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written by Edward Zobel
This item is a tutorial on the fundamentals of waves designed and maintained by a high school physics teacher.  Topics include wave properties and phenomena, types of waves, wave interference, and more.  The section on interference includes simple animations of constructive and destructive interference, which can be played in slow motion to allow students to visualize the phenomena before attempting more difficult wave simulations.  Also noteworthy is the interactive Java applet titled "Wave Adder", which is designed to give beginning students a visual model for addition and subtraction of waves using either sine or cosine functions.  

The author uses an entertaining blend of text and interactive simulations to engage the student.  SEE RELATED ITEMS ON THIS PAGE for a link to the full collection of Zona Land tutorials for high school physics.

Please note that this resource requires Java, or VRML Plugin, or Flash.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Oscillations & Waves
- General
- Wave Motion
= Interference and Diffraction
= Longitudinal Pulses and Waves
= Standing Waves
= Transfer of Energy in Waves
= Transverse Pulses and Waves
- High School
- Middle School
- Informal Education
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
= Model
= Tutorial
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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© 2006 Edward A. Zobel
Huygens' Principle, collection, constructive interference, destructive interference, simulation, wave addition, wave interference, waves
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created March 22, 2009 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
June 14, 2010 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 1, 2007
Other Collections:

This resource is part of 2 Physics Front Topical Units.

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

One of the best tutorials we have found on the topic of wave phenomena.  The author incorporates excellent animations and simulations to explain the process of wave interference, which occurs when one wave passes through another.  The section on wave properties is thorough, and would serve as solid content support for K-8 teachers.

Links to Units:

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

An introduction to wave behavior, created by a high school teacher.  We suggest having students start with the section "Parts of a Wave", then proceed to the "Interference" section and watch the animations on constructive and destructive interference.  These sections could be viewed using a classroom projector and one internet connection.  For a related computer lab activity, see the "Wave Adder" in Activities above.

Link to Unit:
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Record Link
AIP Format
E. Zobel, (2006), WWW Document, (http://zonalandeducation.com/mstm/physics/waves/waves.html).
E. Zobel, Zona Land: Waves, (2006), <http://zonalandeducation.com/mstm/physics/waves/waves.html>.
APA Format
Zobel, E. (2007, January 1). Zona Land: Waves. Retrieved February 9, 2016, from http://zonalandeducation.com/mstm/physics/waves/waves.html
Chicago Format
Zobel, Edward. Zona Land: Waves. January 1, 2007. http://zonalandeducation.com/mstm/physics/waves/waves.html (accessed 9 February 2016).
MLA Format
Zobel, Edward. Zona Land: Waves. 2006. 1 Jan. 2007. 9 Feb. 2016 <http://zonalandeducation.com/mstm/physics/waves/waves.html>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Edward Zobel", Title = {Zona Land: Waves}, Volume = {2016}, Number = {9 February 2016}, Month = {January 1, 2007}, Year = {2006} }
Refer Export Format

%A Edward Zobel
%T Zona Land: Waves
%D January 1, 2007
%U http://zonalandeducation.com/mstm/physics/waves/waves.html
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Zobel, Edward
%D January 1, 2007
%T Zona Land: Waves
%V 2016
%N 9 February 2016
%8 January 1, 2007
%9 application/java
%U http://zonalandeducation.com/mstm/physics/waves/waves.html

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Zona Land: Waves:

Is Part Of Zona Land

This is a link to the full collection of Zona Land  tutorials for high school physics and mathematics.

relation by Caroline Hall

This interactive simulation allows users to input amplitude, frequency, and phase shift of two waves, then push the "Add" button to see a model of the wave sum.

relation by Caroline Hall

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