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The Open Source Physics Project is supported by NSF DUE-0442581.

Computer Program Detail Page

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Ripple Tank Model for Teachers
written by Wolfgang Christian
The Ripple Tank Model for Teachers allows instructors to simulate 2D wave interference. A ripple tank is a shallow glass tank of water used to demonstrate the basic properties of waves. The tank is usually illuminated from above, so that the light shines through the water.  The ripples on the water show up as shadows on the screen underneath the tank.  In the default visualization the wave crests and troughs are shown as red and blue.  Users can change the number of sources, their amplitude and phase, and other parameters. Selecting student mode repackages the modified simulation into a stand-alone jar file with fewer options for classroom use.

The Ripple Tank Model for Teachers was created using the Easy Java Simulations (EJS) modeling tool.  It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive.  Double clicking the ejs_waves_teacher_RippleTank.jar file will run the program if Java is installed.

Please note that this resource requires at least version 1.6 of Java (JRE).
3 supplemental documents are available
1 source code document is available
Subjects Levels Resource Types
- Interference
= Interference From Two Sources
Oscillations & Waves
- Wave Motion
= Interference and Diffraction
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Upper Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Interactive Simulation
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Educators
- Learners
- application/java
  • Currently 5.0/5

Rated 5.0 stars by 2 people

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Access Rights:
Free access
This material is released under a GNU General Public License Version 3 license.
Rights Holder:
Wolfgang Christian
constructive interference, destructive interference, interference, ripple tank
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created June 9, 2012 by Wolfgang Christian
Record Updated:
June 11, 2014 by Andreu Glasmann
Last Update
when Cataloged:
June 7, 2012
Other Collections:

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4F. Motion
  • 6-8: 4F/M4. Vibrations in materials set up wavelike disturbances that spread away from the source. Sound and earthquake waves are examples. These and other waves move at different speeds in different materials.
  • 6-8: 4F/M7. Wave behavior can be described in terms of how fast the disturbance spreads, and in terms of the distance between successive peaks of the disturbance (the wavelength).
  • 9-12: 4F/H6ab. Waves can superpose on one another, bend around corners, reflect off surfaces, be absorbed by materials they enter, and change direction when entering a new material. All these effects vary with wavelength.

NSES Content Standards

Con.B: Physical Science
  • 5-8: Transfer of Energy
  • 9-12: Motions & Forces
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
W. Christian, Computer Program RIPPLE TANK MODEL FOR TEACHERS (2012), WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12043&DocID=2938).
W. Christian, Computer Program RIPPLE TANK MODEL FOR TEACHERS (2012), <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12043&DocID=2938>.
APA Format
Christian, W. (2012). Ripple Tank Model for Teachers [Computer software]. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12043&DocID=2938
Chicago Format
Christian, Wolfgang. "Ripple Tank Model for Teachers." https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12043&DocID=2938 (accessed 19 July 2024).
MLA Format
Christian, Wolfgang. Ripple Tank Model for Teachers. Computer software. 2012. Java (JRE) 1.6. 19 July 2024 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12043&DocID=2938>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Wolfgang Christian", Title = {Ripple Tank Model for Teachers}, Month = {June}, Year = {2012} }
Refer Export Format

%A Wolfgang Christian %T Ripple Tank Model for Teachers %D June 7, 2012 %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12043&DocID=2938 %O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Computer Program %A Christian, Wolfgang %D June 7, 2012 %T Ripple Tank Model for Teachers %8 June 7, 2012 %U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12043&DocID=2938

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Ripple Tank Model for Teachers:

Is Based On Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool

The Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool is needed to explore the computational model used in the Ripple Tank Model for Teachers.

relation by Wolfgang Christian

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