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Displacement-distance vs Displacement-time graphs for waves

  1. Feb 29, 2016 #1
    Hi guys,
    I'm finding it hard to conceptualise the difference between a displacement-distance and displacement-time graphs for transverse waves. Could somebody explain the difference please?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 29, 2016 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    With a wave like ##y=A\sin kx## you can see that the displacement (y) varies with distance (x) from some origin, but it does not vary with time. The the displacement-distance graph would be a sine wave, while the displacement-time graph (for each value of x) is a horizontal line.

    More generally: you draw a displacement time graph for a particular value of distance x to see how the displacement of the particle associated with that point varies with time; or you can draw a displacement-distance graph for a particular instant of time to see a snapshot of the whole wave at that time.
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