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This isn't really a homework question. I'm having trouble understanding the equation y(x,t)=ysin(kx - wt) that describes the displacement caused by a traveling wave, where y is the maximum displacement, k is the angular wave number, and omega (w) is the angular frequency.

What I don't really understand is the notation that says (I think) "y as a function of x

*and*t." The concept is throwing me for a loop and I don't really understand how to manipulate the equation and solve it to help me understand what a traveling wave does to a particular medium.

I've had up to integral calculus and the physics I'm enrolled in is calculus based and dealing with heat, pressure, waves, and optics.

This is my first post and I'm very excited about this forum, I'm really hoping it will be a valuable learning tool for me. Thanks a bunch!