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Pulses on a string

  1. Nov 20, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A series of pulses, each of amplitude 0.150m, are sent down a string that is attached
    to a post at one end. The pulses are reflected at the post and travel back along the
    string without loss of amplitude. When two waves are present on the same string, the net
    displacement of a particular element of the string is the sum of the displacement of the
    individual waves at that point. What is the net displacement of an element at a point
    on the string where two pulses are crossing (a) if the string is rigidly attached to the post
    and (b) if the end at which reflection occurs is free to slide up and down.


    2. Relevant equations
    None that I know of


    3. The attempt at a solution[/c]
    (a) if the string is attached to the post without moving the first pulse will travel up
    and the reflected pulse with be inverted. As the second pulse with an upward travel
    meets an inverted pulse with the same amplitude they will cancel and be zero.
    (b) if the string is attached to the post so that it can slide up and down the first
    pulse will travel up and the reflected pulse will be upward. As thy meet the net
    displacement will be the sums of .150m + .150m = .300m

    Does this seem right?
    Thanks
    Kevin
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data



    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2008 #2
    Husker,
    Yes, the problem is as simple as it looks. The big issue is determining the orientation of a wave that's been reflected from a fixed barrier vs that from a free barrier, which you have done correctly. Then, at a point where an incident pulse (of amplitude A) overlaps a reflected pulse, the only possible results are either A + A = 2A, or A + -A = 0. Nice Work.
     
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