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content provider: the Nuffield Curriculum Centre
written by the Nuffield Curriculum Centre
This set of eight experiments introduces students to various categories of waves and the language used to describe them.  Developed for use in high school science classrooms, each experiment focuses on practical applications of wave motion and is supplemented with lesson procedures, drawings/photos, and tips for teachers.  Especially noteworthy are the lab safety guidelines written specifically for each lab experiment.  Background information accompanies each activity, as well.  

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.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
General Physics
- Curriculum
Oscillations & Waves
- Wave Motion
= Longitudinal Pulses and Waves
= Transverse Pulses and Waves
- High School
- Middle School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Curriculum
= Demonstration
= Instructor Guide/Manual
= Laboratory
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Laboratory
- New teachers
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© 2006 The Nuffield Foundation
Additional information is available.
activities, curriculum, experiment, hands-on, longitudinal waves, mechanical waves, practical physics, transverse waves, water waves, wave types, waves
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created March 4, 2009 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
February 9, 2020 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
October 17, 2007

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

1. The Nature of Science

1B. Scientific Inquiry
  • 3-5: 1B/E1. Scientific investigations may take many different forms, including observing what things are like or what is happening somewhere, collecting specimens for analysis, and doing experiments.
  • 6-8: 1B/M1b. Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.

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).
  • 6-8: 4F/M8. There are a great variety of electromagnetic waves: radio waves, microwaves, infrared waves, visible light, ultraviolet rays, X-rays, and gamma rays. These wavelengths vary from radio waves, the longest, to gamma rays, the shortest.

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.

Topic: Wave Energy
Unit Title: Types of Mechanical Waves

Full guidelines for set-up of eight classroom activities designed to introduce students to various types of waves and the language used to describe them.  Students learn about transverse, longitudinal, electromagnetic, and water waves through simple and practical experiments.

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AIP Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre, (2006), WWW Document, (https://spark.iop.org/collections/variety-waves).
Nuffield Curriculum Centre, Practical Physics: Variety of Waves (2006), <https://spark.iop.org/collections/variety-waves>.
APA Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. (2007, October 17). Practical Physics: Variety of Waves. Retrieved April 24, 2024, from https://spark.iop.org/collections/variety-waves
Chicago Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. Practical Physics: Variety of Waves. October 17, 2007. https://spark.iop.org/collections/variety-waves (accessed 24 April 2024).
MLA Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. Practical Physics: Variety of Waves. 2006. 17 Oct. 2007. Nuffield Curriculum Centre. 24 Apr. 2024 <https://spark.iop.org/collections/variety-waves>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Nuffield Curriculum Centre", Title = {Practical Physics: Variety of Waves}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {24 April 2024}, Month = {October 17, 2007}, Year = {2006} }
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%Q Nuffield Curriculum Centre %T Practical Physics: Variety of Waves %D October 17, 2007 %U https://spark.iop.org/collections/variety-waves %O text/html

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%0 Electronic Source %A Nuffield Curriculum Centre, %D October 17, 2007 %T Practical Physics: Variety of Waves %V 2024 %N 24 April 2024 %8 October 17, 2007 %9 text/html %U https://spark.iop.org/collections/variety-waves

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