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Investigating wave speed

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Introduction

Introduction In this experiment I will be investigating the wave speed, of waves on water in a tray, and how this speed is affected. Waves can be longitudinal, when the particles move in the same direction as the direction of the wave, or it can be transverse, when the particles move at 90o to the direction of the wave. Water waves are transverse waves even though transverse waves cannot travel through liquid. This is because the waves travel on top of the water. Aim: The aim of this investigation is to find out how wave speed is affected by the depth of the water. To do this we will observe whether the depth of the water affects the wave speed of the waves in a plastic tray. Prediction: I predict that the wave speed will increase as the tray is filled up with more water. I think this because there is friction where the water touches the tray. The deeper the water the less water touches the tray and so the friction slows less water down. When there is less water more of the water will be touching the tray causing more friction and so the water will be slower. Also in previous experiments we studied refraction. These experiments showed that when the incident waves went past the boundary between shallow and deep water at an angle they would change direction. ...read more.

Middle

We will release the tray from the same height (5cm) each time even though the height the tray is dropped from will not change the wave speed. The height it is dropped from will change the amplitude and this is not the factor that we will be investigating. Results: ___ - anomalies Water Depth (m) Tray Length (m) Height of Drop (m) Time Taken x5 (secs) Time Taken (secs) Average Time 0.01 0.385 0.05 5.09 1.02 1.09 0.01 0.385 0.05 7.06 1.41 0.01 0.385 0.05 5.19 1.04 0.01 0.385 0.05 5.06 1.01 0.01 0.385 0.05 5.17 1.03 0.01 0.385 0.05 5.13 1.03 0.02 0.385 0.05 3.50 0.70 0.71 0.02 0.385 0.05 3.57 0.71 0.02 0.385 0.05 3.57 0.71 0.02 0.385 0.05 3.51 0.70 0.02 0.385 0.05 3.51 0.70 0.03 0.385 0.05 3.07 0.61 0.60 0.03 0.385 0.05 2.94 0.59 0.03 0.385 0.05 3.00 0.60 0.03 0.385 0.05 3.06 0.61 0.03 0.385 0.05 2.93 0.59 0.04 0.385 0.05 2.62 0.52 0.55 0.04 0.385 0.05 2.77 0.55 0.04 0.385 0.05 2.87 0.57 0.04 0.385 0.05 2.72 0.54 0.04 0.385 0.05 2.88 0.58 0.05 0.385 0.05 2.42 0.48 0.50 0.05 0.385 0.05 2.42 0.48 0.05 0.385 0.05 2.66 0.53 0.05 0.385 0.05 2.46 0.49 0.05 0.385 0.05 2.48 0.50 0.05 0.385 0.05 2.44 0.49 0.06 0.385 0.05 2.26 0.45 0.46 0.06 0.385 0.05 2.32 0.46 0.06 0.385 0.05 2.12 0.42 0.06 0.385 0.05 2.35 0.47 0.06 0.385 0.05 2.27 0.45 0.06 0.385 0.05 ...read more.

Conclusion

Also the points on the graph are mostly close to the line of best fit showing a strong correlation and this means there were accurate results therefore I think the conclusion is accurate and valid. Obviously it was possible to make mistakes and errors that could affect the results and cause these anomalies. These were partly because of the equipment and partly because of human error during the experiment. One problem was that it was more difficult to count the number of times that the wave was reflected accurately when the water was deeper and the waves were faster. The stop clock may have been stopped slightly early or late and this would affect results. Also if the stop clock was started late the results would be too low or early before the tray hit the table the results would be too high and there would be anomalous results. As the water became deeper the tray became more full and this sometimes caused water to splash out of tray. To stop this either the tray could be deeper or the experiment could be stopped earlier when there was less water. Another factor that may affect the results is if the tray was forced down instead of dropped. This may affect the results by giving the waves more energy and instead of just the gravitational energy and this would cause the waves to travel faster and the results may become too low. This is why I tried to just release the tray and not push it down during the experiment. ...read more.

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