Welcome to practical physicsPracticle physics - practical activities designed for use in the classroom with 11 to 19 year olds
 

S.H.M. on a rope

Class practical

To show that the wave train on a rope has a sinusoidal shape.

Apparatus and materials

Rope, 6 m (or rubber tube)

Heath & Safety and Technical notes


Read our standard health & safety guidance

It is best if the rope is long enough for the wave to die out considerably by the time it reaches the far end, so that reflections do not cause standing waves. One should then see a continuous train of waves travelling along the rope.

 

Procedure


a Stretch a rope on the floor. 

b Oscillate one end of it at about 4 Hz by hand. 


Teaching notes


The oscillation that drives the motion of the rope is a S.H.M. 

This simple experiment can be used to link the experiment Musical frequencies shown on a C.R.O with Pendulum with ink or sand to show sinusoidal motion and to link S.H.M. with wave behaviour. 

 

Related experiments


Musical frequencies shown on a C.R.O

Pendulum with ink or sand to show sinusoidal motion