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Finding the slop of a string (Waves)

  1. Apr 7, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Wave motion is characterized by two velocities: the velocity with which the wave moves in the medium (e.g., air or a string) and the velocity of the medium (the air or the string itself).

    Consider a transverse wave traveling in a string. The mathematical form of the wave is

    [tex] y(x,t) = Asin(kx - \omega t)[/tex]

    Find the slope of the string [tex] \frac{dy(x,t)}{dx} [/tex] as a function of position x and time t.
    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    So to find the slope of that equation, I would just need to take it's derivative. x is the variables, and [tex]\omega[/tex], A, t are constants. I would also need to use the chain rule when doing the derivative of sin.

    So I get: [tex] \frac{dy(x,t)}{dx} = (Acos(kx - \omega t))*(k - \omega t) [/tex]

    but it says I'm wrong. Any suggestions where I went wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2008 #2


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    Check your result for consistency of units.
  4. Apr 7, 2008 #3


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    [tex] \frac d {dx} ( kx- \omega t) [/tex] = ?
  5. Apr 7, 2008 #4
    would I treat the x as a variable and t as a constant?
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