SHM (transverse waves)


by MarcL
Tags: transverse, waves
MarcL
MarcL is offline
#1
Feb19-13, 03:22 PM
P: 70
So, I have to self-teach myself part of my class. However, there's one part of my book I can't understad at all.

First, I would like to understand, why does a transverse motion has 3 variable, y,x, and t . In my book they give the explanation y=h(x,t) and when we find the formula of the wave we get y=Asin(kx +/- wt).

I'm wondering, if y is the displacement of one element of a string, then what does x represent? I'm all confused :/
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on Phys.org
Physicists design quantum switches which can be activated by single photons
'Dressed' laser aimed at clouds may be key to inducing rain, lightning
Higher-order nonlinear optical processes observed using the SACLA X-ray free-electron laser
bossman27
bossman27 is offline
#2
Feb19-13, 03:44 PM
P: 204
Yes, y represents displacement, x specifies at what point along the x-axis. Just think about a picture of the wave... obviously displacement is not the same at every x position, and even if you stay at one x position, the displacement varies in time, hence the need for both variables.
MarcL
MarcL is offline
#3
Feb19-13, 03:46 PM
P: 70
so x represent the displacement of the wave itself?

bossman27
bossman27 is offline
#4
Feb19-13, 07:52 PM
P: 204

SHM (transverse waves)


No, it specifies the position in the direction that the wave is traveling. If you just have a function y(x), what does x represent? What does y represent? Nothing changes for y(x,t) except that y now changes as time passes, meaning if you say at the same x position, the displacement (y) changes (periodically, in this case). In the terms you put it, x is the position of a particular "element" of the string.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
What is the difference between standing waves and transverse waves? Classical Physics 6
Why are electromagnetic waves transverse waves? Is this answer ok? Classical Physics 4
transverse waves Introductory Physics Homework 1
sound waves propagated as transverse waves General Physics 14
Transverse Waves Help Introductory Physics Homework 0