RIPPLE TANK LAB

Kameron E, Jon R, Kazushi M, Grant L, Nick C

Part one: Waves

A wave is a wiggle in space and time. They are created by energy moving through space. Most information that we receive travels in a form of a wave; including electromagnetic waves, sound waves, and light waves. The Wave Theory states that light and magnetic fields are transmitted by waves. Waves travel at a speed measured by meters per second and depends on the medium which it travels through.

Part two: Simple Waves

The two waves that we will analyze are spherical and plane waves.

SPHERICAL WAVES: A wave whose equiphase surfaces form a family of concentric spheres; the direction of travel is always perpendicular to the surfaces of the spheres.


  • Wave Length: 2 cm
  • Wave Frequency: 32 waves in 10 seconds, 3.2 waves per second
  • Wave Speed: 6.4 cm/sec
Spherical Waves

PLANE WAVES: a wave of constant frequency and amplitude with wavefronts that are an infinitely long straight line which are perpendicular to the wavefronts


  • Wave Length: 3 cm
  • Wave Frequency: 35 waves in 10 seconds 3.5 per second
  • Wave Speed: 10.5 cm/sec
Plane Waves

Part three: Wave Interference

VOCAB
  • Wave Interference: a phenomenon in which two waves meet to form a resultant wave of greater or lower amplitude.
  • Dual Pin Interference: When two spherical waves collide and overlap each other.
  • Double Slit Interference: When a wave comes across an obstacle in its path that causes it to either separate or spread wider.
  • Constructive Interference: a type of interference that occurs at any location along the medium where the two interfering waves have a displacement in the same direction
  • Destructive Interference: a type of interference that occurs at any location along the medium where the two interfering waves have a displacement in the opposite direction.


COMPARE AND CONTRAST

In a dual in interference situation there are two spherical waves that comes across each other and overlap one another, never separating. In a double slit interference situation a single wave encounters an obstacle or gap in the path that cause the wave to break apart in the multiple, weaker waves. But after the obstacle has been overcome the waves gradually come together again. Although the two incidences cause different outcomes, waves are interacting with one another and in both cases they conjoin and create a new wave pattern.



LIFE EXAMPLES

As a child i'm sure you've played in the pool, maybe even to the day. And at one time or another i bet you have messed around with the ripples of the pool by owing the tips of your fingers into the surface of the water. Now imagine you used both index fingers to do this. You would see two spherical waves eventually overlap each other and then die out.


In contract to dual pin interference, if you've ever seen a river or stream you've most likely seen double slit interference. Say they're were two rocks side by side one another in a slow moving river. The plane waves ripples would change their direction once passing the rocks. The plane waves would separate then gradually come together again, but in spherical way.

Dual Pin Waves
Dual Slit Waves

Part four: Wave Reflection

VOCAB
  • Wave Reflection: is when waves, whether physical or electromagnetic, bounce from a surface back toward the source.
  • Angle of Incidence: the angle that an incident line or ray makes with a perpendicular to the surface at the point of incidence.
  • Angle of Reflection: the angle made by a reflected ray with a perpendicular to the reflecting surface.


LIFE EXAMPLES

Have you ever been to a concert hall for a band or a choir? The echoes you hear are all produced with the careful placement of all the sound shields that help the sound that the band or the singer makes bounce all over the hall. The sound waves that come out are bouncing around in the hall which makes you hear echoes and a better tone of sound.

Angles Waves

Part five: Wave Diffraction

VOCAB
  • Wave Diffraction: is when a wave goes through a small hole and has a flared out geometric shadow of the slit.
Wave Interference

Part six: Doppler Effect

The Doppler Effect happens when an object in motion compresses waves it is producing. This happens very frequently with sound waves and light waves.


Life Examples

Have you ever been to a NASCAR race and saw the race car whizz past you? Then you probably have heard the Doppler Effect in effect. When the race car is coming towards you, the speed of the car squishes the sound waves it is producing, and you hear a high pitched sound. But when it is driving away from you, the sound waves are pulled apart, causing the pitch of the sound to drop.


If it was possible to run at the speed of light, and someone was sitting on a bench that you ran past, when you were running towards them, the light waves that come from your will be squished, making the front part of your body to turn red. When you run away from the person sitting on the bench, your light waves will spread apart, making you look blue.