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Homework Help: Wave tank

  1. Apr 22, 2005 #1
    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.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2005 #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.
  4. Apr 22, 2005 #3


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    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?
  5. Apr 24, 2005 #4
    sorry, wrong prefix...
    so, increased depth = increased velocity = incresed wavelength = increased diffraction... correct?
  6. Apr 25, 2005 #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.
  7. Apr 25, 2005 #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?
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