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: Water waves travelling from deep to shallow water

  1. Dec 23, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    What happens to the wavelength, frequency and amplitude of the water wave when it travels from deep to shallow water at an oblique angle to the normal?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    The wavelength will decrease.

    The frequency will be unchanged because the source producing the waves (ocean) will be the same.

    The amplitude will increase (because there is less resistance of the wave because there is less water).

    Speed will also decrease because speed = wavelength x frequency because wavelength is proportional tp speed if frequency is constant
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I would take exception to this statement/assertion; other than that, looks good.
  4. Dec 23, 2015 #3

    So I just want to get it in my head as a picture: As the deep water waves enter the shallow water the waves will appear larger in height (greater amplitude) but will travel more slowly but you will see many more peaks and troughs in a given distance (because the wavelength is smaller).

    Here is where I'm confused. How can the frequency of the deep water wave be the same as the shallow water wave if I'm seeing more peaks and troughs because of the smaller wavelength. Maybe its that the waves will just be moving slowly but I will see lots of them?? I think I'm right but can someone just reinforce what I'm saying (if I'm correct) in a different way so I can lock the picture in my head. Thanks
  5. Dec 23, 2015 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Yes, they WILL be moving MORE slowly.
  6. Dec 23, 2015 #5
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted