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written by Barney Taylor
This Java applet shows the addition of two waves interacting on a string. One has a fixed amplitude of +2 and travels to the right; the amplitude of the second wave may be adjusted (full, half or zero and positive or negative) and travels to the left.  This simulation was developed to promote understanding of the Superposition Principle: the resulting wave from any number of waves interacting with each other is the algebraic sum of all of the waves at every instant. Although simple, it is quite elegant in depicting the process so that it is comprehensible for adolescent learners.

This item is part of a larger collection of Java applets by the same author.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Oscillations & Waves
- Wave Motion
= Interference and Diffraction
- High School
- Middle School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Interactive Simulation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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Intended User:
Learner
Formats:
application/java
text/html
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2004 Miami University, Ohio
Keywords:
Java applet, Superposition Principle, interactive simulation, interference, reflection and refraction, simulation, wave addition, wave applet, wave motion, wave power, wave simulation
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created March 22, 2009 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
October 26, 2011 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
November 4, 2007

This resource is part of 2 Physics Front Topical Units.


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

This simple applet illustrates the superposition principle as it applies to two waves interacting on a string. It would be a good choice for beginning physics students, as it contains no graphs and focuses only on pairs of waves interacting in one dimension. The applet automates the addition of the waves so that students can see why the Superposition Principle works.

Link to Unit:

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

Exactly what happens to the amplitude of two waves on a single line when they meet each other?  Their amplitudes add.  This easy simulation helps students visualize exactly what is happening mathematically when two pulse waves "interfere" on a string.  They can slow the motion down to get a close look at the two wave graphs.  Be sure to ask them what happens if the two waves have the same frequency but one is positive and one negative (they cancel out at the point of greatest interference).

Links to Units:
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Record Link
AIP Format
B. Taylor, (2004), WWW Document, (http://physics.ham.muohio.edu/waveapplets/pulseadd.htm).
AJP/PRST-PER
B. Taylor, Wave Phenomena Simulations: Pulse Addition Applet, (2004), <http://physics.ham.muohio.edu/waveapplets/pulseadd.htm>.
APA Format
Taylor, B. (2007, November 4). Wave Phenomena Simulations: Pulse Addition Applet. Retrieved November 23, 2014, from http://physics.ham.muohio.edu/waveapplets/pulseadd.htm
Chicago Format
Taylor, Barney. Wave Phenomena Simulations: Pulse Addition Applet. November 4, 2007. http://physics.ham.muohio.edu/waveapplets/pulseadd.htm (accessed 23 November 2014).
MLA Format
Taylor, Barney. Wave Phenomena Simulations: Pulse Addition Applet. 2004. 4 Nov. 2007. 23 Nov. 2014 <http://physics.ham.muohio.edu/waveapplets/pulseadd.htm>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Barney Taylor", Title = {Wave Phenomena Simulations: Pulse Addition Applet}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {23 November 2014}, Month = {November 4, 2007}, Year = {2004} }
Refer Export Format

%A Barney Taylor
%T Wave Phenomena Simulations: Pulse Addition Applet
%D November 4, 2007
%U http://physics.ham.muohio.edu/waveapplets/pulseadd.htm
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Taylor, Barney
%D November 4, 2007
%T Wave Phenomena Simulations: Pulse Addition Applet
%V 2014
%N 23 November 2014
%8 November 4, 2007
%9 application/java
%U http://physics.ham.muohio.edu/waveapplets/pulseadd.htm


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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

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