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