Website Detail Page

Item Picture
published by the PhET
Available Languages: English, Spanish, Greek, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese
This PhET simulation allows you to study Fourier series expansions of waves--one example is the overtone series in a musical instrument. You can select amplitudes of up to 11 harmonics and see what the resulting waveform will be. In addition to constructing your own waves, you can play a wave game and try to match a given pattern with a sum of harmonics that you create.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Mathematical Tools
- Series and Functions
Other Sciences
- Mathematics
Quantum Physics
- Approximation Techniques
- Probability, Waves, and Interference
Waves and Pendula
- Acoustics
= Wave Analysis and Synthesis
- Instruments
- Wave Motion
= Wave Properties of Sound
- Upper Undergraduate
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Informal Education
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
= Tutorial
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- Educators
- application/java
- text/html
  • Currently 0.0/5

Want to rate this material?
Login here!

Additional Information
Nucleus This resource was featured by the Nucleus collection from March 2, 2009 until April 2, 2009. View the feature here!
Physics To Go This resource was a Physics To Go feature from November 16, 2009 until December 1, 2009. View the feature here!

Access Rights: Free access
Restriction: © 2007 University of Colorado, Physics Education Technology
Additional information is available.
Keywords: Fourier, superposition, wave packet, wavelength
Record Cloner: Metadata instance created October 2, 2006 by Gifford Weber
Record Updated: Aug 18, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Other Collections:
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
, Version 3.01 (PhET, Boulder, 2007), WWW Document, (
PhET Simulation: Fourier: Making Waves, Version 3.01 (PhET, Boulder, 2007), <>.
APA Format
PhET Simulation: Fourier: Making Waves. (2007). Retrieved November 28, 2023, from PhET:
Chicago Format
PhET. PhET Simulation: Fourier: Making Waves. Boulder: PhET, 2007. (accessed 28 November 2023).
MLA Format
PhET Simulation: Fourier: Making Waves. Vers. 3.01. Boulder: PhET, 2007. 28 Nov. 2023 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {PhET Simulation: Fourier: Making Waves}, Publisher = {PhET}, Volume = {2023}, Number = {28 November 2023}, Year = {2007} }
Refer Export Format

%T PhET Simulation: Fourier: Making Waves %D 2007 %I PhET %C Boulder %U %O 3.01 %O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %D 2007 %T PhET Simulation: Fourier: Making Waves %I PhET %V 2023 %N 28 November 2023 %7 3.01 %9 application/java %U

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

Have experience with this material? Login to leave a comment sharing your experience.

Know of a related resource? Login to relate this resource to other material across the web.

Know of a better resource? Suggest it!

See a problem with this material's physics or description? Contact us!