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# Chapter 21 Mechanical

Waves
A PowerPoint Presentation by
Paul E. Tippens, Professor of
Physics
Southern Polytechnic State
2007
University

## Objectives: After completion of

this module, you should be
able
to:
and longitudinal waves.

## Define, relate and apply the concepts of

frequency, wavelength, and wave speed.
Solve problems involving mass, length, tension,
and wave velocity for transverse waves.
Write and apply an expression for determining
the characteristic frequencies for a vibrating
string with fixed endpoints.

Mechanical Waves
A mechanical wave is a physical
disturbance in an elastic medium.
Consider a stone dropped into a lake.
lake
Energy is transferred from stone to floating log, but
only the disturbance travels.
Actual motion of any individual water particle is small.
Energy propagation via such a disturbance is known
as mechanical wave motion.

Periodic Motion
Simple periodic motion is that motion in
which a body moves back and forth over a
fixed path, returning to each position and
velocity after a definite interval of time.
1
f
T
Amplitude
A

Period,
Period
Period,
T,isisthe
thetime
time
Period T,
for
forone
onecomplete
complete
oscillation.
oscillation.(seconds,s)
(seconds,s)
Frequency,
Frequency
Frequency,
the
Frequency f,f,isisthe
number
numberof
ofcomplete
complete
oscillations
oscillationsper
per
-1
second.
second.Hertz
Hertz(s(s-1))

Review of Simple
Harmonic Motion

## It might be helpful for

you to review Chapter 14
on Simple Harmonic
Motion. Many of the same
terms are used in this
chapter.

## Example: The suspended mass makes

30 complete oscillations in 15 s. What
is the period and frequency of the
motion?

15 s
T
0.50 s
30 cylces

1
1
f
T 0.500 s

Period:
Period: TT== 0.500
0.500 ss

Frequency:
Frequency: ff == 2.00
2.00 Hz
Hz

A Transverse Wave
In
In aa transverse
transverse wave,
wave, the
the vibration
vibration of
of
the
the individual
individual particles
particles of
of the
the
medium
medium is
is perpendicular
perpendicular to
to the
the
direction
direction of
of wave
wave propagation.
propagation.

Motion of
particles

Motion of
wave

Longitudinal Waves
In
In aa longitudinal
longitudinal wave
wave,, the
the vibration
vibration of
of the
the
individual
individual particles
particles isis parallel
parallel to
to the
the
direction
direction of
of wave
wave propagation.
propagation.

Motion of
particles

Motion of
wave

Water Waves
An
An ocean
ocean wave
wave is
is aa
combi-nation
combi-nation of
of
transverse
transverse and
and
longitudinal.
longitudinal.
The
The individual
individual
particles
particles move
move in
in
ellipses
ellipses as
as the
the wave
wave
disturbance
disturbance moves
moves
toward
toward the
the shore.
shore.

The
The wave
wave speed
speed vv in
in
aa vibrating
vibrating string
string isis
determined
determined by
by the
the
tension
tension FF and
and the
the
linear
linear density
density ,, or
or
mass
mass per
per unit
unit length.
length.

FL
m

= m/L

vv==speed
speedof
ofthe
thetransverse
transversewave
wave(m/s)
(m/s)
FF==tension
tensionon
onthe
thestring
string(N)
(N)
or
orm/L
m/L==mass
massper
perunit
unitlength
length(kg/m)
(kg/m)

## Example 1: A 5-g section of string has

a length of 2 M from the wall to the top
of a pulley. A 200-g mass hangs at the
end. What is the speed of a wave in
this
string?
F = (0.20
kg)(9.8 m/s2) = 1.96 N

FL
(1.96 N)(2 m)

m
0.005 kg

vv == 28.0
28.0 m/s
m/s

200 g

Note:
Note: Be
Be careful
careful to
to use
use consistent
consistent
units.
units. The
The tension
tension FF must
must be
be in
in
newtons
newtons,, the
the mass
mass m
m in
in kilograms
kilograms,, and
and
the
the length
length LL in
in meters
meters..

## Periodic Wave Motion

A vibrating metal plate produces a
transverse continuous wave as
shown.
For one complete vibration, the wave
moves a distance of one wavelength
as illustrated.

## Wavelength is distance between two

particles that are in phase.

## Velocity and Wave Frequency.

The
The period
period TT is
is the
the time
time to
to move
move aa
distance
distance of
of one
one wavelength.
wavelength. Therefore,
Therefore,
the
the wave
wave speed
speed is:
is:

1
v
but T
so
v f
T
f
The frequency f is in s-1 or hertz
(Hz).
The velocity of any wave is the
product of the frequency and the
wavelength:

v f

Production of a Longitudinal
Wave

## An oscillating pendulum produces

condensations and rarefactions that travel
down the spring.
The wave length l is the distance
rarefactions.

Velocity, Wavelength,
Speed

Frequency f = waves
per second (Hz)
v

s
t

Velocity v (m/s)

Wavelength (m)

v f
Wave
equation

Example 2: An electromagnetic
vibrator sends waves down a string.
The vibrator makes 600 complete
cycles in 5 s. For one complete
vibration, the wave moves a distance of
20 cm
What are the frequency,
600 .cycles
f
; and
ff == 120
Hz
wavelength,
velocity
120
Hz of the wave?
5s
The distance moved
during a time of one
cycle is the wavelength;
therefore:
== 0.020
0.020 m
m

v = f
v = (120 Hz)(0.02 m)
vv == 2.40
2.40 m/s
m/s

## Energy of a Periodic Wave

The energy of a periodic wave in a string is
a function of the linear density m , the
frequency f, the velocity v, and the
amplitude A of the wave.
= m/L
f
A
v

E
2 2 f 2 A2
L

P 2 2 f 2 A2 v

## Example 3. A 2-m string has a mass of 300 g

and vibrates with a frequency of 20 Hz and an
amplitude of 50 mm. If the tension in the rope
is 48 N, how much power must be delivered to
the string?
m 0.30 kg

0.150 kg/m
L
2m
v

F
(48 N)

17.9 m/s

0.15 kg/m

P 2 2 f 2 A2 v

## P = 22(20 Hz)2(0.05 m)2(0.15 kg/m)(17.9 m/s)

PP==53.0
53.0W
W

The Superposition
Principle

## When two or more waves (blue and green)

exist in the same medium, each wave moves
as though the other were absent.
The resultant displacement of these waves at
any point is the algebraic sum (yellow) wave
of the two displacements.

Constructive
Interference

Destructive
Interference

Formation of
a
Standing
Incident and reflected
Wave:
waves traveling in
opposite directions
produce nodes N and
antinodes A.
The distance between
alternate nodes or antinodes is one wavelength.

## Possible Wavelengths for Standing

Waves
Fundamental, n = 1
1st overtone, n = 2
2nd overtone, n = 3
3rd overtone, n = 4
n = harmonics

2L
n
n

n 1, 2, 3, . . .

## Possible Frequencies f = v/:

Fundamental, n = 1

f = 1/2L

1st overtone, n = 2

f = 2/2L

2nd overtone, n = 3

f = 3/2L

3rd overtone, n = 4

f = 4/2L

n = harmonics

f = n/2L

nv
fn
2L

n 1, 2, 3, . . .

Characteristic Frequencies
Now, for a string under
tension, we have:

Characteristic
frequencies:

FL
m

and

n
fn
2L

nv
f
2L
F
; n 1, 2, 3, . . .

## Example 4. A 9-g steel wire is 2 m

long and is under a tension of 400 N.
If the string vibrates in three loops,
what is the frequency of the wave?
For three loops: n = 3
n
fn
2L

3
f3
2L

F
; n3

FL
3

m
2(2 m)

Third harmonic
2nd overtone

400 N

(400 N)(2 m)
0.009 kg
f3 = 224 Hz

## Summary for Wave

Motion:
v

FL
m
n
fn
2L

E
2 2 f 2 A2
L

v f

1
f
T

F
; n 1, 2, 3, . . .

P 2 2 f 2 A2 v

CONCLUSION: Chapter 21
Mechanical Waves