# Explore Transverse & Longitudinal Waves with Slinky

• jnimagine
In summary, the conversation discusses questions about transverse and longitudinal waves, specifically regarding the effect of amplitude and tension on speed, the motion of coils in longitudinal waves, and the number of hand vibrations needed to produce one compression and one rarefaction. The summary concludes by stating that one back and forth motion of the hand is likely needed to produce one pulse down the slinky.
jnimagine
waves and sound

I have some questions about transverse and longitudinal waves...
In transverse wave, how does the amplitude of the waves affect its speed? we did a lab with a slinky but it was hard to see if it went faster or slower...
Also, how does the tension of the spring change its speed? I think i noticed the pulse going faster when the slinky was tenser but... why does it do that?
And in longitudinal waves... when you move your hand back and forth quickly at a uniform frequency with the slinky, what happens to the motion of each coils?
Lastly, how many complete vibration of your hand do u think is need to produce one compression and one rarefaction? I just don't quite understand what it means by hand vibrations...;;

Last edited:
jnimagine said:
complete vibration of your hand

This would likely be one back and forth of your hand, as you send one pulse (either transverse or longitudinal) down the slinky.

Hello,

Thank you for your questions about transverse and longitudinal waves. It's great that you are exploring these concepts with a slinky, as it can be a fun and engaging way to learn about waves.

Firstly, in transverse waves, the amplitude does not affect the speed of the wave. The speed of a wave is determined by the properties of the medium it is traveling through, such as its density and elasticity. The amplitude only affects the height of the wave, not its speed.

The tension of the spring does have an impact on the speed of the wave. When the spring is more tense, the wave travels faster because the particles of the medium are closer together and can transmit the energy of the wave more quickly. This is why you observed the pulse moving faster when the slinky was tenser.

In longitudinal waves, when you move your hand back and forth quickly, each coil of the slinky will also move back and forth in the same direction as your hand. This is because longitudinal waves involve particles moving parallel to the direction of the wave, rather than perpendicular like in transverse waves.

As for the last question, it is difficult to say exactly how many hand vibrations are needed to produce one compression and one rarefaction. This would depend on the frequency of your hand movements and the wavelength of the wave. However, in general, the more vibrations you produce, the more compressions and rarefactions you will create in the wave.

I hope this helps to clarify some of your questions. Keep exploring and experimenting with the slinky to deepen your understanding of waves and sound!

## 1. What is a Slinky?

A Slinky is a long, coiled toy made of metal or plastic. It can stretch and compress, making it an ideal tool for demonstrating different types of waves.

## 2. What are transverse waves?

Transverse waves are waves in which the particles of the medium vibrate perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation. This means that the energy is transferred in an up-and-down or side-to-side motion.

## 3. What are longitudinal waves?

Longitudinal waves are waves in which the particles of the medium vibrate parallel to the direction of wave propagation. This means that the energy is transferred in a back-and-forth motion.

## 4. How can a Slinky be used to explore these types of waves?

A Slinky can be stretched out and held at one end, then released to create a transverse wave. It can also be compressed and released to create a longitudinal wave. By observing the motion of the coils, you can see how the particles of the medium move in relation to the direction of wave propagation.

## 5. What are some real-world examples of transverse and longitudinal waves?

Transverse waves can be seen in water waves, light waves, and electromagnetic waves. Longitudinal waves can be seen in sound waves and seismic waves. Both types of waves are also present in the human body, with transverse waves in the form of light entering the eye and longitudinal waves in the form of sound traveling through the ear.

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