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In this interactive simulation students can learn how to make waves of all different shapes by adding up sines or cosines. They can create waves in space and time and measure their wavelengths and periods. Changing the amplitudes of different harmonics changes the waves. Last, students  can compare different mathematical expressions for their waves. Teaching tips, related lesson plans, and activities are also available.

The page also contains a teacher's guide as well as user-submitted idea and activities for use with this simulation.

This page is part of a large and growing collection. It has been designed using principles from physics education research and refined based on student interviews.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Mathematical Tools
- Series and Functions
Oscillations & Waves
- Acoustics
= Wave Analysis and Synthesis
- Instruments
- Wave Motion
= Wave Properties of Sound
Other Sciences
- Mathematics
Quantum Physics
- Approximation Techniques
- Probability, Waves, and Interference
- High School
- Informal Education
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
= Tutorial
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
Learner
Educator
Formats:
application/java
text/html
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Access Rights:
Free access
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Keywords:
Fourier, superposition, wave packet, wavelength
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created October 2, 2006 by Gifford Weber
Record Updated:
August 18, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Other Collections:

ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

AIP Format
, Version 3.01 (PhET, Boulder, 2007), WWW Document, (https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/fourier).
AJP/PRST-PER
PhET Simulation: Fourier: Making Waves, , Version 3.01 (PhET, Boulder, 2007), <https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/fourier>.
APA Format
PhET Simulation: Fourier: Making Waves. (2007). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from PhET: https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/fourier
Chicago Format
PhET. PhET Simulation: Fourier: Making Waves. Boulder: PhET, 2007. https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/fourier (accessed 25 November 2020).
MLA Format
PhET Simulation: Fourier: Making Waves. Vers. 3.01. Boulder: PhET, 2007. 25 Nov. 2020 <https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/fourier>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {PhET Simulation: Fourier: Making Waves}, Publisher = {PhET}, Volume = {2020}, Number = {25 November 2020}, Year = {2007} }
Refer Export Format

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

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D 2007
%T PhET Simulation: Fourier: Making Waves
%I PhET
%V 2020
%N 25 November 2020
%7 3.01
%9 application/java

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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 Style.org: 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.

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