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Investigation Into How the Depth of Water Affects the Speed of a Wave

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INVESTIGATION INTO HOW THE DEPTH OF WATER AFFECTS THE SPEED OF A WAVE Aim To find how the depth of water affects the speed of a wave. Waves are vibrations (or oscillations) moving through something - a medium. As a wave passes, each bit of the medium vibrates in turn. The vibrations appear to move through the medium. Each bit of the medium in turn vibrates/oscillates, but stays where it is. The wave transfers energy as it moves. The medium can be matter (solid, liquid, gas). This is the case for water waves. There are two types of wave: a) Transverse waves. The vibrations are at right angles to the direction of the wave. b) Longitudinal waves. The vibrations are along the same direction as the waves. The waves I will be studying are transverse waves. During a previous experiment I found that a drop height of 5cms and to allow the wave to do 3 laps of the container before stopping the stopwatch was the best course of action. ...read more.


To make the experiment fair I will only change the depth of water, all other variables such as the size of container used, which would corrupt my results will stay the same. I shall also make my results fair by doing accurate time keeping and making sure that the container is dropped from the same height each time. For each drop I shall make sure that I stop the stopwatch when wave has. For safety reasons I will make sure that the container does not fall on my hands. I will repeat the experiment ten times to make sure that my results are conclusive and any anomalous results are noticed easily. It will also allow me to find an average for my results. Conclusion As I predicted, the greater the depth of water, the faster the waves travel. This is can be seen clearly in my results as the depths of 2cm, 3cm and 4cm which recorded times of 3.45s, 2.95s and 2.67s respectively. ...read more.


The anomalous result was most likely due to either the stopwatch being started before the container had been dropped, or the container being dropped at the wrong height. Yet I did observe the results I expected, had only one anomalous result and followed the rules of my plan making it as fair a test as possible. My investigation was conducted safely and without any setbacks. I therefore, considering the above, believe my experiment was fairly accurate but could be improved upon by considering the previous points. To expand and improve upon my investigation I could : - * Wedge a level object under the container and remove it from underneath to drop the container. This would determine that the dropping height remained constant. * Use a wider range of depths. * Use more accurate apparatus for measuring time and distance. All of these would enable me to make more detailed and accurate conclusions. Ultimately I think my initial plan was suitable, giving the time and apparatus available to me, but could be improved or expanded upon by considering all of the above. Mark Seddon 11B ...read more.

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