Rogue Physicist.  Free resources for physics education © 2006-2016 Dorian Pascoe.  Email: dorian@top-school.co.uk

Most resources are available under a Creative Commons Licence.  Visit our mirror at www.physicsweb.altervista.org












Pretty waves :)



• Know that there are two types of wave - transverse and longitudinal.



• Be able to give examples of each type of wave.



• Be able to describe waves in terms of frequency, wavelength, speed and amplitude.



• Be able to sketch and label diagrams of transverse and longitudinal waves.










Task 1 - Starter




I know the answer!





Discuss in pairs or threes:



How many examples of waves can you think of?




You have one minute!



Your teacher will ask you to share your ideas with the class, and may write some of your ideas on the board.









Task 2 - Wave demonstrations




My brain uses electrical waves.





There are two types of waves: transverse waves, and longitudinal waves.



Transverse waves can travel along a rope.


Transverse waves on a rope.




Longitudinal waves AND transverse waves can both travel along a helical slinky spring.


Transverse & longitudinal waves on a helical spring.



Your teacher will demonstrate these to you.  Listen carefully to the technical scientific terms used to describe waves!










Simulation - transverse waves



The simulation below allows you to investigate the characteristics of a wave on a string.





Set to oscillate, no end and no damping.  Investigate how changes to the frequency and amplitude change the appearance of the wave.



Click this image to load the simulation in full screen mode.



Thanks to PhET for this awesome simulation :)



HTML5 technology!  Woop Woop!



Flash version available too.  Click here to load.








I know the answer!



How does the wave change if...



1) the amplitude is increased?


2) the amplitude is decreased?


3) the frequency is increased?


4) some damping is added?












Task 4 -




Pretty waves :)






Draw a diagram of a transverse wave in your exercise book.





• Use a pencil and ruler.


• Show  three oscillations of the wave


Label your diagram using these technical terms:




amplitude          wavelength


peak          trough        rest position 










Task 5





Think hard!




Your teacher will show you a simulation of a longitudinal wave*.




*Embedded simulation coming soon.




Sketch a diagram of a longitudinal wave in your notebook, and label the following features:



• a compression.


• a rarefaction.


• the wavelength.



There is a printable diagram here, if students do not have sufficient time to draw their own.














Let's catch some waves!







1.) Write definitions for each of the following terms in words you can understand.


 a) Wavelength


 b) Amplitude


 c) Frequency


 d) Rest position


 e) Oscillation


 f) Polarisation




2.) Give the units we use to measure each quantity for the first three.



Click the image below to download this homework task.