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Frequency/Wavelength Lab

Frequency/Wavelength Lab

Purpose:

In this activity you will be looking at factors affecting the wavelength of a wave.

Info:

  • frequency is the number of waves produced per second

  • period is the time between the production of successive waves

  • wavelength is the shortest distance between two successive waves

  • wave speed is how far the wave travels per second

  • Description of the buttons in the program:


Procedure

Part 1:  Constant Speed

  1. In a new tab, open up the wavelength program found here.

  2. Notice the distance scale in the bottom right of the program.  This will allow you to find distances in this lab.

  3. Your program will load with a randomly generated frequency and wave speed.  You don't need to change them at this point.

  4. When you click on the start button and your source will immediately start making waves and a timer will immediately start counting off the time.

  5. Click start and count off the production of 10 waves.  The first wave produced does not count as one of the waves since it is made at time = 0.  Stop the timer as soon as you hit 10 (this will be the 11th wave produced).  Use the formula frequency = cycles/time to find the frequency of your waves.

  6. Now measure the wavelength by finding the distance between two adjacent waves.  If you want to hit resume and the pause again to make measuring distance easier, please do so as many times as you want until you get an easy to measure wavelength.  In the picture below, I paused my program when the inner wave was right on the 100 m mark, so I can easily see that my wavelength is 35 m.




  7. Hit the end button and then establish a new frequency.  Repeat this procedure of a total of 8 different frequencies.  Your data table should list your time for 10 oscillations, your frequency and your wavelength.

  8. Use this program, to graph your data.  You want to graph wavelength vs. frequency.  Make you transfer to your lab book all the important information.

Part 2:  Constant Frequency

  1. For this part of the lab you will be keeping the frequency constant and varying the speed of the wave.

  2. When you click on the start button, your source will immediately start making waves and a timer will immediately start counting off the time.

  3. When your first wave has travelled 400 m from its source, stop the timer and record the time to travel 400 meters.  Use your v = ∆x/t formula to find the speed of your wave.

  4. Now measure the wavelength by find the distance between two adjacent waves.

  5. Your data table should list your time to travel 400 m, the speed of the wave and the wavelength.

  6. Hit the end button and then establish a new wave speed.  Repeat this procedure of a total of 8 different wave speeds.  

  7. Use this program, to graph your data.  You want to graph wavelength vs. velocity.  Make you transfer to your lab book all the important information.

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