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