PHYS320 Lab 23 Properties of Waves

Experiment 1: Slinky Waves


1. What happened when the transverse waves reached your partner’s end? Did the returning wave stay on the same side as the one you sent? Explain why you think this happens.

2. Did the waves seem to go any faster or slower when you tried a variety of amplitudes? Explain why or why not this agrees with the equation for a transverse wave’s velocity.

3. What did you notice about the speed of the longitudinal waves compared to the transverse waves? Why do you think this is?

4. Explain what happened when you and your partner both sent waves on the same side in Procedure 2. What kind of interference took place?

5. What happened when waves on opposite sides passed each other?

6. How did shortening the length of the spring affect the resonant frequencies?

7. Using this knowledge, how do you think woodwind instruments create higher and lower tones? What do you think changes inside the instrument?

Experiment 2: Doppler Effect


1. Did the waves in front of the moving source appear closer together?

2. What can you conclude about the effect of a moving source on the velocity of the waves in a medium?

3. How does the Doppler Effect help explain why a car’s engine sounds different as the car approaches you compared with after it passes?

4. The Doppler Effect is present in light waves as well. As you will learn in Lab 25, red light has a slower frequency than blue light. What can you speculate about the motion of a distant star that appears “red-shifted” to astrophysicists?


PHYS320 Lab 23 Properties of Waves
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