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This is an interactive homework problem relating to transverse wave motion in a vibrating Slinky toy.  A slinky of known mass is stretched to a length of 6m and given a shake to create a transverse wave pulse.  It takes 0.8 seconds for the pulse to travel the full length.  If the Slinky is stretched to a length of 10.2m, how long will it take the pulse to reach the other end?

The problem is accompanied by a Socratic-dialog "help" sequence designed to help users understand the relationships among spring tension, spring constant, and speed of a traveling wave.  Specific guidance is provided for each component of this problem, from strategic analysis through application of the mathematics.  This item is part of a larger collection of interactive problems developed by the Illinois Physics Education Research Group.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Problem Solving
Oscillations & Waves
- Oscillations
= Springs and Oscillators
- Wave Motion
= Transverse Pulses and Waves
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Best practice
= Problem/Problem Set
= Tutorial
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- Assessment
- New teachers
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Intended User:
Learner
Format:
text/html
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2006 University of Illinois Physics Education Research Group
Keywords:
spring, spring constant, tension, transverse wave, wave propagation
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created February 3, 2008 by Alea Smith
Record Updated:
August 3, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
June 16, 2006
Other Collections:

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.

Topic: Wave Energy
Unit Title: Wave Properties: Frequency, Amplitude, Period, Phase

Superb inquiry-based problem to help students understand how spring tension, spring constant, and wave speed are related.  The problem features a vibrating Slinky toy stretched to different lengths and given a "shake".  Students must figure out how long it takes the wave pulse to travel the full length in both cases.  They will discover for themselves that the time is the same. We suggest using this resource with the Physics Classroom tutorial above, "Speed of a Wave".

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AIP Format
G. Gladding, (University of llinois Physics Education Research Group, Urbana, 2006), WWW Document, (http://per.physics.illinois.edu/per/IE/ie.pl?phys101/ie/15/slinky).
AJP/PRST-PER
G. Gladding, Illinois PER Interactive Examples: Waves on a Slinky, (University of llinois Physics Education Research Group, Urbana, 2006), <http://per.physics.illinois.edu/per/IE/ie.pl?phys101/ie/15/slinky>.
APA Format
Gladding, G. (2006, June 16). Illinois PER Interactive Examples: Waves on a Slinky. Retrieved August 17, 2017, from University of llinois Physics Education Research Group: http://per.physics.illinois.edu/per/IE/ie.pl?phys101/ie/15/slinky
Chicago Format
Gladding, Gary. Illinois PER Interactive Examples: Waves on a Slinky. Urbana: University of llinois Physics Education Research Group, June 16, 2006. http://per.physics.illinois.edu/per/IE/ie.pl?phys101/ie/15/slinky (accessed 17 August 2017).
MLA Format
Gladding, Gary. Illinois PER Interactive Examples: Waves on a Slinky. Urbana: University of llinois Physics Education Research Group, 2006. 16 June 2006. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://per.physics.illinois.edu/per/IE/ie.pl?phys101/ie/15/slinky>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Gary Gladding", Title = {Illinois PER Interactive Examples: Waves on a Slinky}, Publisher = {University of llinois Physics Education Research Group}, Volume = {2017}, Number = {17 August 2017}, Month = {June 16, 2006}, Year = {2006} }
Refer Export Format

%T Illinois PER Interactive Examples: Waves on a Slinky
%D June 16, 2006
%I University of llinois Physics Education Research Group
%C Urbana
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D June 16, 2006
%T Illinois PER Interactive Examples: Waves on a Slinky
%I University of llinois Physics Education Research Group
%V 2017
%N 17 August 2017
%8 June 16, 2006
%9 text/html

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### Illinois PER Interactive Examples: Waves on a Slinky:

Is Part Of http://research.physics.illinois.edu/per/ie_101.html

This is a link to the author's full set of interactive problems developed for an introductory physics course in Mechanics and Heat.

relation by Caroline Hall
Covers the Same Topic As The Physics Classroom: The Speed of a Wave

A simple tutorial about variables affecting wave speed.  It would be an appropriate supplement for introductory physics students who are completing this particular interactive homework problem.

relation by Caroline Hall

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