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Homework Help: Method to produce and measure velocity of a standing wave

  1. Oct 13, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I'm in a Year 10 physics class. We have been asked, for homework, to design an experiment to measure the velocity of a standing wave. No other information has been given other than that.

    I reproduce the exact instructions we were given, since the guidelines suggest I should:

    2. Relevant equations

    I did some research into waves and standing waves and I found that to find the velocity of a wave I use the formula [itex]v = f\lambda[/itex]. I'm not quite sure how this formula applies to a standing wave, since a standing wave doesn't really move... was I supposed to measure the speed of the individual waves that make up the standing wave? Or the speed at which the standing wave vibrates at the antinodes?

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Initial research into types of standing waves suggests I could use a string for the medium. I'm not sure what I could use to start the vibrations in the string though. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2013 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    To generate a wave you must have a source, and the source has a frequency ... your device, so you control the frequency.

    Once you can see the waves you can measure the wavelength. For standing waves this should be easy.

    That should be enough ... if you want to extend this try different liquids or gasses ... each will have its own characteristic velocity. You can even use solids ...
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