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Lecture 29. Goals:. Chapter 20, Waves. Final test review on Wednesday. Final exam on Monday, Dec 20, at 5:00 pm. HW 11 due Wednesday. Relationship between wavelength and period. v. D(x,t=0). x. x 0. l. T= l /v. Exercise Wave Motion.

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Lecture 29
Lecture 29


  • Chapter 20, Waves

  • Final test review on Wednesday.

  • Final exam on Monday, Dec 20, at 5:00 pm.

  • HW 11 due Wednesday.

Exercise wave motion
Exercise Wave Motion

  • A boat is moored in a fixed location, and waves make it move up and down. If the spacing between wave crests is 20 meters and the speed of the waves is 5 m/s, how long Dt does it take the boat to go from the top of a crest to the bottom of a trough ? (Recall T = / v )

(A) 2 sec(B) 4 sec(C) 8 sec


t + Dt

Mathematical formalism
Mathematical formalism


D(0,t) ~ A cos (wt + f)

  • w: angular frequency

  • w=2p/T





D(x,0) ~ A cos (kx+ f)

  • k: wave number

  • k=2p / l


Mathematical formalism1
Mathematical formalism

  • The two dimensional displacement function for a sinusoidal wave traveling along +x direction:

D(x,t) = A cos (kx - wt + f)

A : Amplitude

k : wave number

w : angular frequency

f : phase constant

Mathematical formalism2
Mathematical formalism

  • Note that there are equivalent ways of describing a wave propagating in +x direction:

D(x,t) = A cos (kx - wt + f)

D(x,t) = A sin (kx - wt + f+p/2)

D(x,t) = A cos [k(x – vt) + f]

Why the minus sign
Why the minus sign?

  • As time progresses, we need the disturbance to move towards +x:

at t=0, D(x,t=0) = A cos [k(x-0) + f]

at t=t0, D(x,t=t0) = A cos [k(x-vt0) + f]




Lecture 29

D(x,t) = A cos (kx – wt )

D(x,t) = A sin (kx – wt )

C)D(x,t) = A cos (-kx + wt )

D) D(x,t) = A cos (kx + wt )

Speed of waves
Speed of waves towards -x:

  • The speed of mechanical waves depend on the elastic and inertial properties of the medium.

  • For a string, the speed of the wave can be shown to be:

Tstring: tension in the string

m=M / L : mass per unit length

Waves on a string
Waves on a string towards -x:

  • Making the tension bigger increases the speed.

  • Making the string heavier decreases the speed.

  • The speed depends only on the nature of the medium, not on amplitude, frequency etc of the wave.

Exercise wave motion1
Exercise towards -x:Wave Motion

  • A heavy rope hangs from the ceiling, and a small amplitude transverse wave is started by jiggling the rope at the bottom.

  • As the wave travels up the rope, its speed will:


(a) increase

(b) decrease

(c) stay the same

Sound a special kind of longitudinal wave
Sound, A special kind of longitudinal wave towards -x:


Individual molecules undergo harmonic motion with displacement in same direction as wave motion.

Waves in two and three dimensions
Waves in two and three dimensions towards -x:

  • Waves on the surface of water:

circular waves


Plane waves
Plane waves towards -x:

  • Note that a small portion of a spherical wave front is well represented as a “plane wave”.

Intensity power per unit area
Intensity (power per unit area) towards -x:

  • A wave can be made more “intense” by focusing to a smaller area.

I=P/A : J/(s m2)


Exercise spherical waves
Exercise towards -x:Spherical Waves

  • You are standing 10 m away from a very loud, small speaker. The noise hurts your ears. In order to reduce the intensity to 1/4 its original value, how far away do you need to stand?

(A) 14 m (B) 20 m (C) 30 m(D)40 m

Intensity of sounds
Intensity of sounds towards -x:

  • The range of intensities detectible by the human ear is very large

  • It is convenient to use a logarithmic scale to determine the intensity level,b

I0: threshold of human hearing

I0=10-12 W/m2

Intensity of sounds1
Intensity of sounds towards -x:

  • Some examples (1 pascal  10-5 atm) :