In this short video, Paul Cook will show how to do the ripple tank demonstration, which is a required practical covering the basic properties of waves and can be used to measure the wavelength of waves on the water’s surface.
The aim of the experiment is to measure the frequency, wavelength and speed of waves in a ripple tank.
The demonstrations in the video also show waves created by a beam and motor as well as single and double dippers.
The setups show:
Continuous straight ripples/waves
Pulse of circular ripples/waves
Interference patterns, diffraction and refraction
What is a Ripple Tank?
The purpose of a ripple tank is to measure and calculate the properties of waves such as frequency, wavelength, and speed on the surface of water. To observe the motion of ripples on the water’s surface, a ripple tank is utilised, which is a shallow transparent tray filled with water, and a light source illuminates the water’s surface. A white card is placed below the tray to clearly visualize the ripples created. Regular ripples can be generated by using a motor, although ripples can also be created manually.
You will need:
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