Observing Wave Pulses Essay

1113 words - 4 pages

OBSERVING WAVE PULSES - EXPERIMENT 15PART 1 - Transverse Wave PulsesQ1 - As the pulse travels down through the spring, its, size and amplitude is reduced - the sizes of the waves are much smaller as the forces become weaker (losing energy) as the distance from the point of initiation is increased.Q2 - Pulses do not 'catch up' with one another in transverse waves. They either meet at a certain point momentarily or pass through each other and continue on their way as if nothing has happened.Q3 - As the tension of a spring is increased, the speed of the pulse is also increased meaning that the pulse will travel through the spring quicker if the spring is held more taut. A tighter spring also may also decrease the amplitude (dependent of the force).Q4 - When a pulse reaches a fixed end, the wave is reflected or bounced back on the opposite side to which it came down on, so if it travelled down on the left-hand side, it would go back on the right-hand side (starting with a crest would mean returning with a trough).Q5 - When a pulse is sent down from both sides of the spring, a single large crest is produced momentarily (the 'component' waves' amplitudes are added together). Superposition only occurs if the two waves have identical wavelengths as well as having the same phase (their crests and troughs are perfectly aligned). The wave created will have twice the normal amplitude of the component wave. Once this state is achieved, the wave will 'dissolve' and the component waves will re-appear but travelling, this time in the opposite direction to which they came. If one pulse is sent down the spring and as it is reflected from the fixed end a second pulse is sent, the results will vary greatly from the ones obtained when a pulse is simultaneously sent from both ends of a spring. The results are critically dependent the relative phases of the two waves.Q6 - By oscillating the spring from side to side at a higher frequency, the number of waves increase as well as the amplitude while the wavelength will decrease as there are moves waves to be accounted for. On the other hand, if the spring is consistently producing lower frequency waves, there will be less waves with smaller amplitudes. Because there will be less waves (lower frequency,) the wavelengths will be greater.Q7 - When a series of wave pulses are sent through a medium and then reflected back upon themselves which is when one end of a spring is moved up and down while the other end is fixed - standing wave occur. These distinctive waveforms have places where the medium does not vibrate at all (nodes) and other places where the medium vibrates the most (anti-nodes). Standing waves form as a combination of two waves moving in opposite directions with the same amplitude and frequency. The phenomenon is the result of interference (and reflection) which is when waves are superimposed, and their energies are either added together or cancelled out. In such a wave, the reflected waves interfere...

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