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!

Movement of particles on vibrating plate

  1. Feb 1, 2015 #1
    So our professor showed us wave patterns on a vibrating plate, by sprinkling powder over it. I'm curious as to why it behaved as it did.The powder moved to nodes, but I'm not sure why. I think it just gets bounced around until it lands on a node, which is stationary, so it then stays there.
    Is there a slightly more scientific way of explaining this? Or at least a different way of wording it (if I'm right at all) ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2015 #2
    You are correct. It is analogous to playing harmonics on a stringed musical instrument. Lightly touch a guitar string at half the string's length and pluck it and the string will vibrate even though the point you touch is held stationary.

    I remember when I first saw that demonstration; they are fun. Try it yourself with different shaped plates (make sure you have some good earmuffs!)
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook