# Wave Motion - Mission WM3 Detailed Help

 A water wave travels through a reflecting pool which is 11.0 m long. A physics students times one complete down-and-back motion of a ripple through the pool to take 8.20 seconds. What is the speed (in m/s) of the water wave?   (Note: Your numbers are selected at random and likely different from the numbers listed here.)
 The speed of a wave refers to how fast it travels through a medium. By definition, it is the distance traveled per unit of time.   Speed = distance traveled / time of travel = d / t
 It is an all too common tendency of a physics student to view physics problems as simply math exercises. For certain, physics problems will exercise your math skills. But don't be fooled! A physics problem such as this one is more than a math exercise; it is a test of your ability to read, interpret, visualize and analyze. And if you are missing this question, it is not because your math has failed you. Rather, there is a need to read more carefully, analyze the question, interpret what is happening and visualize the situation. In the 8.20 seconds of time, the water wave travels from one end of the pool to the other end 11.0 m away and then back to the original end another 11.0 m. The total distance traveled by the water wave in this amount of time is 22.0 m. Now you can do your math.