# Is this an accurate description of standing waves?

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• Ytfeza
In summary, a standing wave is formed when two progressive waves with the same frequency superimpose and create points of destructive interference known as nodes, and points of constructive interference known as antinodes. The amplitude of the standing wave is determined by the varying interference between nodes and antinodes. The antinodes move up and down because of the alternating polarity of the traveling waves creating the standing wave. It is important to learn to search for information independently through Google and other search engines.
Ytfeza
Hi all, is my description below a reasonable attempt in explaining how a standing wave forms?
The main part I am a bit confused as to how to explain is why the antinodes move up and down. Thanks!A standing wave is formed when energy of a wave of the right frequency is trapped in the system causing resonance to occur. This occurs when there are two progressive waves with the same frequency approaching each other in opposite directions (reflected wave superimposing with the incident wave). As the two waves superimpose there will be points in the standing wave where the two waves are always antiphase (out of phase by pi radians), so they will destructively interfere producing nodes (always nodes). In the middle of two adjacent nodes the waves will be in phase so constructively interfere to produce antinodes with max amplitude. Between a node and an antinode the amplitude varies depending on how much amplitude from the two waves constructively add together. Between two nodes the antinode's amplitude changes from max to min (up/down) as particles passes through the equilibrium position because as the two waves move their phase begins to shift, so between the two nodes constructive and destructive interference can occur. When constructive occurs the particles at the antinode are at a maximum displacement (either + or -), and when it reaches the equilibrium (same position as the stationary nodes) the two progressive waves are out phase and destructively interfere. Hence, the particles in the standing wave have the most potential energy when they are at a maximum amplitude and most kinetic when passing through the equilibrium.

Ytfeza said:
Hi all, is my description below a reasonable attempt in explaining how a standing wave forms?
The main part I am a bit confused as to how to explain is why the antinodes move up and down. Thanks!

Check out this animation:

You can use the YouTube Settings button to slow it down, which may help make what's happening clearer.

pixel said:
Check out this animation:

You can use the YouTube Settings button to slow it down, which may help make what's happening clearer.

Does anyone have a link to that website with animation ?

Frenemy90210 said:
Does anyone have a link to that website with animation ?

right click on video and select copy video url

davenn said:

right click on video and select copy video url

No, I meant the website ( or tool) that is shown in the youtube video.

Ytfeza said:
The main part I am a bit confused as to how to explain is why the antinodes move up and down.
The polarity of a traveling wave alternates each side of zero so the sum of two waves (the standing wave) will do the same where there is constructive interference.
It is very important that you learn to search for this sort of information yourself. A few attempts at a google search (with trial and error selection of different terms) will give you more hits than every you can get with individual recommendations from PF. If you are looking for animations then the Videos button on the google search will give you many suggestions. the same applies to Images.

## 1. What are standing waves?

Standing waves are a type of wave that occurs when two waves with the same frequency and amplitude travel in opposite directions and interfere with each other. This results in a stationary pattern of nodes and antinodes.

## 2. How are standing waves different from other types of waves?

Unlike other types of waves, standing waves do not propagate through a medium. Instead, they oscillate in place due to the interference of two waves.

## 3. What are some real-life examples of standing waves?

Some common examples of standing waves include vibrations on a guitar string, sound waves in a pipe organ, and electromagnetic waves in an antenna.

## 4. Are standing waves only found in one-dimensional systems?

No, standing waves can occur in two- and three-dimensional systems as well. For example, standing waves can form on the surface of a drum or in a three-dimensional cavity.

## 5. How do standing waves affect the properties of a medium?

Standing waves can affect the properties of a medium by altering its resonance frequencies and creating areas of high and low pressure or displacement. This can have practical applications in fields such as acoustics, optics, and telecommunications.

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