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content provider: the Nuffield Curriculum Centre
written by the Nuffield Curriculum Centre
This is an experiment relating to wave motion developed for use in high school science physical classrooms. Dynamics trolleys are connected by springs to model longitudinal and transverse waves. The detailed lesson plan fully explains set-up and how to adapt the lesson for regular or advanced high school physics. Students investigate how the wave speed is affected by changes in mass/tension, and how this dispersive system differs from a continuous wave medium like a rope or slinky. The experiment is simple to set up for investigation in cooperative learning groups.
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.
SEE RELATED ITEMS BELOW for a link to the full collection.
This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: Wave Energy
Unit Title: Types of Mechanical Waves
This simple, yet highly visual experiment uses dynamics trolleys, springs, and spring holders to model a transverse and a longitudinal wave. The models are easy enough for students to set up, but allow exploration of complex concepts, such as how this dispersive system differs from a continuous wave medium like a rope or slinky (see experiment below for a companion activity).Link to Unit:
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Practical Physics: Waves with Trolleys:
Is Part Of Practical Physics
This is a link to the full collection of Practical Physics experiments.relation by Caroline Hall
Is By The Same Author and Covers a Similar Topic As Practical Physics: Pulses and continuous waves with a Slinky spring
A companion experiment using Slinky springs and rubber tubing to produce transverse and longitudinal waves, allowing students to compare wave movement in a continuous system.relation by Caroline Hall
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