Air Track - Longitudinal Waves

Purpose

To demonstrate longitudinal waves with a series of spring-coupled air track gliders.

Equipment

Large air track, several small gliders connected by light springs.

Setup Time

5 min.

Images

g3-26

Description

Several identical gliders are connected by springs, with the two end gliders fixed or attached by springs to the ends of the air track. Longitudinal waves can be created which reflect off the (fixed) ends, and standing waves can be created in the system.

References

D. K. Chaturvedi and J. S. Baijal, Normal Modes of Oscillation for a One-Dimensional Diatomic Lattice, AJP 42, 482486 (1972).