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Why do waves oscillate?

  1. Nov 6, 2015 #1
    Please correct me or excuse me for my potential ignorance but why do waves oscilliate?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    For the same reason a pendulum swings or a spring oscillates. There is a disturbance and some restoring force (like the tension is a string). But as the system returns to what would be the stationary point, it has acquired velocity and continues past the equilibrium point, and so on...
  4. Nov 6, 2015 #3
    Thank you very much for your help
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