PHY113 University of Kentucky Waves on A String Lab Report


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Waves on a string

The objectives of the experiment are to measure the speed of a transverse wave
traveling in a Slinky, to confirm the relationship between frequency and number of antinodes
in a standing wave and to test the relationship between frequency and tension for a transverse
wave in a string.

For the first part of the experiment, the following equipment was used: large Slinky,
stopwatch, 30-m measuring tape, spring scale. The experiment begins by stretching the Slinky
out in the hallway, on the floor, to a length of about 20ft. This was done by two research team
members. One member launched a transverse pulse in the Slinky and the other one measured
the time it took for the pulse to arrive to him, as well as the tension in the Slinky, using the
spring scale. The experiment was repeated when the Slinky was stretched to 30ft, as well.
For the second part of the
experiment, the following equipment was
used: PASCO vibrator powered by the
variable frequency function generator,
string of a known linear density (1.35 ×
10−4 kg/m), set of masses from 50 g to
1000 g, 50-g weight hanger, pulley, meter
stick. In figure 1, there is a representation
of the experimental setting which was
constructed: a stretched spring over a Figure 1: the setting used for the second part
pulley from which different weights are of the experiment
hanging, fixed to the wall and with a wave
driver at one end. The wave driver would launch transversal pulses in the spring, as it is
connected to a function generator which can put out a sine wave of variable frequency and
variable amplitude. By varying the frequency, the standing wave will have different numbers
of nodes. We measure the frequencies which are necessary for the wave to form 1 to 5
The third part of the experiment uses the same setting as in the second part, only this
time we consider the standing waves having only one antinode and we vary the tension in the
spring by placing different weights on the weight hanger. For each weight, we find the
resonance frequency which produces one antinode in the spring and note it down.

Experimental data
For the first part of the experiment, the following variables are taken into consideration:
the mass of the Slinky, read from its label, noted M, the length of the Slinky both in ft and
meters L, the tension in the Slinky T, the mean time it took for the pulse to travel from one end

of the Slinky to another t and ...

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