04 Waves

Big Ideas. Waves are disturbances that propagate from one region of space to another. Waves are inherent in our everyday lives; how we hear, see and communicate is due to the way waves travel and transfer energy from a source (or disturbance) to places around it. 2. Sound waves are vibrations that propagate through a material medium. The speed of sound depends on the medium through which it travels; sound travels fastest through a solid, and slowest through a gas. 3. Light belongs to a family of waves known as Electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic waves can propagate even in empty space where there is no material medium. Light and all other electromagnetic waves travel at the same speed (3.0 x 108 m/s) through a vacuum. Electromagnetic waves have many important applications in communication, home appliances, medical and industrial use. 4. When two waves overlap, their total displacement is the sum of the individual displacements of the individual waves. This is the principle of superposition of waves which is applied to explain the formation of stationary waves and interference patterns.


Other Resources adapted from http://mptl.eu/ Sound and Wave Reviews  MPTL 18, 2013  Marion Birch, Ewa Debowska, Raimund Girwidz, Tomasz Greczylo,  Antje Kohnle, Bruce Mason, Leopold Mathelitsch, Trevor Melder,  Marisa Michelini, Ivan Ruddock, Lorenzo Santi, Jorge Silva  Report by Bruce Mason

  1. PHeT: Sound and Waves, PhET Project (E, E, VG) https://phet.colorado.edu/en/search?q=sound+and+wave This is a collection of seven simulations, with five specifically about waves and sound. The items have instructional help such as learning goals, teaching tips, worksheets, laboratory ideas, or in-class questions. The simulations provide a realistic interface that is engaging. The materials are flexible so that they can be used for different levels of students and for different types of learning activities. Some reviewers felt that educational purpose is not always clear so instructors will need to scaffold student activities. The physics appears to be correct, but the physical models and approximations used are not stated.
  2. Waves: An Interactive Tutorial, Kyle Forinash (VG, VG+, E) http://homepages.ius.edu/KFORINAS/W/Waves.html This is an online interactive tutorial with 32 short modules each built around a java simulation. The coverage of the topic is extensive, including different mechanical waves and light. The use of multimedia is simple but instructive. Much of the material includes questions to challenge the user to interact with the simulations. The material is at a high school or introductory undergraduate level, although mathematics required for some of the simulations may be somewhat challenging. The presentation is somewhat dry without interesting applications of the material. There is not sufficient exploration available as the questions tend to be specific. This isn’t flashy, but solid and extensive work.
  3. Physclips: Waves & Sound, University of New South Wales (E, E, VG, VG) http://www.animations.physics.unsw.edu.au/waves-sound/oscillations/index.html This is an extensive multimedia‐based instructional site covering many topics in waves and sound. The layout is appealing although the large numbers of links (and amount of information) make it difficult to navigate in some instances. It includes video lectures, videos of experiments, audio files, simulations, and reference materials. The multimedia is used effectively in different ways. The reviewers noted limited interactivity, student activities, and pedagogy. Much of the material is video‐based.
  4. Physlet Physics: Waves, Christian, Belloni, and Cox. (E, VG) http://www.compadre.org/Physlets/waves/ This is a comprehensive set of learning materials on the topic, including basic illustrations, directed student explorations, and problems. The purpose of the student assignments is clear with the three different types of materials addressing different learning goals. Worksheets are available for many of the materials. The material covers the topics of waves well and the layout of the site is pleasant and easily navigated.
  5. How Load, How High? Concord Consortium (E, VG?) https://learn.concord.org/resources/649/how-loud-how-high With this resource, students study the physics of sound using noises they create. A sound analysis program lets the students see either the time or frequency domain. A series of activities lead the students through issues of amplitude, frequency, and superposition. The interactivity is noteworthy. One reviewer felt that having all the activities on one long page is inconvenient and the work is a bit too scripted. There needs to be more pedagogical information. Note that these same activities could be done with a separate sound analysis program such as Audacity.
  6. EJs Waves, Juan Aguirregabiria (VG, VG) http://www.compadre.org/OSP/filingcabinet/share.cfm?UID=5&FID=35107&code=AC03A8551C This is a collection of seven Easy Java Simulation models on waves. The topics covered include interference, resonance, and wavepackets. For each model, there is a wide range of physical parameters controlled by the user. The displays go beyond that of typical wave simulations, such as the time‐dependence of the interference pattern for multiple wave sources, both coherent and not coherent. Each of the items includes an explanation and learning activities. Each model is straightforward to operate and the learning activities are evident.
  7. Boston University: Easy Java Simulations, Andrew Duffy (VG, VG) http://physics.bu.edu/~duffy/Ejs/ The small collection provides five different interactive activities for students. Each item includes introductory materials, a student‐controlled simulation, and in many cases a downloadable worksheet. The tasks for the students are clear. The downloadable materials are adaptable for use in different classes. The topics are somewhat fragmented between different simulations. The applets are rather simple, and answers to activities are often available, so the teacher must think carefully about their use.
  8. Sounds Amazing: AS/A Level Physics, University of Salford (VG, VG, VG, A) http://www.acoustics.salford.ac.uk/feschools/index.htm This is a basic introduction to waves covering a range of topics from oscillations to standing waves, all with video and simple animations. There are some unusual topics, such as hearing loss and acoustic room design. There is not a great deal of interactivity with the illustrations. The discussion includes E&M wave examples as well as sound. Similar material is presented in a simpler, lower‐level tutorial at http://www.acoustics.salford.ac.uk/schools/index1.htm Reviewers of this tutorial feel it is a well‐structured work but may lack the engagement for a stand‐alone learning activity.
  9. Math, Physics, and Engineering Applets, Paul Falstad (E, VG?) http://www.falstad.com/mathphysics.html This is a classic collection of simulations in waves and acoustics. There are some unique examples of ways to illustrate and explore physical phenomena using simulations. One reviewer noted the lack of physics explanations and pedagogy.
  10. Musical Acoustics, University of New South Wales http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/music/ This website provides reference and research material on musical acoustics. It is connected to the “PhysClips” materials described above. This material is a unique combination of music and physics, including a fairly in‐depth (“high level”) exploration of both. As it is reference material, it is not overly pedagogical in nature, but could be a supplement to courses. There is some use of multimedia.
  11. Acoustics and Vibration Animations, Dan Russell http://www.acs.psu.edu/drussell/demos.html A set of short explanations of the physics of waves and sound illustrated with animations. Topics range from the very basics to research results on mechanical oscillations and sound. Although most of this material is not interactive, it will be useful as references and real‐world examples.
  12. Audio analysis programs include: Audacity‐ http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ Sonic Visualizer ‐ http://www.sonicvisualiser.org/ Wave Surfer ‐ http://sourceforge.net/projects/wavesurfer/
  13. Illustrations, animations, and videos: MIT Tech TV https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdUoFIZSuX0 This video on breaking a glass with sound is one of about a dozen sound and wave‐related videos from MIT. These need to be incorporated into a course by an instructor to be useful. Sound Simulation, http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~kvdoel/app6JavaSound/demo.html Create 1D and 2D objects and generate sounds when they are hit, plucked, or scraped.
  14. Course Material: Physics 152: Oscillations and Waves, Michael Fowler http://galileo.phys.virginia.edu/classes/152.mf1i.spring02/OscWavesIndex.htm Lecture notes for an oscillations and waves class, with Flash, Java, and Excel. Sound: An Interactive eBook, Kyle Forinash http://pages.iu.edu/~kforinas/This is an HTML book, mostly text, but with many links to videos, apps, and other resources.