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Unit

13

There are different kinds of waves. All waves


have one thing in common: they transfer
energy from one place to another.

Waves
• What does "tsunami" mean?
• Tsunami is a Japanese word with the English translation, "harbor wave."
Represented by two characters, the top character, "tsu," means harbor,
while the bottom character, "nami," means "wave." In the past, tsunamis
were sometimes referred to as "tidal waves" by the general public, and as
"seismic sea waves" by the scientific community. The term "tidal wave" is
a misnomer; although a tsunami's impact upon a coastline is dependent
upon the tidal level at the time a tsunami strikes, tsunamis are unrelated to
the tides. Tides result from the imbalanced, extraterrestrial, gravitational
influences of the moon, sun, and planets. The term "seismic sea wave" is
also misleading. "Seismic" implies an earthquake-related generation
mechanism, but a tsunami can also be caused by a nonseismic event, such
as a landslide or meteorite impact.
contents

 Describing Wave Motion

 Wave Terms

 Graphical Representation of Waves

 Chapter Review
Unit 13.1: Waves
What is a wave? Recall from unit 1: Pendulum
• A wave is made up of periodic motion (motion repeated at
regular intervals).
• One complete motion – from one extreme position to the
other extreme position and back – is known as an
oscillation or a vibration.

Figure: One oscillation is


completed when the pendulum bob
moves from A to B, and then back
again to A.
Unit 13.1: Waves

• A wave may also be thought of as a traveling disturbance.


• It transfers energy from one place to another.
• However, no matter is transferred in the process.
• The source of any wave is a vibration or oscillation.
1. Other examples of waves

a. Vibrations in rope. (Transverse


Wave)

b. Vibrations in spring. (Transverse


or Longitudinal)

c r c r c r
one wavelength one
wavelength
Can you name which is transverse and which is longitudinal?
1. Examples of waves

up-and-down
c. Water waves (Transverse Waves). motion of dipper

up-and-down
motion of bar

circular waves

plane waves

d. Sound waves (Longitudinal Waves)


Unit 13.1: Waves
• The up-and-down motion spreads to other parts of the
water surface in the form of ripples.
• Kinetic energy from the up-and-down motion of the
dipper is transferred to the water molecules at the surface.
• These water molecules transfer the energy to neighbouring
water molecules.
• Note: Although energy is passed from the dipper to the
water at the edges of the ripple tank, the water itself does
not move forward. However, the wave moves
forward/outwards.
Unit 13.1: Waves

How are waves formed?


Summary of common points so far:
1. The source of a wave is a vibration or oscillation.
2. Waves transfer energy from one point to another.
3. In waves, energy is transferred without the medium
being transferred.
describing wave motion
2. What is a wave?
A wave is a phenomenon in which energy is transferred
through vibrations.
A wave carries energy away from the wave source.

waves of a rope
describing wave motion
wave
The effect of rope waves can be seen by fixing one end of a
rope by tying it around a rod and moving the other end up
and down.
describing wave motion
wave

Each section of the rope is set into an up-and-down motion


by the previous section as the wave passes along the rope.
describing wave motion
wave
describing wave motion
wave

The rope is the medium through which the wave propagates.


describing wave motion
wave

A series of crests and troughs can be seen to pass along


the rope.
describing wave motion
wave

Note that particles in the rope itself do not move forward


with the wave.
describing wave motion
wave

Similar effect for water waves (water is the medium through


which energy transmits)
 a cork on the water surface bobs up and down as the
wave passes
 it does not travel forward with the wave
describing wave motion
water waves
Waves
Waves are
are produced
produced by
by dipping
dipping either
either aa

 horizontal bar into the  ball-ended dipper to


water to obtain plane obtain circular waves
waves
up-and-down up-and-down
motion of bar motion of dipper

plane waves circular waves

A motor fixed to the bar or dipper will cause it to move


up and down to generate continuous waves.
describing wave motion
water waves

the behaviour of water waves can be studied in a ripple tank


and projected onto a screen using an overhead projector

http://www.falstad.com/ripple/index.html
Water waves in a ripple tank
• In a ripple tank, a small dipper moves up and down the
water surface.
• Water particles at the surface that are in contact with the
dipper are made to move up and down.

Figure 13.5 A small spherical dipper in a


ripple tank produces circular water waves.
describing wave motion
3a. Transverse waves
Waves which travel in a direction perpendicular to the
direction of the vibrations.

direction of the vibrations


coil vibrates
up and down direction
when shook up of wave
and down wave moves this way

one wavelength

Water waves, rope waves, light waves and other electro-


magnetic waves are examples of transverse waves.
Unit 13.1: Waves

Figure 13.8 You can see how transverse


waves are generated using a Slinky®.
Notice that the blue vertical arrows are at
right angles to the pink horizontal arrows.
Therefore, for transverse waves, the
displacement of the particles is
perpendicular to the direction of travel of
wave motion.
describing wave motion
3b. Longitudinal waves
Waves which travel in a direction parallel to the direction
of the vibrations.

coil vibrates forward


and backward when
pushed in and out
wave moves this way

c r c r c r

one wavelength

c: compression is the part where r: rarefaction is the part where


particles are closest to one another particles are spread apart

Sound wave is an example of longitudinal wave.


Unit 13.1: Waves

Figure 13.9 You can see how


longitudinal waves are
generated using a Slinky®.
Notice that the blue and pink
arrows are parallel. Therefore,
for longitudinal waves, the
displacement of the particles
are in line with, or parallel to,
the direction of wave motion.
Unit 13.1: Waves
Test Yourself 13.1
1. In Figure below on the production of rope waves, which of the
following statements about the rope waves is/are correct?
(a) The rope waves travel up and down while the rope moves sideways.
(b) The rope waves provide a mechanism for the transfer of energy
from one point to another.
(c) The rope waves travel sideways while the rope moves up and down.

Answer:
(a) incorrect
(b) correct
(c) correct
Unit 13.1: Waves
Test Yourself 13.1
2. State one similarity and one difference between transverse waves and
longitudinal waves. Give one real life example of each.
Answers:
Similarity: Both waves transfer energy from one point to another.
Difference: Transverse waves move in a direction perpendicular to the
direction of vibration. Longitudinal waves move in a
direction parallel to the direction of vibration.
Transverse wave: ripples formed on water surface when a stone is thrown
in a pond.
Longitudinal wave: sound waves
Unit 13.2: Properties of Wave Motion

Learning Outcomes
In this section, you’ll be able to:
• Define the speed, frequency, wavelength, period and
amplitude of waves
• State what is meant by the term wavefront
• Recall and apply the relationship velocity = frequency ×
wavelength to solve related problems
Unit 13.1: Waves
Key Ideas
1. Periodic motion is motion that repeats at regular intervals.
2. One complete periodic motion – from one extreme position to the other
extreme position and back – is known as an oscillation or a vibration
3. Waves transfer energy from one point to another without any part of the
medium being transferred.
4. There are two types of wave motion: transverse and longitudinal
5. When the direction of vibrations is perpendicular to the direction in which
the wave moves, the wave is a transverse wave. For example: water waves,
light waves.
6. When the direction of vibrations is parallel to the direction in which the
wave moves, the wave is longitudinal. For example: sound waves, pushing
and pulling of a Slinky®
4. wave terms
Water waves are easily produced and observed.

By touching one point on the surface,


 peaks of the waves form circles
 waves move outwards from the finger dipping
into water
source of disturbance

direction
of travel

circular wavefronts

a. Wavefront: The line that joins all the peaks of a wave


or all identical points on a wave. (all points that are in
phase)
wave terms
The direction of travel of waves is always perpendicular to the wavefront.

vibrating bar

direction
of travel

planar wavefronts

Plane waves are produced by touching the water surface


with a wooden bar. The wavefront of plane waves are
straight lines.
Unit 13.2: Properties of Wave Motion
Wave terms

Figure 13.10 A transverse rope wave and


some terms used to describe a wave
wave terms

b. Crests and Troughs: The high points and the low points of a wave.
wave terms
c. Wavelength: The distance between two crests or troughs.
wave terms
d. Amplitude: The maximum displacement from the rest
position.

http://www.ngsir.netfirms.com/englishhtm/TwaveA.htm
e. Frequency, f
• Refers to the number of complete cycles (oscillations/ waves)
in one second.
Note: Frequency is measured in Hertz or 1/s or s-1 (SI unit)
Eg. You take 12 minutes to complete a 2.4 km run in a stadium.
What is your frequency? Note: The stadium measures 400m
for one round.
Solution:
Frequency refers to the number of rounds in one second
12 mins  6 rounds
1 min  6/12 rounds = 0.5 rounds
1 sec  0.5 ÷ 60 = 0.00833 rounds
f = 0.00833 Hz
wave terms
f. Period, T (in s) is the time taken to generate one
complete wave. It is also the time taken for the crests,
or any given point on the wave, to move a distance of
one wavelength.

How is period and frequency related?

1
T=
f
wave terms
g. Speed, v (in ms-1 ) of the waves is the distance moved
by a wave in one second.
λ
v=fxλ v=
T

Eg. Transverse waves are set up when one end of a rope


is repeatedly waved up and down 4 times per second.
The speed of the wave along the rope is 0.25 m/s.
Calculate
a. The period of vibration;
b. The wavelength.
wave terms
Eg. Transverse waves are set up when one end of a rope
is repeatedly waved up and down 4 times per second.
The speed of the wave along the rope is 0.25 m/s
Solution:
a. Frequency, f = 4.0 Hz Why???
__1___
Period, T =
f
__1___
=
4.0
0.25 s
Period, T =
wave terms
Eg. Transverse waves are set up when one end of a rope
is repeatedly waved up and down 4 times per second.
The speed of the wave along the rope is 0.25 m/s
Solution:
b. Apply the wave equation
v=fλ
0.25 = 4.0 x λ
λ = 0.25 / 4.0
λ = 0.0625 m
Unit 13.2: Properties of Wave Motion
Wave terms

Figure 13.10 A transverse rope wave and


some terms used to describe a wave
Unit 13.2: Properties of Wave Motion

Describing waves
• Phase: Any two points moving in the same
direction and have the same speed and the same
displacement from the rest position are said to
be in phase. Any two crests or troughs are
always in phase.
• Can you name two other points that are in
phase?
• How about two points that are out of phase?
http://www.ngsir.netfirms.com/englishhtm/TwaveA.htm
5. Graphical representation of waves
a. displacement-position graph

position

Both the transverse wave and longitudinal wave will give


the same displacement-position graph except that
 the displacement of particles in a transverse wave will be
perpendicular to the wave motion
 the displacement of particles in a longitudinal wave will be
parallel to the wave motion
Unit 13.2: Properties of Wave Motion
Displacement-time graph
Figure 13.12(a)-(e) show the
progression of a rope wave over
one second.

Figure 13.13 Displacement-time


graph of point P on the rope wave
graphical representation of waves
displacement-time graph

The displacement of a single particle at a particular position


is the displacement of the particle as time changes.
Amplitude and period of the wave can also be determined.

http://www.ngsir.netfirms.com/englishhtm/Lwave.htm
6.1 Wave Production and the Ripple Tank
Figure 13.21 A lamp is Dark and bright lines
shone at a shallow are formed on a screen
glass-bottomed tray of by the plane waves.
a ripple tank.

• The bright and dark lines correspond to the crests and troughs of the plane
waves respectively. Why do you think this is so?
• The depth at which the dipper is placed affects the amplitude of the waves.
• The frequency of the waves is determined by the frequency of vibration of the
dipper, i.e. the source.
describing wave motion
water waves
The light from the lamp below shines through the ripples and casts
an image consisting of a series of dark and bright fringes, on the
white screen.

light from lamp

water surface

glass-bottomed tray

white screen
bright
bright

bright

bright
dark

dark

dark

dark
dark

bright fringes represent the dark fringes represent the


positions of the crests positions of the troughs
Observe what happens when the waves move
towards the shore…
Wave Production and the Ripple Tank
Refraction of waves and depth of ripple tank
• The wavelength of the plane waves shorten as they travel from deep
to shallow water, i.e. λ2>λ1.
• The frequency remains unchanged as it is determined by the dipper.
• Using v = ƒλ, the speed of waves is slower at the shallow water, i.e.
v2<v1

Figure 13.22 A plastic sheet Figure 13.23 Speed and wavelength


creates a shallow region of of waves decrease from deep to
water. shallow water.
Unit 13.3: Wave Production and the Ripple Tank
• Similar to light, when waves enter a region of shallow
water at an angle, the waves will refract.

Figure 13.24 If you place a plastic sheet at an angle,


the change in speed of the waves will cause them to
bend.
Unit 13.3: Wave Production and the Ripple Tank
Reflection of waves
• A straight barrier standing upright in the water causes the incoming
waves to be reflected.

Figure 13.25 A straight barrier is placed at an angle


to the straight dipper. You can see the waves
reflecting at equal angles to the normal in the inset.
Unit 13.2: Properties of Wave Motion
Key Ideas
The following can be used to describe wave
motion:
1. Crests and troughs: These are the high points and low points that
characterise transverse waves only. For longitudinal waves, the
terms compressions and rarefactions are used.
2. Amplitude (A): The amplitude of one oscillation is the amplitude
of the wave. It is half the vertical distance between a wave crest
and a wave trough. Its SI unit is the metre (m).
3. Wavelength (λ): This is the shortest distance between any two
points (such as two successive crests or troughs) on a wave that are
in phase. Its SI unit is the metre (m).
Unit 13.2: Properties of Wave Motion

4. Period (T): the period of one oscillation is the period of one wave.
It is the time taken for a wave crest to move through a distance
equal to its wavelength.
5. Frequency (ƒ): This is the number of complete waves produced
per second. Its SI unit is the Hertz (Hz). Frequency and period is
related by the equation: ƒ=1∕T
6. Wave speed (v): This is the distance travelled by a wave in one
second. Its SI unit is metres per second (m s-1). The speed of a wave
can be computed by the equation: v = ƒλ
7. Wavefront: A wavefront is an imaginary line on a wave that joins
all points which are in the same phase of vibration.
Unit 13.3: Wave Production and the Ripple Tank
Test yourself 13.2 – 13.3
1. Figure 13.27 shows the displacement-time graph of a periodic
motion. What is the
(a) period, (b) frequency and (c) amplitude?

Answers:
(a) T = 0.1 s
(b) ƒ = 1∕T
= 1/0.1
= 10 Hz
(c) A = 0.1 cm Fig 13.27 Q1
Unit 13.3: Wave Production and the Ripple Tank
Test Yourself 13.2 – 13.3
2. State the relationship between the speed of a wave and
its frequency and wavelength.

Answer:
v = ƒλ

where v is the wave speed,


λ is the wavelength and
ƒ is the frequency of the wave
Unit 13.3: Wave Production and the Ripple Tank
Test yourself 13.2 – 13.3
3. Sketch a graph to show how the displacement of a particular
point changes with time when a wave of amplitude 0.4 m,
speed 5.0 m s-1 and wavelength 10.0 m passes through it.
Mark the amplitude and period on your graph.

Answer:
Given v = 5.0 m s-1 and λ = 10.0 m, then using
v = fλ
5.0 = f × 10.0
f = 5.0/10.0 = 0.50 Hz
Hence, T = 1/f
= 1/0.50 = 2.0 s
Unit 13.3: Wave Production and the Ripple Tank
Test Yourself 13.2 – 13.3
4. Water waves move from the deep end of a pool to a
shallower end. State the changes (if any) to the
frequency, wavelength and the speed of the wave.

Answer:
Frequency remains unchanged.
Wavelength shortens.
Speed of the waves decreases.
Unit 13: Waves
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