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Sound Waves: Demonstrating Amplitude and Wavelength in Both Types of Waves

This activity focuses on amplitude and wavelength and shows how each are measured in both types of waves. Use a rope and a spring to show the difference between a wave with a low amplitude and a wave with high amplitude. Understand that amplitude is independent of other wave traits.


Questions Answered:

  • How is amplitude measured in transverse waves?
  • How is wavelength measured in transverse and compression waves?
  • Are amplitude and wavelength connected or independent of each other?



Topics & Concepts Addressed:

  • Compression waves show amplitude by the density of the medium (at the crest of the wave).
  • Transverse waves show amplitude by how tall the waves are.
  • Wavelength is measured from the point of one wave to the exact same point of the next wave.
  • In transverse waves, amplitude is measured from the midline to the crest or trough of a wave.


Materials Needed

Toy spring, 2 ropes, metric tape measure or meter stick


Preparation Time

collect materials

Sound Waves: Demonstrating Amplitude and Wavelength in Both Types of Waves


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