Traveling waves

16 Traveling waves (Overview)

Sources of sound vibrate. A short time later, the disturbance arrives at a detector and the detector vibrates in response to the disturbance. But what happens in between source and detector? What does sound look like as it travels?

Sound has a lot in common with ripples on a pond. Dip your finger in a pond and ripples travel outward from the the source. Dip your finger repeatedly, and a series of ripples travels outward from the source. Sound “ripples” are almost impossible to see directly, but there’s plenty of reason to believe they exist. A wave model for sound raises lots of questions about sound?

  • What role does air play in sound?
  • What, exactly, is moving when sound travels from place to place?
  • How are the sound “ripples” made? What do they look like?
  • How are loud sounds different from those quiet sounds?
  • How are high pitch sounds different than low pitched ones?

Traveling Waves: Learning Objectives

  • Distinguish between the motion of a wave and motion of the material in which the wave travels
  • Distinguish between pulse and wave
  • Describe the motion of a sound wave
  • Describe the motion of the air particles in a sound wave
  • Distinguish between longitudinal and transverse waves
  • Define and describe wavelength, frequency and amplitude for L-waves and T-waves
  • Explain the relationship among wave speed, frequency and wavelength
  • Identify things that affect the speed of a wave (and things that don’t)
  • Apply the equations d=vt and \lambda = \dfrac{v }{f} to solve numerical and non-numerical problems
  • Describe Doppler effect and apply the Doppler effect equation:



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Understanding Sound by abbottds is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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