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Homework Help: Finding the total vertical distance - transverse wave

  1. Jan 29, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Suppose the amplitude and frequency of the transverse wave in the figure are, respectively, 5.89 cm and 5.00 Hz. Find the total vertical distance (in cm) through which the colored dot moves in 3.00 s.


    2. Relevant equations

    y = A sin (2pi x f x t - (2pi x)/λ)
    v= x/t

    3. The attempt at a solution


    x/λ = vt/ (v/f) = t x f = 15

    Plug in x/λ = 15
    Plug in A = .0589m
    Plug in f = 5 Hz
    Plug in t = 3.00 seconds

    Answer = 0m

    However, the online system says it is incorrect. I have no other strategy besides this one? Can someone help?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2013 #2
    You have found the displacement. Which is zero, because in 3.00 seconds the dot makes a few COMPLETE oscillations and returns where it was. You need to find the distance, which is the length of the total path the dot has gone through.
  4. Jan 29, 2013 #3
    y = displacement and not distance! Got it.

    Thanks so much!
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