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Traveling waves HTML5


A wave transfers a disturbance from one part of a material to another. In the ideal case, we can say:

  • The disturbance propagates through the material without any overall motion of the material itself.
  • The disturbance propagates without distortion of the wave form.
  • The disturbance propagates with constant speed.

    The traveling sine wave, among all the wave forms, is a very useful case to study.

    A chronometer is available for evaluation of the wave’s velocity. The navigation buttons enable you to go forward or in reverse, step by step. You can also determine the period (frequency) and the wavelength of the wave in the case of a sinusoidal excitation.

Click on to play the applet or on and to go back or forth step by step.

Learning goals

  • To illustrate two kinds of traveling waves.
  • To define the main characteristics of a sine wave.

Learn more

A disturbance is applied to the end of the ondoscope: the hand transfers mechanical energy to the system. The first point receives this energy, lifts and transfers this energy to the neighboring…

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