Editor selections by Topic and Unit

The Physics Front is a free service provided by the AAPT in partnership with the NSF/NSDL.

Detail Page

Item Picture
content provider: the Nuffield Curriculum Centre
written by the Nuffield Curriculum Centre
This is an educator's guideline for set-up and use of ripple tanks in introductory physics classrooms.  Detailed information is provided on all the materials required to effectively implement ripple tank experiments, including sources for acquiring appropriate strobe equipment.  Tips and suggestions are included for promoting the process of inquiry.  Safety precautions are clearly spelled out.  

SEE RELATED ITEMS on this page for a link to labs and experiments using ripple tanks, developed by the same authors.

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.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Oscillations & Waves
- Wave Motion
= Interference and Diffraction
= Reflection and Refraction (Sound)
= Transverse Pulses and Waves
- High School
- Middle School
- Instructional Material
= Instructor Guide/Manual
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Laboratory
- New teachers
  • Currently 0.0/5

Want to rate this material?
Login here!

Safety Warnings
Minimal Danger   No Safety Equipment Necessary  

Intended User:
Access Rights:
Free access
© 2006 The Nuffield Foundation
Additional information is available.
activities, experiment, hands-on, mechanical waves, practical physics, ripple tank, strobe tank, transverse waves, wave diffraction, wave experiments, wave interference, wave reflection, waves
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created March 20, 2009 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 16, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
October 17, 2007

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.

Topic: Wave Energy
Unit Title: How Waves Move and Interact: Reflection, Refraction, Interference

Students should whenever possible experiment for themselves using real equipment, rather than viewing only computer representations of ripple phenomena.  This educators' guide gives detailed information about how to acquire, set up, and implement ripple tank experiments in the physical science or physics classroom.  See related ripple tank activities developed by the same authors (below).

Link to Unit:
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre, (2006), WWW Document, (https://spark.iop.org/collections/mechanical-waves-and-superposition#using-ripple-tanks).
Nuffield Curriculum Centre, Practical Physics: Using Ripple Tanks, (2006), <https://spark.iop.org/collections/mechanical-waves-and-superposition#using-ripple-tanks>.
APA Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. (2007, October 17). Practical Physics: Using Ripple Tanks. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://spark.iop.org/collections/mechanical-waves-and-superposition#using-ripple-tanks
Chicago Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. Practical Physics: Using Ripple Tanks. October 17, 2007. https://spark.iop.org/collections/mechanical-waves-and-superposition#using-ripple-tanks (accessed 27 January 2022).
MLA Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. Practical Physics: Using Ripple Tanks. 2006. 17 Oct. 2007. Nuffield Curriculum Centre. 27 Jan. 2022 <https://spark.iop.org/collections/mechanical-waves-and-superposition#using-ripple-tanks>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Nuffield Curriculum Centre", Title = {Practical Physics: Using Ripple Tanks}, Volume = {2022}, Number = {27 January 2022}, Month = {October 17, 2007}, Year = {2006} }
Refer Export Format

%Q Nuffield Curriculum Centre %T Practical Physics: Using Ripple Tanks %D October 17, 2007 %U https://spark.iop.org/collections/mechanical-waves-and-superposition#using-ripple-tanks %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %A Nuffield Curriculum Centre, %D October 17, 2007 %T Practical Physics: Using Ripple Tanks %V 2022 %N 27 January 2022 %8 October 17, 2007 %9 text/html %U https://spark.iop.org/collections/mechanical-waves-and-superposition#using-ripple-tanks

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 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.

This resource is stored in 8 shared folders.

You must login to access shared folders.

Practical Physics: Using Ripple Tanks:

Supplements Practical Physics: Basic Experiments with Ripple Tanks

This is a set of eight basic experiments using ripple tanks, developed by the same authors to introduce students to the concept of wave reflection.

relation by Caroline Hall
Supplements Practical Physics: Measuring Waves in a Ripple Tank

Two experiments on measuring waves in a ripple tank through use of a stroboscope.  Appropriate for high school classrooms.

relation by Caroline Hall
Supplements Practical Physics: Mechanical waves and superposition - Ripples Crossing

This is a set of four ripple tank experiments sequenced to explore wave interference.  Appropriate for grades 9-12.

relation by Caroline Hall

Know of another related resource? Login to relate this resource to it.
Save to my folders



Related Materials

Similar Materials