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Components of standing wave between harmonic frequencies

  1. Nov 21, 2014 #1
    For a wave fixed at both ends, what is the behaviour of the original and refelcted wave between the harmonic frequencies?
    I understand how a standing wave is created by the superposition of a wave and it;s reflection at a boundary. I also understand that at the fundamental frequency of the standing wave will be half a wavelength ( a node at each end and an antinode in the middle) and a full wavelength at double that frequency (with 3 nodes and 2 antinodes).
    But what I can't figure out is what would the original and reflected waves look like between the resonant frequencies?
    I know that at the ends they must cancel, so how does this effect the reflected wave?
    Also is the reflected wave reflected again each time it meets a boundary?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated?
    An animation here clearly shows how the waves cancel at each end. But what about when the frequency is not right for a standing wave with nodes not at the ends exactly?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2014 #2


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    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    How do you define a frequency without a periodic signal?

    Every periodic signal will have frequency components that are multiples of the fundamental frequency. Actually, you can split every possible motion into those components, and look at their evolution individually.
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