Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Standing Waves on a String

Introduction

When you shake a string, a pulse travels down its length. When it reaches the end, the pulse can be reflected. A series of regularly occurring pulses will generate traveling waves that, after reflection from the other end, will interfere with the oncoming waves. When the conditions are right, the superposition of these waves traveling in opposite directions can give rise to something known as a “standing wave.” That is, there appear to be stationary waves on the string with some parts of the string hardly moving at all and other regions where the string experiences a large displacement. In this lab you will investigate the various factors that give rise to this phenomenon.

Objectives

In this experiment, you will

  • Adjust the frequency of the driver so that the string vibrates in the fundamental mode.
  • Set up other standing wave patterns on the string.
  • Relate the frequency of the various harmonics to that of the fundamental mode of vibration.
  • Describe the terms amplitude, frequency, wavelength, node, and antinode as they relate to vibrating strings.
  • Determine the velocity of waves in the string.
  • Relate wave velocity to the tension of the string and its linear density.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

No standards correlations for this experiment.

Experiment 3 from Advanced Physics with Vernier - Beyond Mechanics Lab Book

<i>Advanced Physics with Vernier - Beyond Mechanics</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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