1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min 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!

Why backward travelling wave?

  1. Jul 17, 2006 #1
    I have a wave eqn that is of the standard form (y=sin(kx-wt)) and have a positive constant velocity. But when I graph it, it appears to be moving backwards with a greater t producing a lesser x for each specific y. How can this be?

    The eqn is y=10sin(18.35x-6283t)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 17, 2006 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    It could be a reflected wave.

    The wave direction is either + or - with respect to the coordinate system. In one dimension, waves can move in one of two directions - forwards or backwards.
  4. Jul 17, 2006 #3
    How can it be a reflected wave when there is nothing to reflect it with? The time I subed in was tiny and it still showed a backward moving wave. So the wave is going backwards immediately after t=0.
  5. Jul 17, 2006 #4
    I know where I made my mistake. I didn't fully understand how the phase component worked. The wave turns our to be a forward travelling wave after all.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Why backward travelling wave?
  1. Traveling Wave (Replies: 1)

  2. Traveling Waves (Replies: 4)

  3. Traveling Wave (Replies: 0)