Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Transverse wave through a medium

  1. Jan 23, 2010 #1
    Here's the question:

    The transverse wave shown is traveling from left to right in a medium. The direction of the instantaneous velocity of the medium at point P is:

    f17020.jpg

    A. no direction since v = 0
    B. to the right
    C. upwards
    D. at an angle upwards and to the right
    E. downwards


    Here's my (most likely wrong) reasoning. It's a transverse wave so the medium either moves up or down. I'd say at point P the medium is moving downwards because after point P the medium is below the axis? Can someone please explain what I'm not getting here? Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2010 #2
    As the wave is moving to the right, then the peak you see in the wave which is to the left of P, is moving towards P. Very shortly, P will be at the top of that peak. (The point P cannot move to the left or right itself, only up or down)
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook