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CHAPTER 13

Waves

© 2013 Marshall Cavendish International (Singapore) Private Limited


Chapter 13 Waves

13.1 Introducing Waves


13.2 Properties of Wave Motion
13.1 Introducing Waves

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this section, you should be able to:
• describe wave motion using vibrations in ropes
and springs, or waves in a ripple tank;
• show an understanding that waves transfer energy
without the transfer of matter;
• state the differences and similarities between a
transverse wave and a longitudinal wave, and
provide appropriate examples of each.
13.1 Introducing Waves

Have you participated in a Kallang wave?

URL

The wave moves around the stadium, but the people


do not. How do people move in a Kallang wave?
13.1 Introducing Waves

What is a Wave?
• A wave is a disturbance that transfers energy from
one place to another.
• It is made up of periodic motion.
– Periodic motion is motion
repeated at regular intervals.
– The swinging motion of a
pendulum is periodic.
– It moves from A to B, and back
to A at regular intervals.
– When it moves from A to B and
back to A, it completes an
oscillation.
13.1 Introducing Waves

Waves in a Rope
• Kinetic energy from the moving
hand is transferred to the rope.
• This forms a rope wave (a wave
that travels within the rope).
• The rope wave moves from the
hand to the wall (left to right).
• As the wave moves through the
rope, from left to right, the rope
particles (P and Q) move up
and down, about their rest
positions.
• Eventually, the kinetic energy is
transferred from the hand to the
wall.
13.1 Introducing Waves

Waves in a Ripple Tank

• Kinetic energy from the


dipper is transferred to the
water.
• This forms a water wave (i.e. a
water ripple).
• The water wave moves
outwards from the dipper.
• In other words, the kinetic
energy gets transferred from
the dipper to the edges of the
ripple tank.
• The water particles move up
and down, about their rest
positions.
13.1 Introducing Waves

In summary,

• The source of a wave is a vibration or an


oscillation.
• Waves transfer energy from one point to
another.
• Waves transfer energy without transferring
the medium.
13.1 Introducing Waves

Waves in a Spring
If we move the spring in a left-to-right motion…

(top view)

we will observe that the individual spring coils move


perpendicular to the direction of the wave.
13.1 Introducing Waves

Waves in a Spring
If we move the spring in a push-and-pull motion…

we will observe that the individual spring coils move


parallel to the direction of the wave.
13.1 Introducing Waves

Types of Wave Motion


As was seen with the slinky spring, there are two
types of waves:
• Transverse waves
• Longitudinal waves

How do transverse waves differ


from longitudinal waves?
13.1 Introducing Waves

Transverse Waves

• The coils move up and down,


while the wave moves from
left to right.
• The movement of the coils is
perpendicular to the wave
motion.

Transverse waves are waves


that travel perpendicular to
the direction of the medium’s
particle vibration.
13.1 Introducing Waves

Longitudinal Waves

• The coils move left and right,


while the wave moves from
left to right.
• The movement of the coils is
parallel to the wave motion.

Longitudinal waves are


waves that travel parallel to
the direction of the medium’s
particle vibration.
13.1 Introducing Waves

Question
Describe and explain the motion of the
Styrofoam balls (if any) when the rod is dipped
quickly into the water and then removed.

rod

Styrofoam balls
water
13.1 Introducing Waves

Question
Is the wave formed transverse or longitudinal?

rod Styrofoam balls

water
Chapter 13 Waves

13.1 Introducing Waves


13.2 Properties of Wave Motion
13.2 Properties of Wave Motion

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this section, you should be able to:
• define, with reference to waves, the terms
speed, frequency, wavelength, period,
amplitude and wavefront;
• recall and apply the relationship
velocity = frequency × wavelength to solve
related problems.
13.2 Properties of Wave Motion

Describing Waves
Crests
The highest points of a transverse wave
Troughs
The lowest points of a transverse wave

Question
Which points on the P S V
wave are crests
and which points
are troughs? Q T

R U
13.2 Properties of Wave Motion

Describing Waves
The amplitude A of a wave is the maximum possible
displacement of a point from its rest position.

P S V

amplitude
(height of crest)
Q T

amplitude
(depth of trough)

R U
13.2 Properties of Wave Motion

Describing Waves
Points along a wave are in phase if they have the same
• direction;
• speed;
• displacement from their rest positions.

Question
P S V
Which points on the
wave are in phase?
Q T

R U
13.2 Properties of Wave Motion

Describing Waves
The wavelength λ of a wave is the shortest distance
between any two points in phase.

P wavelength S V

Q T
wavelength

wavelength
R U
13.2 Properties of Wave Motion

Displacement–distance Graph
The transverse rope wave can be represented using a
displacement–distance graph.
P S V

Q T

R U

• The blue dots represent the


ribbons P, Q, R, S, T, U and V.
• The arrows show the direction
of motion of the rope at Q and T.
13.2 Properties of Wave Motion

Displacement–distance Graph

• A displacement–distance graph describes the


displacements of all the particles at a particular point in
time.
• Points above the rest positions are shown as positive
displacements.
• Points below the rest positions are shown as negative
13.2 Properties of Wave Motion

Displacement–time Graph
The transverse rope wave can also be represented
using a displacement–time graph.

We do this by tracking the displacement of one


particle, say ribbon Q, over a period of time.

P S V

Q T

R U
13.2 Properties of Wave Motion

Displacement–time Graph
Using the information gathered, we
can then plot the displacement of
ribbon Q over a period of time.

URL
13.2 Properties of Wave Motion

Describing Waves
The period T of a wave is the time taken to
produce one complete wave.
The SI unit of period is the second (s).

The frequency f of a wave is the number of


complete waves produced per second.

1
f=
T
The SI unit of frequency is the hertz (Hz).
13.2 Properties of Wave Motion

Describing Waves
Wave speed v is the distance travelled by a
wave per second.

The SI unit of wave speed is the metre per second


(m s–1).

Since a point on a wave travels a distance of one


wavelength in one period, wave speed is given by:
λ
v=
T
v = fλ
13.2 Properties of Wave Motion

Describing Waves
A wavefront is an imaginary line on a wave
that joins all adjacent points that are in phase.

A straight dipper produces plane


wavefronts, while a spherical dipper
produces circular wavefronts.
13.2 Properties of Wave Motion

Worked Example
A wave in a string is travelling to the right at 2 m s–1.
The diagram below shows its displacement–distance
graph at t = 0 s.
Displacement/m
P

Q
Distance/m
2 4 6 8

(a) Sketch the graph to show how the wave will


appear at t = 3 s.
(b) Draw and label the position of P and Q at t = 3 s.
13.2 Properties of Wave Motion

Solution
x/m
P

t=0s Q
d/m
2 4 6 8

x/m

P
t=3s d/m
Q
13.2 Properties of Wave Motion

Worked Example
A transverse wave is travelling to the right at 2 m s–1.
The diagram below is its displacement–distance graph
at t = 0 s.
Displacement/m
P

Q
Distance/m
2 4 6 8

Plot a graph to show how the displacements of


particles P and Q vary with time.
13.2 Properties of Wave Motion

Solution

Displacement/m
P

Q Time/s
1 2 3 4
Chapter 13 Waves

Waves

Types of waves Characteristics Quantities/Terms Graphs

• Transverse • Transfer • Amplitude (A) • Displacement–


• Longitudinal energy • Wavelength (λ) distance graph
• Do not • Period (T) • Displacement–
transfer • Frequency (f) time graph
matter • Wave speed
(v = fλ)
• Wavefront
Chapter 13 Waves

The URLs are valid as at 15 October 2012.

Acknowledgements
(slides 1−34) water ripples © Epickitemag | Dreamstime.com
(slide 6) rope waves © Marshall Cavendish International
(Singapore) Private Limited
(slide 9) waves in a spring © Marshall Cavendish
International (Singapore) Private Limited
(slide 10) waves in a spring © Marshall Cavendish
International (Singapore) Private Limited
(slides 18, 19, rope wave © Marshall Cavendish
20, 21, 22, 24) International (Singapore) Private Limited