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content provider: the Nuffield Curriculum Centre
written by the Nuffield Curriculum Centre
This is an experiment relating to wave motion appropriate for middle school physical science or high school physics.  Slinky springs can be easily manipulated to produce both transverse or longitudinal waves, allowing users to compare and contrast them.  This experiment explains how to create pulses and continuous waves using both Slinkies and rubber tubing, which produce pulses of different shape.  The experiment can be very simple or may be adapted for use in more advanced classes.

SEE RELATED ITEMS on this page for a companion experiment using dynamics trolleys to model a dispersive system, as opposed to the continuous system represented by a Slinky.

This item is part of a much larger collection of physics/astronomy experiments, sponsored by the UK's Institute of Physics and funded by the Nuffield Curriculum Centre.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
General Physics
- Curriculum
Oscillations & Waves
- Wave Motion
= Longitudinal Pulses and Waves
= Transverse Pulses and Waves
- High School
- Middle School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Instructor Guide/Manual
= Laboratory
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Laboratory
- New teachers
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Safety Warnings
Minimal Danger   No Safety Equipment Necessary  


Intended Users:
Learner
Educator
Format:
text/html
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2006 The Nuffield Foundation
Additional information is available.
Keywords:
Slinky, activities, experiment, hands-on, longitudinal waves, mechanical waves, practical physics, transverse waves, wave types, waves
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created March 5, 2009 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
March 8, 2012 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
October 27, 2007

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.


Topic: Wave Energy
Unit Title: Types of Mechanical Waves

A Slinky spring is one of the best ways to model both transverse and longitudinal waves.  Teaching tips in this web site explain how to get the best results. Try teaming this experiment with the one above that uses dynamics trolleys connected by springs.  Students can compare/contrast the wave motion in a continuous versus a dispersive system (trolleys).

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Record Link
AIP Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre, (2006), WWW Document, (http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/pulses-and-continuous-waves-slinky-spring).
AJP/PRST-PER
Nuffield Curriculum Centre, Practical Physics: Pulses and continuous waves with a Slinky spring (2006), <http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/pulses-and-continuous-waves-slinky-spring>.
APA Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. (2007, October 27). Practical Physics: Pulses and continuous waves with a Slinky spring. Retrieved July 28, 2014, from http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/pulses-and-continuous-waves-slinky-spring
Chicago Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. Practical Physics: Pulses and continuous waves with a Slinky spring. October 27, 2007. http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/pulses-and-continuous-waves-slinky-spring (accessed 28 July 2014).
MLA Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. Practical Physics: Pulses and continuous waves with a Slinky spring. 2006. 27 Oct. 2007. Nuffield Curriculum Centre. 28 July 2014 <http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/pulses-and-continuous-waves-slinky-spring>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Nuffield Curriculum Centre", Title = {Practical Physics: Pulses and continuous waves with a Slinky spring}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {28 July 2014}, Month = {October 27, 2007}, Year = {2006} }
Refer Export Format

%Q Nuffield Curriculum Centre
%T Practical Physics:  Pulses and continuous waves with a Slinky spring
%D October 27, 2007
%U http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/pulses-and-continuous-waves-slinky-spring
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Nuffield Curriculum Centre,
%D October 27, 2007
%T Practical Physics:  Pulses and continuous waves with a Slinky spring
%V 2014
%N 28 July 2014
%8 October 27, 2007
%9 text/html
%U http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/pulses-and-continuous-waves-slinky-spring


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Practical Physics: Pulses and continuous waves with a Slinky spring:

Is By The Same Author and Covers a Similar Topic As Practical Physics: Waves with Trolleys

A companion experiment using dynamics trolleys to produce transverse and longitudinal waves, allowing students to compare wave movement in a different system.

relation by Caroline Hall

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