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: Velocity and particle of a particle with a wave going through

  1. Mar 21, 2006 #1
    2) Find an expression for the velocity of a particle in the medium while a wave is going through, and its acceleration.

    I first thought that the particle might under go simple harmonic motion when the waved passed but then I remembered that the speed of a wave is determined by the properties of the medium it travels through. hence v is equal to the square root of elastic property/inertial property. So now I am confused as to how to solve this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2006 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    What is the mechanism for physical interaction between the wave and the particle? Is the particle floating on a water wave? Or is it a charged particle that is influenced by an EM wave travelling by?
  4. Mar 21, 2006 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Do not confuse the speed of the wave with the velocity of the particles . Each particle undergoes simple harmonic motion, as you said (so their speed is not constant, nor is their acceleration). The wvae, on the other hand, has a constant speed, given by the square root you are describing.

    Hope this helps

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook