written by
Peter Bohacek
published by
the Science Education Resource Center

This high-resolution video lets students interactively explore properties of mechanical waves by adjusting three variables: wave frequency, amplitude, and spring tension. The video is part of an ISLE Cycle Learning Activity, developed by physicists and physics instructors to promote student understanding of transverse waves. See Related Materials for a link to the full ISLE lesson.

Direct Measurement Videos allow students to easily analyze physical situations encountered in introductory mechanics courses. Features include digital rulers, frame-counters, and other screen overlays for making precise measurements. Video can be streamed or viewed in stepped motion to analyze frame-by-frame action. This material is part of Pedagogy in Action, a library of resources for educators provided by SERC, the Science Education Resource Center.

Please note that this resource requires
Quicktime.

Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer (MS-PS4)

Students who demonstrate understanding can: (6-8)

Use mathematical representations to describe a simple model for waves that includes how the amplitude of a wave is related to the energy in a wave. (MS-PS4-1)

Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer (HS-PS4)

Students who demonstrate understanding can: (9-12)

Use mathematical representations to support a claim regarding relationships among the frequency, wavelength, and speed of waves traveling in various media. (HS-PS4-1)

Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Wave Properties (PS4.A)

A simple wave has a repeating pattern with a specific wavelength, frequency, and amplitude. (6-8)

The wavelength and frequency of a wave are related to one another by the speed of travel of the wave, which depends on the type of wave and the medium through which it is passing. (9-12)

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Cause and Effect (K-12)

Cause and effect relationships can be suggested and predicted for complex natural and human designed systems by examining what is known about smaller scale mechanisms within the system. (9-12)

Structure and Function (K-12)

Complex and microscopic structures and systems can be visualized, modeled, and used to describe how their function depends on the relationships among its parts, therefore complex natural structures/systems can be analyzed to determine how they function. (6-8)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)

Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis. (6-8)

Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for phenomena. (6-8)

Analyzing data in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency, and the use of models to generate and analyze data. (9-12)

Analyze data using computational models in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims. (9-12)

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (K-12)

Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories. (6-8)

Construct an explanation that includes qualitative or quantitative relationships between variables that predict phenomena. (6-8)

NGSS Nature of Science Standards (K-12)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)

Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis. (6-8)

Analyzing data in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency, and the use of models to generate and analyze data. (9-12)

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (K-12)

Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories. (6-8)

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

2. The Nature of Mathematics

2B. Mathematics, Science, and Technology

9-12: 2B/H3. Mathematics provides a precise language to describe objects and events and the relationships among them. In addition, mathematics provides tools for solving problems, analyzing data, and making logical arguments.

4. The Physical Setting

4F. Motion

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.

12. Habits of Mind

12B. Computation and Estimation

9-12: 12B/H2. Find answers to real-world problems by substituting numerical values in simple algebraic formulas and check the answer by reviewing the steps of the calculation and by judging whether the answer is reasonable.

9-12: 12B/H3. Make up and write out simple algorithms for solving real-world problems that take several steps.

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Alignments

Standards for Mathematical Practice (K-12)

MP.4 Model with mathematics.

MP.6 Attend to precision.

High School — Algebra (9-12)

Seeing Structure in Expressions (9-12)

A-SSE.1.b Interpret complicated expressions by viewing one or more of their parts as a single entity.

Creating Equations^{?} (9-12)

A-CED.4 Rearrange formulas to highlight a quantity of interest, using the same reasoning as in solving equations.

Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities (9-12)

A-REI.3 Solve linear equations and inequalities in one variable, including equations with coefficients represented by letters.

High School — Functions (9-12)

Interpreting Functions (9-12)

F-IF.6 Calculate and interpret the average rate of change of a function (presented symbolically or as a table) over a specified interval. Estimate the rate of change from a graph.

Linear, Quadratic, and Exponential Models^{?} (9-12)

F-LE.1.b Recognize situations in which one quantity changes at a constant rate per unit interval relative to another.

F-LE.1.c Recognize situations in which a quantity grows or decays by a constant percent rate per unit interval relative to another.

F-LE.5 Interpret the parameters in a linear or exponential function in terms of a context.

P. Bohacek, Direct Measurement Video: Wave Properties, (Science Education Resource Center, Northfield, 2014), <https://serc.carleton.edu/dmvideos/videos/wave_properties.html>.

Bohacek, P. (2015, October 30). Direct Measurement Video: Wave Properties. Retrieved September 23, 2018, from Science Education Resource Center: https://serc.carleton.edu/dmvideos/videos/wave_properties.html

Bohacek, Peter. Direct Measurement Video: Wave Properties. Northfield: Science Education Resource Center, October 30, 2015. https://serc.carleton.edu/dmvideos/videos/wave_properties.html (accessed 23 September 2018).

%0 Electronic Source %A Bohacek, Peter %D October 30, 2015 %T Direct Measurement Video: Wave Properties %I Science Education Resource Center %V 2018 %N 23 September 2018 %8 October 30, 2015 %9 text/html %U https://serc.carleton.edu/dmvideos/videos/wave_properties.html

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