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Bullwhip wave mechanics: What changes?

by Greylorn
Tags: bullwhip, mechanics, wave
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Greylorn
#1
May7-11, 12:43 AM
PF Gold
P: 48
What wave property changes as a bullwhip wave propagates toward the tip? Wavelength or amplitude?

The problem seemed at first analogous to that of describing the behavior of a sound wave propagating through air of linearly decreasing density, except that sound is longitudinal.
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univox360
#2
May7-11, 01:01 AM
P: 12
This might help you think about it :)

http://paws.kettering.edu/~drussell/...t/reflect.html
Bill_K
#3
May7-11, 10:26 AM
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Thanks
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This is one of those controversial issues that seesaws between rival camps: in this case the supersonic versus the non-supersonic factions. Even skilled whip crackers disagree. The best explanation I've found so far is here: http://home.comcast.net/~a-mcnibble/...WhipsCrack.pdf according to which it's the concentration of kinetic energy into a smaller and smaller whip segment that does it.

Greylorn
#4
May7-11, 01:06 PM
PF Gold
P: 48
Bullwhip wave mechanics: What changes?

Quote Quote by univox360 View Post
This might help you think about it :)

http://paws.kettering.edu/~drussell/...t/reflect.html
Thank you! The link answered the question in favor of amplitude, and is a fine exposition of other aspects of wave mechanics, providing even more to think about. Greatly appreciated.
Greylorn
#5
May7-11, 01:52 PM
PF Gold
P: 48
Quote Quote by Bill_K View Post
This is one of those controversial issues that seesaws between rival camps: in this case the supersonic versus the non-supersonic factions. Even skilled whip crackers disagree. The best explanation I've found so far is here: http://home.comcast.net/~a-mcnibble/...WhipsCrack.pdf according to which it's the concentration of kinetic energy into a smaller and smaller whip segment that does it.
Bill,
Great link! Although I was more interested in the mechanics of a transverse wave in a variable medium (looking for cosmological implications) than in what happens at the end of a wave's transmission, I was being short sighted. The end may be the most important part of the problem. Thank you for the insight!


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