Standing Wave Speed?

  1. Jan 22, 2013 #1
    My Friend and I were discussing standing waves and I made problem about speed, inspired off a concept taught in my Physics book: [itex]v = \sqrt {\frac {F_T}{m/L}}[/itex]. My Friend asked a very valid question: "How in the whole can you defined speed of a standing wave when it's not changing position?" - He understands the formula but not what velocity in a standing wave means. And he stumped me on it. I couldn't find an answer to that question.

    Can you?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2013 #2


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    You can think of a standing wave as the superposition of two travelling waves moving in opposite directions.

    For example ##\cos(x - vt)## and ##\cos (x + vt)## are two travelling waves, and their sum is ##\cos(x - vt) + \cos(x + vt) = 2\cos x \cos(vt)## which is a standiing wave.
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