to the other end of the

Gearing 10/1, for 11030.93 11028.00 1 rubber strip. The rope is then slanted slightly, so that it can be

Cotton cord, l = 10m 02091.00 1 observed better, and attached to the 1 m long support rod,

Support base -PASS- 02005.55 1 through the coupling, for measuring the wave velocity. The

Support rod -PASS-, square, l = 250 mm 02025.55 1 rope tension is to be adjusted such that, the rope neither sags

Support rod -PASS-, square, l = 1000 mm 02028.55 1 nor is too taut. The rope is placed over notch 4 of the plastic

Right angle clamp -PASS- 02040.55 3 cylinder, which is fastened to the base plate through the bore

Rod with hook 02051.00 2 hole 2 (linear oscillation initiation; please see operating in-

Pulley, fixed, on rod, dia. 65 mm 02260.00 1 structions). While adjusting the hook on the rod, care is to be

Spring balance 10 N 03060.03 1 taken that the hook lies in the groove plane and is fastened

Bench clamp, -PASS- 02010.00 1 properly. In order to see, that the rope tension does not

Silk thread, 200 m 02412.00 1 change, the direction of rotation of the motor is set in such a

Measuring tape, l = 2 m 09936.00 1 manner that the frictional force of the rotating notch only

Digital stroboscope 21809.93 1 affects the inelastic cotton cord.

PHYWE series of publications • Laboratory Experiments • Physics • © PHYWE SYSTEME GMBH & Co. KG • D-37070 Göttingen 21333-00 1

HSP

1.3.33 Phase velocity of rope waves

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In the first section of the experiment, the dependency of the The tensile stress has to be varied by shifting the support base

wave length M on the excitation frequency f with constant ten- on the table, and also through the shifting of the right angle

sile stress on the quadrangular rubber strip is determined. The clamp on the support rod holding the thread. With constant

frequencies of the rubber strip, varying with the electric motor excitation frequency (measured by a stroboscope approx.

(regulated operating mode) are calculated with the help of a 10 Hz) one can determine the quadrant of the wave propaga-

stroboscope. It is suggested to work in a darkened room, with tion velocity c of the rope wave, as the distance between two

a bright background. The wave length is determined by dou- wave nodes and compared with the tensile stress s acting

bling the distance between two wave knots. upon the rope.

In the second part of the experiment, the dependency of wave

propagation velocity c on the tensile stress s of the rope is

observed. For this purpose, the cotton cord is removed from Theory

the right angle clamp and is fastened to a pulley around the A wave is an oscillation which propagates itself in space and

lower end of the support rod. The tensile stress of the rope is time and usually periodically through matter and space. One

determined with the help of the Dynamometer, for which the can differentiate between transverse and longitudinal waves.

loop of the cotton cord is hooked to the wire eye of the In the case of transverse waves, the oscillation is perpendicu-

Dynamometer. A second right angle clamp is fastened to the lar to the direction of the propagation of the wave. In the case

support rod, in which a rod with a hook is clamped to mount of longitudinal waves, the oscillation and the propagation are

the Dynamometer. It is to be ensured, that during the opera- in the same direction. A simple example of a wave is a har-

tion the rope and its entire length is in one plane. The joint of monic wave, as is represented in Fig. 2. We consider only a

the rubber strip and the cotton cord should always lie at a section of the wave which oscillates with frequency f around

minimum distance of 10 cm from the grooved wheel. To take the rest position. Due to the acting forces, the position of the

into account the weight of the Dynamometer, the zero-point oscillation moves further. In case of a harmonic wave, which

calibration should be carried out in this position. originates from a harmonic oscillation, it moves in a spatial

2 21333-00 PHYWE series of publications • Laboratory Experiments • Physics • © PHYWE SYSTEME GMBH & Co. KG • D-37070 Göttingen

LEP

Phase velocity of rope waves 1.3.33

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Fig. 3: The frequency of a rope wave depending on the recip- But the phase velocity also depends upon the momentary

rocal wave length. position of the medium, her the rope e. g., on the applied rope

tension:

rope. Asthe rope is twisted, an effective perpendicular com-

ponent F D is produced

for that

section from the sum of the

applied tension force F a and F R (s. Fig. 4). It amounts to, that

force and counteracting force are equal, but rotated against

each other about the angular difference dy. The resulting

accelerating force:

[F 0 [= [ F a – F r [ = 2 [ F a [ sin(d2/2) ≈ [ F a [ d2 (3)

(three dimensional) of the deviation to x co-ordinates y"(x)

multiplied by the length of the rope dx when the deviation is

not too much:

[F D [ = [ F a [ y" dx (4)

m = A · dx · S (5)

distance of l to be found again in an identical position of oscil- (A is the cross sectional area of the rope, S the density of

lation (phase). The wave length of the harmonic wave is mass of the material of the rope) is accelerated through the

called l. For traversing this distance, the wave requires the force given in Equation (4) With the smaller deviationthe force

same amount of time as the time required for the oscillation T acts pre-dominantly towards the Y-axis so that

in a single section. The velocity (phase velocity c(l)) deter-

mined on this basis amounts to [ F D [ ≈ Fy = m ÿ = [ F a [ y" dx

l

c lf (1) follows from the second derivation of time. With the rope tension

T T = F/A the so-called wave equation results from (4) and (5):

This equation is valid for all harmonic waves with the above

s

mentioned fundamental principles. y y¿¿ (6)

In this experiment, a periodic wave is produced in the cotton r

thread through the experimental motor, which propogates

along the rubber rope and is reflected back at the support rod. This equation contains the general solution

The wave travelling in both directions, superimpose on each

other, to form a standing wave with wave nodes (area of the y = f (x ± ct)

smaller vibrational amplitudes) and antinodes (area of the lar-

ger vibrational amplitudes). It can be shown that the distance

between wave nodes, equals half the wave length l/2 (please

see Experiment Literature Physics, Transverse waves 1; Cat.

No. 16050.41) A calibration example is represented in Fig. 3,

by which the linear relationship between frequency and the

reciprocal wave length (also called wave number) is evident,

as per the equation 1:

c

f (2)

l

The slope of the straight line is also the phase velocity of the

wave.

ferent wavelengths the additive together (Addition theorem).

As the phase velocity of a harmonic wave is dependent on the

frequency as per rule, the individual harmonic wave quickly

run away (dispersion). The velocity of propogation of a non

harmonic wave (group velocity) is not equated with phase Fig. 4: The relationship of force in a rope wave.

velocity!

PHYWE series of publications • Laboratory Experiments • Physics • © PHYWE SYSTEME GMBH & Co. KG • D-37070 Göttingen 21333-00 3

HSP

1.3.33 Phase velocity of rope waves

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Fig. 5: The square of phase velocity depending upon the force where

F applied on the rope.

s

c (7)

Br

the mass density S of the rope medium and proportional to the

applied rope tension T.

The facts of the latter case, are elucidated from Fig. 5: The

square of the velocity of propogation c and the value of the

tension F are proportional to each other. The decrease in the

cross sectional area A of the rubber strip, on account of the

elongation of the strip is neglected, and the rope tension T of

the applied force F and c are proportional to it. This phenom-

ena is used with tension of chords of pluck instruments, where

through the variation of chord tension over the velocity of

propogation the resonance frequency of the cord is deter-

mined.

4 21333-00 PHYWE series of publications • Laboratory Experiments • Physics • © PHYWE SYSTEME GMBH & Co. KG • D-37070 Göttingen

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