- Parent Category: 04 Waves
- Category: 02 General Waves
- Created: Wednesday, 02 May 2018 11:35
- Last Updated: Monday, 20 April 2020 22:00
- Published: Wednesday, 02 May 2018 11:35
- Written by Loo Kang Wee
- Hits: 956
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Fu-Kwun Hwang; Loo Kang Wee
This simulation can be used to illustrate longitudinal waves, and investigate how the speed of a wave is affected when certain conditions are changed. It can also be used to model how the forces of attraction between particles in a medium affects the speed of sound in the medium.
What does the simulation show?
The simulation consists of a row of particles that are connected by springs. When a particle at one end is displaced (by pulling it to the left or right), the disturbance travels to the other end as a longitudinal wave.
What is the variable we are investigating?
In this simulation, we can vary the “stiffness” of the springs. When a spring is “stiffer” or less elastic, a greater force is exerted on the particles connected by the spring. Conversely, a less “stiff” or more elastic spring exerts a smaller force on the particles for the same displacement.
Possible investigations and inferences
The simulation can be used to investigate how varying the stiffness of the springs affects how fast the longitudinal wave travels. It can also model how the forces of attraction between particles in a medium affects the speed of sound in the medium.
The particles in the simulation interact through the springs, which exert forces on the particles; similarly, forces of attraction exist between particles in matter. In the solid state, forces of attraction between particles are strong. In the gaseous state, forces of attraction between particles are weak. The springs in the simulation model the attraction between particles in matter – the stiffer the springs, the stronger the forces of attraction between particles.