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Transverse waves

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Transverse vibrations in strings

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Horizontal components of forces

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Vertical components of forces

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= mass per
unit length

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Solution to the Wave Equation

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Wave equation

or
will satisfy the above equation

General Solution

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We have -

and

Similarly-

and

Thus, y is the solution of wave equation -

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Physical significance of y = f(ct+x)

“y” is the simple harmonic displacement of an oscillator at


position “x” and time “t”, thus it can be expressed as -

The bracket (ct -x) in the expression has


the dimension of length and for the function to be a sine or
cosine, its argument must have the dimensions of radians, so –

is a solution of the wave equation where

𝜈 is the oscillation frequency and


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The locus of oscillator displacements in a continuous medium at
some fixed time (like a photograph)
displacement (y)

𝜆 is the distance (in x) between any two oscillators having a


phase difference of 2𝜋 radians
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The locus of oscillator displacements in a continuous medium at
some fixed position as a function of time
displacement (y)

𝑇 is the time interval after which the oscillator undergoes a



phase difference of 2𝜋 radians (𝜔 = )
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Significance of y = f(ct+x)

wave moving to the left


y

t
Equivalent expressions which are equally valid

Here is the wave-number


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For disturbance propagating in all directions

 2
   2 2 2
 2 2 2
x 2
x y z
 2
(Laplacian operator)

1  2
  (r , t)  2 2
2

cs t
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