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content provider: the Nuffield Curriculum Centre
written by the Nuffield Curriculum Centre
This web page contains a set of four ripple tank experiments on wave interference, appropriate for use in high school classrooms.  The labs allow students to observe the actual phenomenon when pulses and waves pass through each other.  Students are introduced to ripple tanks and gain confidence in using them by doing some simple experiments with pulses.

SEE RELATED ITEMS on this page for a Teachers' Guide on using ripple tanks, and for links to additional ripple tank experiments.

This item is part of a much larger collection of physics/astronomy experiments, sponsored by the UK's Institute of Physics and funded by the Nuffield Curriculum Centre.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Oscillations & Waves
- Wave Motion
= Interference and Diffraction
= Reflection and Refraction (Sound)
= Transverse Pulses and Waves
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Laboratory
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Laboratory
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
Educator
Learner
Format:
text/html
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2006 The Nuffield Foundation
Additional information is available.
Keywords:
activities, experiment, hands-on, practical physics, ripple tank, strobe tank, transverse waves, wave experiments, wave interference, waves
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created March 20, 2009 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
March 8, 2012 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
October 17, 2007

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.


Topic: Wave Energy
Unit Title: How Waves Move and Interact: Reflection, Refraction, Interference

With the use of a ripple tank, students can observe the phenomenon of wave interference, which occurs when pulses and waves pass through each other.  Many students are amazed to discover that the two waves continue on their way as if there had been no encounter. This set of four lab experiments demonstrates interference with two sources, using fingers and vibrators to create the disturbance.  See Content Support below for links to background information on wave interference and superposition.

Link to Unit:
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Record Link
AIP Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre, (2006), WWW Document, (http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/ripples-crossing-interference).
AJP/PRST-PER
Nuffield Curriculum Centre, Practical Physics: Ripples Crossing: Interference (2006), <http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/ripples-crossing-interference>.
APA Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. (2007, October 17). Practical Physics: Ripples Crossing: Interference. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/ripples-crossing-interference
Chicago Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. Practical Physics: Ripples Crossing: Interference. October 17, 2007. http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/ripples-crossing-interference (accessed 23 April 2014).
MLA Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. Practical Physics: Ripples Crossing: Interference. 2006. 17 Oct. 2007. Nuffield Curriculum Centre. 23 Apr. 2014 <http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/ripples-crossing-interference>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Nuffield Curriculum Centre", Title = {Practical Physics: Ripples Crossing: Interference}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {23 April 2014}, Month = {October 17, 2007}, Year = {2006} }
Refer Export Format

%Q Nuffield Curriculum Centre
%T Practical Physics: Ripples Crossing: Interference
%D October 17, 2007
%U http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/ripples-crossing-interference
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Nuffield Curriculum Centre,
%D October 17, 2007
%T Practical Physics: Ripples Crossing: Interference
%V 2014
%N 23 April 2014
%8 October 17, 2007
%9 text/html
%U http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics/ripples-crossing-interference


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Practical Physics: Ripples Crossing: Interference:

Is Supplemented By Practical Physics: Using Ripple Tanks

This is a link to the Teachers' Guide on acquiring and setting up ripple tank experiments in the classroom.

relation by Caroline Hall
Is By The Same Author and Covers a Similar Topic As Practical Physics: Basic Experiments with Ripple Tanks

This is a set of eight basic experiments developed to introduce high school and middle school students to ripple tanks as a tool for visualizing wave behavior.

relation by Caroline Hall

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