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Fsica 11 de secundaria

GENERAL WAVE PROPERTIES

WHAT ARE WAVES?
Waves are moving energy. Light energy moving from the computer screen to your
eye moves as light waves. Sound energy moving from a radio to your ear moves as
sound waves.

Waves can move along ropes, strings or across the surface of water. Some waves
can even travel through space. When waves move along, they make the surface or
object move in regular patterns often called wave disturbances.

The important thing to notice is that no 'matter' is moved with the wave. Water
waves, which move the water particles up and down on the spot don't actually
move any water along with the wave. Only the energy travels along.

Transverse and longitudinal waves

All waves can be put into two groups:

Transverse waves

Longitudinal waves
In transverse waves the particles
vibrate at right angles to the
movement of energy.

In longitudinal waves the particles

vibrate in the same direction as the
movement of energy.

Examples are light waves, water

waves and all electromagnetic waves.
Examples are sound waves and
seismic waves.

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Profesor: Javier Trigoso T.

Fsica 11 de secundaria

WAVE WORDS
To compare waves we need to be able describe their characteristics, these
include:

Amplitude

Wavelength

Time period

Frequency

The amplitude of a wave is the height of the wave from the middle to a peak
or trough. This is often called the maximum displacement of the wave.
(The displacement of a particle is the distance a particle moves from
the centre)

Watch out. Many students make the mistake of measuring from a peak to a
trough that gives double the correct answer.

The wavelength is the length of one complete wave. It can be measured, on

a distance graph, from any point to the next similar point on the
wave. Remember one complete wave includes a peak and a trough.

The time period of a wave is the time it takes for one complete wave.

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Profesor: Javier Trigoso T.

Fsica 11 de secundaria

The frequency of a wave is the number of waves that travels past a

point in one second. Frequency is measured in Hertz (Hz). 1 Hz = 1 wave
per second.

There is a simple relationship between frequency and time period. The lower
the frequency is the longer the time period will be.
Example:

THE WAVE EQUATION

There is a simple relationship between speed, frequency and wavelength.

You must use the correct units for each value

Speed is in metres per second (m/s)
Wavelength is in metres (m)
Frequency is in hertz (Hz).

All waves obey this wave equation. For example, a wave with a frequency of 100 Hz
and a wavelength of 2 m travels at 100 2 = 200 m/s.
1. Make measurements on the
diagrams below to find the speed
of the wave
A. Find the wavelength (in meters)
of the wave in the diagram.
C. Calculate the frequency of the
wave (in cycles/second, or
Hertz).

B. Find the period of the wave in

the diagram below.

D. Calculate the speed of this

wave.
E. Find the wavelength of a wave

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Profesor: Javier Trigoso T.

Fsica 11 de secundaria

that has a frequency of 6 x 1014

Hz (waves of electromagnetic
radiation travel at the speed of
3 x 108 m/s (in a vacuum)).
2. The speed of sound in air is 330
m/s. A note played on an
instrument has a frequency of 110
Hz. What is the wavelength of the
note?
3. The frequency of a water wave is 2
Hz and it has a wavelength of 0.02
m. What is the speed of the wave?
4. Bill counts 5 waves on a pond in 10
s. The distance between them is 80
cm. What is their speed?
5. Lizi reads the back label of her
Microwave oven. It says frequency
= 2,450 MHz. The speed of
microwaves is 3.00108 m/s.
what wavelength are they?
6. Paul plays a note of wavelength 25
cm on his synthesiser.
He knows the speed of sound is
340 m/s in air.
What is its frequency?
7. A sound wave has a wavelength of
0.5 meters and a frequency of 680
Hz. What is the speed of this wave?
8. What is the frequency of a water
wave that has a speed of 0.4 meter
per second and a wavelength of
0.02 meter?

9. A vibrating object with a frequency

of 200 Hz produces sound which
travels through air at 360 m/s. The
number of meters separating the
adjacent compressions in the
sound wave is

distance from a crest to the

neighboring trough of 12.8 cm.
Determine the period of such a
wave.
11.Frieda the fly flaps its wings back
and forth 121 times each second.
The period of the wing flapping is
____ sec.
12.A tennis coach paces back and
forth along the sideline 10 times in
2 minutes. The frequency of her
pacing is ________ Hz.
13.Non-digital clocks (which are
becoming more rare) have a
second hand that rotates around in
a regular and repeating fashion.
The frequency of rotation of a
second hand on a clock is
__________ Hz.
14.Olive Udadi accompanies her father
to the park for an afternoon of fun.
While there, she hops on the swing
and begins a motion characterized
by a complete back-and-forth cycle
every 2 seconds. The frequency of
swing is ____________.
15.A common physics lab involves the
study of the oscillations of a
pendulum. If a pendulum makes 33
complete back-and-forth cycles of
vibration in 11 seconds, then its
period is ____________.
16.The water waves below are
traveling along the surface of the
ocean at a speed of 2.5 m/s and
splashing periodically against
Wilbert's perch. Each adjacent
crest is 5 meters apart. The crests
splash Wilbert's feet upon reaching
his perch. How much time passes
between each successive
drenching? Answer and explain
using complete sentences.

10.A wave is introduced into a thin

wire held tight at each end. It has
an amplitude of 3.8 cm, a
frequency of 51.2 Hz and a

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Profesor: Javier Trigoso T.

Fsica 11 de secundaria

17.Two waves on identical strings have

frequencies in a ratio of 2 to 1. If
their wave speeds are the same,
then how do their wavelengths
compare?
18. Mac and Tosh stand 8 meters apart
and demonstrate the motion of a
transverse wave on a snake. The
wave e can be described as having
a vertical distance of 32 cm from a
trough to a crest, a frequency of
2.4 Hz, and a horizontal distance of
48 cm from a crest to the nearest
trough. Determine the amplitude,
period, and wavelength and speed
of such a wave.

19.Ocean waves are observed to

travel along the water surface
during a developing storm. A Coast
Guard weather station observes
that there is a vertical distance
from high point to low point of 4.6
meters and a horizontal distance of
8.6 meters between adjacent
crests. The waves splash into the
station once every 6.2 seconds.
Determine the frequency and the
speed of these waves.
20.Two boats are anchored 4 meters
apart. They bob up and down,
returning to the same up position
every 3 seconds. When one is up
the other is down. There are never
any wave crests between the
boats. Calculate the speed of the
waves.

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Profesor: Javier Trigoso T.

http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/waves/u10l2e
Consider the diagram below in order to answer questions #1-2.

21.The wavelength of the wave in the diagram above is given by letter

____________________________
22.The amplitude of the wave in the diagram above is given by letter
____________________________
23.Indicate the interval that represents one full wavelength.

The distance from the crest of one wave to the crest of the next wave is called:
The amplitude

The wavelength

The frequency

What are the units of frequency?

m/s

Hz

3.
Which is a correct equation?
wave speed = frequency wavelength

Which statement about the oscillations of light waves is correct?

They are parallel to the direction of energy transfer

They rotate around the direction of energy transfer

5.

Some types of waves are longitudinal. This means that the oscillations:
Are perpendicular to the direction of travel and energy transfer

Are in the same direction as the direction of travel and energy transfer

Rotate around the direction of travel and energy transfer

http://www.s-cool.co.uk/gcse/physics/properties-of-waves/revise-it/reflection-ofwaves
http://www.s-cool.co.uk/gcse/physics/properties-of-waves/revise-it/describing-waves
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/aqa/waves/generalwavesrev5.sht
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