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Trying to cancel units out for velocity of transverse wave

  1. May 21, 2014 #1
    Not a specific question, but I just need help understanding how units cancel out.

    v = sqrt(force of tension / mass density)

    Force of tension is in Newtons. Mass density is in kg/m^3

    Nt/ (kg/m^3) = (kg*m/s^2)/(kg/m^3) =(I cross multiply here) (kg*m*m^3)/(s^2*kg)

    kg cancels out. Remember it is the sqrt of it all.

    sqrt(m^4/s^2) = m^2/s

    This does not equal m/s. Is there something I am missing?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2014 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    The mass density needed here is linear mass density: mass per unit length.
     
  4. May 21, 2014 #3
    Ah thanks. Then this must mean the linear mass density is equal to the mass density times its cross-sectional area. This clears up lots of confusion!
     
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