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Physics First

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POGIL: Waves When we link two oscillating objects together, the oscillation of the first can be passed on to the second. If we connect many of these oscillators together, the oscillation of the first will be passed to each of the others in succession. We call this a wave. We can think of waves as a way of transmitting oscillations across space. In this POGIL we will familiarize ourselves with the terms we use to describe waves. Transverse Waves The picture below shows some transverse waves on a slinky, with various parts labeled. The waves are initiated by the hand and travel to the right.

amplitude

crest

wavelength

trough

The following terms are used to describe time-based characteristics of the wave. Period: the time it takes for one wave to pass by a point Frequency: the number of waves that pass by a point per unit of time Wave speed: how far the wave moves per unit of time

1. Study the diagram of the transverse wave below, traveling to the right. An observer standing at point P notes that 5 waves pass by in 10 s.

4m

3m

(a) Label each crest on the diagram with a C and each trough with a T. (b) What is the amplitude of the wave?

(c) What is the wavelength of the wave?

(d) What is the period of the wave?

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(e) What is the frequency of the wave?

(f) How far do the waves travel in 10 s? (Hint: Note that 5 waves pass by in 10 seconds. Think about how long this distance is.)

(g) What is the speed of the wave?

Longitudinal Waves The picture below shows some longitudinal waves on a slinky, with various parts labeled. The waves are initiated by the hand and travel to the right.

compression

rarefaction

wavelength
Most of the terms we use to describe transverse waves apply to longitudinal waves as well; period, frequency, and wave speed have the same definitions. 2. Study the diagram of the longitudinal wave below. As it is travels to the right, an observer at point P notes that it takes 0.5 s for one wave to pass by.

3m

P
(a) On the diagram, label each compression with a C and each rarefaction with an R. (b) What is the wavelength of the wave?

(c) What is the period of the wave?

(d) What is the frequency of the wave?

(e) How far does the wave travel in 0.5 s?

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(f) How far does the wave travel in 2 s?

(g) What is the speed of the wave?

3. What is the difference between period and frequency?

4. What is the difference between wave speed and wave frequency?

5. Show that, for the waves in questions 1 and 2, the wave speed equals the frequency times the wavelength.

Problem Solving 6. The diagram below shows a wave and some of its physical characteristics. The speed of the wave is 3 m/s.

0.5 m

9m

(a) What kind of wave is this? Explain your answer.

(b) What is the wavelength of the wave?

(c) What is the amplitude of the wave?

(d) How far does the wave travel in: i. 1 s?

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ii. 2 s?

iii. 6 s?

(e) How many waves will pass by an observer in: i. 1 s?

ii. 2 s?

iii. 6 s?

(f) What is the period of the wave?

(g) What is the frequency of the wave?