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!

Homework Help: Transverse waves oscillation direction

  1. Jan 4, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A transverse wave travels along x axis . what is direction of oscillation of particles ?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I think the answer is xy plane but Wikipedia says its yz plane . Please explain how?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2015 #2
    Particles that are a part of a transverse wave oscillate perpendicular to the propagation of the wave. So, if the wave moves along the x-axis, then the particles must move in the yz plane and mustn't move in any direction parallel to the x-axis.
  4. Jan 4, 2015 #3
    the particle move perpendicular to x axis but arent they in xy plane images.jpg
  5. Jan 4, 2015 #4
    The particles themselves are in the xy plane, but look at the arrows. The velocity of any given particle is 100% perpendicular to the x-axis. The particles may move in the y direction; they may move in the z direction. Heck, they may even have velocity components in the y direction and in the z direction. It doesn't matter. Knowing the fact that the transverse wave propagates along the x-axis, it is safe to say that the particles are oscillating in any arbitrary orientation in the yz plane. We cannot say that they are doing the same in the xy plane or in the xz plane.
  6. Jan 4, 2015 #5
    so are they parallel to yz plane or on the yz plane
  7. Jan 4, 2015 #6
    The particles oscillate parallel to the yz plane.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted