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Homework Help: Water Waves

  1. Jan 20, 2005 #1
    I'm doing an investigation on how the speed of a wave varies as the depth of water changes, using a tray of water. I know that in deeper water the speed will be quicker than that in shallow water. However I don't quite understand why this is. Apparently it has something to do with Stoke's Law? Is it related to the viscosity and the flow of water in different conditions - the more volume there is, the faster it will travel? Please help me with the theory behind it to help me understand better.

    Thank you,
    - Amber
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2005 #2
    Try to think of the problem along this line, a ball is travelling along a frictionless surface at a constant speed, but when it start travelling uphill, its speed decreases because the kinetic energy of the ball is being converted into gravitational potential energy.

    So, what would happen to a water wave when it encounters a barrier?
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2005
  4. Jan 22, 2005 #3
    Thank you.

    When the water waves encounter a barrier, it will slow down - so the less water there is, the more "barriers" are in contact. Therefore in shallower water the speed is slower? Is that correct?

    It would help if the teacher taught us properly instead of asking us to read the textbook, and I find that doesn't help much.

    Now I need to know how laminar flow relates to all this :confused:
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