Color Physics @Hampshire, Day 9

Day 9 was a continuation of our exploration of waves. The class time was divided into two main activities:

  • Working in groups on conceptual exercises related to waves (drawing waves, ranking them based on various properties, etc.), led by me.
  • Carrying out a more systematic study of waves on a slinky, which included quantitative measurements of the speed of a wave pulse, led by my colleague Fred Wirth who has offered to lend a helping hand this semester and who designed and coordinated this portion of the class.
Conceptual Exercises on Waves
Conceptual Exercises on Waves

At the end, we discussed as a class the solutions to some of the conceptual exercises.

Color Physics @Hampshire, Day 8

On Day 8, we investigated transverse waves.

  • Students did some prep work at home by playing with a PhET interactive simulation  exploring qualitatively various properties of a wave on a string, and recording their observations.

    PhET Interactive Simulation on Waves
                                                       PhET Interactive Simulation on Waves
  • In class, we introduced a transverse sine wave and students worked in groups to come up with a comprehensive list of properties of a sine wave needed to describe it to grandma. This led us to the concepts of amplitudewavelengthperiodfrequency, and speed, as well as their respective appropriate units. We subsequently practiced finding the values of these properties for three animated waves I made using Grapher.
  • At the end of the class, as a taste of things to come, students briefly made waves with slinkies.
Students making waves with slinkies.
       Making waves with slinkies.