The Physics
Hypertextbook
Opus in profectus

# The Nature of Waves

## Problems

### practice

1. A freight train at rest starts moving forward. There is enough slack in the couplings between cars that, after the first car starts moving, there is a slight delay before the second car starts to move. Then, after the second car starts moving, there is a slight delay before the third car starts to move. Likewise, after the third car starts moving (keep repeating this procedure over and over again) until finally the last car starts to move. This phenomenon satisfies the definition of a wave. Is the wave I just described a…
1. mechanical or electromagnetic wave?
2. transverse, longitudinal, complex, or torsional wave?
3. pulse or a periodic wave?
4. standing or traveling wave?
2. Write something else.
3. Write something different.
4. Write something completely different.

### conceptual

1. Does the medium in which a wave travels move along with the wave itself? Describe a situation that could be used to verify your claim.
2. A police car is sitting on the side of a busy highway. A driver passing by the police car slows down reflexively. This causes the car behind to slow down, which causes the car behind that to slow down, which causes the… (You get the idea.) This event satisfies the definition of a wave. Is the wave I just described a…
1. mechanical or electromagnetic wave?
2. transverse, longitudinal, complex, or torsional wave?
3. pulse or a periodic wave?
4. standing or traveling wave?
3. A crowd is doing a stadium wave. People in one colum of seats stands and sits. The people to the right of these people then do the same, followed by the people to the right of those people, followed by… (You get the idea.) The wave travels around the stadium six times before the crowd loses interest. Is the wave I just described a…
1. mechanical or electromagnetic wave?
2. transverse, longitudinal, complex, or torsional wave?
3. pulse or a periodic wave?
4. standing or traveling wave?