The Boundary Behavior of Waves

The Boundary Behavior of Waves Interactive consists of four different investigations that are intended to lead to an understanding of the behavior of a wave as it passes across the boundary that separates one medium from another medium. The behavior of a wave (actually a pulse) is modeled by the back-and-forth movements of the particles of the medium through which it moves. Learners view the particles undergoing an up-and-down movement as a transverse pulse travels through it. The first investigation involves an exploration of how the density of a medium affects the speed of a pulse that travels through it. In the second and third investigations, learners analyze the behavior of a pulse as it reflects off the end of the medium - both a fixed end and a free-end. In the final investigation, learners adjust the relative density of two adjoining media and observe the behavior of an incident pulse once it reaches the boundary between them.

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Users are encouraged to open the Interactive and explore. Or if desired, The Physics Classroom has prepared a student activity for a more directed experience. View ...
This activity was designed with the intent of being used by classroom teachers with their students.

Our Boundary Behavior simulation is now available with a Concept Checker. Do the simulation. Then follow it up with the Concept Checker.

Learners and Instructors may also be interested in viewing the accompanying Notes page. Technical information, teaching suggestions, and related resources that complement this Interactive are provided on the Notes page. View Notes.