1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

History of the Wave Equation

  1. Apr 15, 2015 #1
    Hi,

    We were recently testing out waves on a string and completing a lab based on it, and I wanted to provide background information on how the equation v=fλ was formulated. I would greatly appreciate it if someone could direct me to a source on it.

    Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2015 #2
    Let me first tell you that in general the equation you wrote down isn't called the wave equation. The wave equation looks like ##c^{2}\nabla^{2} f = \frac{\partial^{2} f }{\partial t^{2}}##. Anyway the equation you talk about doesn't really have such a history as you might think - it's very easy to reason. The velocity of something is given by ##v=\frac{\Delta x}{\Delta t}## right? Well let's consider the ##\lambda=\Delta x##, what is the corresponding time? It's just what we define to be the period ##T## of the wave, namely, how much times it takes for one wavelength to pass. And so we have ##v=\frac{\lambda}{T}##. The fraction ##\frac{1}{T}## corresponds to the frequency ##f## and so we arrive at ##v=\lambda f##
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: History of the Wave Equation
  1. Wave Equation (Replies: 5)

  2. Wave equation (Replies: 1)

  3. Wave equation (Replies: 3)

Loading...