Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Heavier or lighter medium?

  1. Jan 11, 2006 #1
    The information given is that a wave is sent though a wire with the frequency of 200 hz, and tarvles 500 m/s. A lighter witre is attached and the wave slows down to 400 m/s. Is it a higher or lighter medium?

    I want to say lighter as the wavelength is decreeased, meaning it has a figher frequency, meaning a lighter medium. However, I am unsure if my thinking is correct.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2006 #2
    The frequency does not change. The wavelength does change, but so does the speed of your wave. They both change at the same rate Eg, wavelength/2, speed/2, v=a/t, so t=a/v. If both a (distance) and v (velocity) change at the same rate, t (time to cover the distance, i.e. one wave) remains the same.

    However, something does change. Obviously, a heavier wire takes more energy to move, so, erm, think.

    Sorry if I am not being very clear.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook