Waves on a String

Be sure the simulation has finished loading before you begin. Applets courtesy Wolfgang Christian

Here are plots of the wavefunctions f(x,t) and g(x,t), the displacement of a wave on a string, as a function of x, the distance along the string and time, t. You may click and drag inside the animation to read the coordinates in order to obtain numerical values for use in your equations. Time is in units of seconds, the vertical (f) is in units of mm, and the horizontal (x) is in units of meters.

You can change the functions by entering an equation into the box and clicking the "Enter" button. The function can include variables x and t, functions such as sin, cos, exp, sqrt, sqr (squaring a quantity), and operators +, -, *, and /. "pi" is a defned constant for (you guessed it) pi.

Running the applet Initially you see a snapshot of the string at time t = 0. "Forward" shows the wave as time increases, "Reverse" runs time backwards, "Stop", "Reset", and the "Step" buttons are self-evident.

Initially the top shows a wave pulse, and the bottom shows a continuous sinusoidal wave.

Enter a function for top graph.=

Enter a function for bottom graph.=