Direction of Wave Propagation with Examples

Direction of Wave Propagation

If we know shape of the pulse at an instant time, or propagation direction of the particles of the pulse we can find the direction of wave propagation.

direction of wave propagation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Example:  Given picture below shows the direction of wave propagation. Find the directions of the vibration at points A, B and C.

direction of wave propagation example

 

 

 

 

 

 

We draw the shape of the pulse after t s and find the directions of the vibration at points A, B and C.

direction of wave propagation example

 

 

 

 

 

 

Velocity of the Spring Pulse

Distance taken at an instant time by the pulse is called velocity of the pulse. Velocity of the spring pulse depends on force exerted on the spring and spring constant µ. Spring constant depends on the type of the spring; it is found by the following formula;

 µ=mass/length

 velocity of spring wave

 

Where; v velocity of the spring pulse (m/s),

 

µ is the spring constant (kg/m), and F is the force exerted on the spring (N).

 

spring pulse

 

 

 

 

Example:  Find relation of propagation velocity of pulses of identical springs in given picture below.

waves example

 

 

Force exerted on the springs directly proportional to the hanged masses. Thus, since G3>G2>G1,

v3>v2>v1.

Example:   There are three identical springs having equal masses and different lengths L3>L2>L1. Find the relation of velocities of pulses.

 

 

waves example

 

 

 

 

Propagation velocity of the pulse is;

velocity of spring pulse

 

 

Spring constant is;

 µ=mass/length

Relation of the lengths,

L3>L2>L1

Relation of the spring constants;

µ321

Propagation velocities become;

v3>v2>v1

Waves Exams and Solutions

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