Wave Tank Refraction: Does Depth Affect Refraction?

In summary, when using a wave tank to create waves that then pass through a gap in a barrier, increasing the depth of the water while keeping the frequency the same will result in an increase in refraction. This is due to the increase in wave speed and wavelength, which leads to a smaller gap and greater diffraction. Additionally, the greatest diffraction occurs when the width of the gap is equal to the wavelength.
  • #1
hahaha
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When using a wave tank to create waves that then pass through a gap in a barrier to create refraction that expands out the other side of the gap,, if the depth of the water is increased but the frequency is the same, will the amount of refraction increase or decrease? Basically, when depth in a wave tank is increased, does refraction increase or decrease? Thanks.
 
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  • #2
This is a very tough topic man. Its really hard to say. It seems that you are somewhat in a dilemna however because this sounds like a mid-term physics lab that is due soon. Do you have Ed the Rebel as your Physics teacher...cause if you do, you might as well give up. As far as the question goes, I would say I'm stumped for now.
 
  • #3
hahaha said:
When using a wave tank to create waves that then pass through a gap in a barrier to create refraction that expands out the other side of the gap,, if the depth of the water is increased but the frequency is the same, will the amount of refraction increase or decrease? Basically, when depth in a wave tank is increased, does refraction increase or decrease? Thanks.

Deeper water results in greater wave speed. Greater wave speed means (longer/sorter? you decide) wavelength. If you understand the connection between wavelength and ...fraction you can answer the question. Check your prefix on ...fraction. Do you have the right one?
 
  • #4
sorry, wrong prefix...
so, increased depth = increased velocity = incresed wavelength = increased diffraction... correct?
 
  • #5
Here's the answer

v*v=gh so When h(depth)increases velocity increases

v=fλ When the velocity(v) increases fλ has to increase But as f remains unchanged λ increses. Longer the λ is smaller the gap gets comparatively. So the defraction increases.
 
  • #6
thanks for the help.
one more thing, is it true that diffraction is the greatest when the width of the gap is equal to the wavelength?
 

Related to Wave Tank Refraction: Does Depth Affect Refraction?

1. What is wave tank refraction and how does it work?

Wave tank refraction is a phenomenon that occurs when waves travel from one medium to another, such as from deep water to shallow water. The change in depth causes the wave to change direction and speed, resulting in a bending of the wave. This is due to the difference in wave velocity between the two mediums.

2. How does depth affect wave tank refraction?

The depth of the water in a wave tank has a significant impact on the amount of refraction that occurs. As the depth increases, the velocity of the wave also increases, causing less bending. In contrast, as the depth decreases, the velocity of the wave decreases, resulting in more bending.

3. What are the factors that influence wave tank refraction?

Aside from depth, other factors that can affect wave tank refraction include the angle of incidence, the wavelength of the wave, and the shape of the tank. The angle of incidence refers to the angle at which the wave enters the new medium. The longer the wavelength, the more it will be affected by refraction. And the shape of the tank can also play a role in how the wave is refracted.

4. Can depth affect the speed of a wave in a wave tank?

Yes, depth can affect the speed of a wave in a wave tank. As the depth increases, the velocity of the wave also increases, resulting in a shorter wavelength and higher frequency. In contrast, as the depth decreases, the velocity of the wave decreases, resulting in a longer wavelength and lower frequency.

5. How is wave tank refraction used in real-world applications?

Wave tank refraction has many practical applications, including in oceanography, engineering, and marine biology. In oceanography, it is used to study the behavior of waves and their impact on coastal structures. In engineering, it is used to design structures that can withstand the effects of wave refraction, such as offshore oil platforms. In marine biology, it is used to study the behavior of marine animals, such as how they navigate through different water depths.

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