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Students interact with an applet to experiment with waveform interference. The activity should be performed in a computer laboratory, with each student at a workstation. They should each be provided with a copy of the following handout, available in Word and pdf format, which they should fill in as they proceed through the exercise. At the completion of the exercise, they should hand it in for grading. Wave Interference Student Activity Sheet (Word) (Acrobat (PDF) 26kB Feb24 10) Wave Interference Student Activity Sheet (pdf) (Acrobat (PDF) 16kB Feb24 10) Wave Interference Applet Original applet page: Wave Interference Applet If the applet below fails to appear properly on the page, with sliders for setting the amplitude, wavelength, phase, and speed of the waves, browse to the above link to the original applet page. Java Applet created by Konstantin Lukin with supervision by Glenn A. Richard, Project Java Webmaster The two green curves are parallel sinusoidal waveforms that have identical wavelengths, amplitudes, and phases when the applet initializes. The blue sinusoidal waveform at the bottom is the sum of the two green parallel waveforms. You can change the phase of the green sinusoidal waveforms by dragging the circles at the left end of the waveform. You can change the wavelength and the amplitude by dragging the other two circles. The sliders to the right of the waveforms offer alternative means of making similar changes. To animate the waveforms, click on the start button, and to stop the animation, click again. In order to change the speed of the animation of the two green waveforms, you can use the sliders on the lower right, but you must halt the animation in order to adjust the speed. Once your speeds are selected, start the animation again. The speeds are actually phase velocity. In other words, when the two green waveforms animate at equal speeds, each one will advance by an equal number of wavelengths during a given amount of time. Therefore, if they are set to the same speed, but different wavelengths, the waveform with the longer wavelength will advance faster than the other one. Wave Interference Applet with Initial Settings Wave Interference Applet with Constructive Interference We have constructive interference when the wavelength, amplitude, and phase of the two component (blue) waves are identical. Wave Interference Applet with Destructive Interference We have destructive interference when the wavelength and amplitude of the two component (blue) waves are identical and the phases differ by 180 degrees. Wave Interference Applet with component wave phase difference of 90 degrees With the wavelengths and the amplitudes of the component waves identical and their phases different by 90 degrees, there is partial constructive interference. Wave Interference Applet with a complex sum With the amplitudes of the two component waves identical and the wavelength of one component wave twice the wavelength of the other, the phase can be adjusted to produce a sum with a more complex form. Wave Interference Applet with wave beat With the amplitudes of the two component waves identical and the wavelengths slightly different, the sum exhibits wave beat. Wave Interference Applet with settings that will result in retrograde wave beat. The start button can be used the initiate an animation that exhibits the retrograde wave beat. On the live applet, click the stop button to halt the animation. Screen capture of Wave Interference Applet for three waves. For the actual applet, see Wave Interaction Applet - Three Waves Original applet location: Wave Interference Applet Java Source code and class files are in this archive: Wave Interference Applet jar File (Jar Archive 22kB Feb23 10) Java Source code and class files for a three-wave sum are in this archive:Wave Interaction Applet: Three Wave Sum (Jar Archive 9kB Feb23 10)
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