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We are all aware of waves and if asked the question ``What is a wave?'' we would probably reply with an example, probably water waves.

 

Perhaps there may be other examples such as sound waves, light waves, waves on strings etc. However, these are examples and don't give a definition of what a wave actually is. What we can say is that during the wave motion the individual bits of the materials do not move very much, they oscillate about a position of equilibrium. So there is no overall movement of the material but energy is transmitted by the wave.

 

In this workshop we introduce ideas of vibrations (e.g. frequency, wavelength etc) via the simple pendulum and multiple pendula, waves of strings (transverse) and in springs (longitudinal).

 

 

PRIMARY: measure the period of a simple pendulum, qualitative relation between length and period. Travelling and standing waves on strings.

 

SECONDARY: plus Mersenne’s laws, sound waves, waves in pipes, Doppler effect.

 

SIXTH FORM: plus proof of Doppler effect, interference, waves on membranes, waterwaves. Hydraulic jump.

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Copyright Maths Discovery 2015