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Waves Notebook Labs


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The following items should be in the Waves portion of your notebook.  They should be clearly organized and easy to find.  Use an organizational system and label all work. Each lab will be graded separately.  Seven Waves lab grades will be entered into the gradebook. On overall notebook grade will be determined based on your use of the notebook as an organized and effective record-keeping tool which documents your engagement in the learning cycle during classtime.



W1. A Wiggle in Time Lab

Question: 
How would you describe (verbally, graphically and mathematically) the motion of a mass on the end of a spring?  

Purpose: 
To describe (verbally, graphically and mathematically) the motion of a mass on the end of a spring?  

A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, and a Conclusion/Discussion . The Data section should include a plot of position versus time and a plot of velocity vs. time (use provided graphs).  The Conclusion/Discussion should include a verbal description of the mass's motion, a description of the manner in which the position and the speed of the mass change with respect to time; this description should rely the language of mathematics.



W2. Period of a Pendulum Lab

Question:
What variable(s) effect the period of a pendulum and what mathematical equation(s) describe the dependency?

Purpose:
To determine the variable(s) effecting the period of a pendulum and to write a mathematical equation which relates the period to the variable(s) effecting it.  

A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, a Conclusion and a Discussion of Results. The Data Section should include several tables of data with labeled column headings (and units) to demonstrate a systematic study of the effect of mass, amplitude and length upon the period of the pendulum. Variables which appear to effect the period should be plotted in an effort to determine the equation. Power regression analysis should be performed in order to determine the power equation relating the pendulum to the variable which effects it.  Class data should also be included. The Conclusion section should respond to the two-part question raised in the Purpose. The Discussion of Results should describe the evidence which led to your conclusion.  Variables not effecting the period should be identified and any minor variation in period resulting from changes to these variables should be interpreted in light of your conclusion. The reliability of your experimentally-derived equation should be evaluated by a comparison to a theoretical equation. Percent error analyses should be performed for the coefficient and the power.



W3. A Wiggle in Time and Space Lab

Question: 
How is simple harmonic motion (mass on a spring, pendulum motion) related to wave motion?

Purpose:

To compare simple harmonic motion and wave motion, identifying ways in which they are similar and different.  


A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, and a Conclusion/Discussion. The Data section should include observations of the wave motion appearing in the animation; these observations could include a well-labeled diagram with notes describing what is observed or it could include a collection of bullet-points describing primary characteristics of wave motion. The Conclusion/Discussion should include a well-written paragraph which responds to the purpose of the lab.  




W4. Wave Motion Lab

Question: 
How are transverse, longitudinal and circular wave motion similar and different?  


Purpose:

To distinguish between the three types of wave motion - transverse, longitudinal and circular.  


A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, and a Conclusion/Discussion. The Data section should include observations of the three types of wave motion. Diagrams would be an excellent way to distinguish between the particle motion involved in each type of wave. The Conclusion/Discussion should include a well-written paragraph which responds to the purpose of the lab.  




W5. Speed of a Wave Lab

Question: 
What types of variables effect the speed of a wave on a string?  

Purpose:

To identify the variables which do and do not alter the speed of a wave on a string.  


A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, a Conclusion and a Discussion of Results. The Data section should include the provided Data table. The Data table should be completed and work should be shown for the indicated rows.  The conclusion should state the variables which affect and do not affect the speed of a wave on a string. The Discussion of Results should provide a well-written paragraph in which specific trials are referenced in an effort to explain how the evidence logically leads to the conclusion which was drawn.


 
W6. Vibrating Spring Lab

Question: 
What is the mathematical relationship between the spacing distance between adjacent nodes in a longitudinal standing wave pattern and the frequency of the vibrations which are causing the patterns?  

Purpose:
To determine the mathematical relationship between the spacing distance between adjacent nodes in a longitudinal standing wave pattern and the frequency of the vibrations which are causing the patterns.  

A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, a Conclusion, and a Discussion of Results.  The Data should organize the collected data into a table with a row-column format.  Once collected, the Data should be analyzed in an effort to find a mathematical pattern and ultimately an equation relating the two measured quantities. This analysis should be documented in the lab notebook.  Cross-outs, wrong turns, scribble-overs and other signs of investigative efforts should be evident in your lab notebook.  And of course, a data plot and linear or power regression analyis is also permitted.  The Conclusion should include a verbal statement and an equation which seems to fit the data.  The Discussion of Results should explain the significance of the equation;  the meaning of nodal spacing distance should be described and related to wavelength of the standing wave pattern.  The equation should be related to other equations learned in the Waves section of the course;  the meaning of any constants in the equation should be explained. 




W7. Nodes and Antinodes Lab 

Question: 
How is the number of nodes and antinodes in a longitudinal standing wave related to the vibrational frequency?  

Purpose:
To determine the mathematical relationship between the number of nodes and the number of antinodes and the vibrational frequency of a longitudinal standing wave.  


A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, and a Conclusion/Discussion of Results. The Data section should include a table of measurements and node and antinode counts.  Some form of numerical analysis (a data plot with linear regression analysis, trial and error equation testing, and/or the use of additional columns of calculated data) should be evident in the Data section.  The Conclusion/Discussion should include the stated mathematical equation and a discussion of the evidence which supports such an equation.  An error analysis should be included, discussing the degree of certainty to which you hold to your conclusion and identifying outlying data and any possible alternative equations.


 

W8.  Harmonic Frequencies Lab

Question: 
How can the individual harmonic frequencies of the standing wave patterns for a string be mathematically related?  

Purpose:

To determine the mathematical relationship between the various harmonic frequencies for the standing wave patterns of a string and to express the relationship in the form of a single equation.  

A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, a Conclusion and a Discussion of Results. The Data section includes a table with column headings: harmonic number, standing wave pattern, and frequency. The Conclusion section includes a couple of sentences and an equation which responds to the purpose of the lab; symbols used within the equation are clearly defined.  The Discussion of Results should explain how the collected data are consistent with the equation written in the Conclusion. Specific rows of the table should be referenced and discussed in an effort to show how the equation fits the data.

 

W9. Wave Behavior Demonstration Lab

Question: 
How is the number of nodes and antinodes in a longitudinal standing wave related to the vibrational frequency?  

Purpose:

To determine the mathematical relationship between the number of nodes and the number of antinodes and the vibrational frequency of a longitudinal standing wave.  


A complete lab write-up includes a Title, a Purpose, a Data section, and a Conclusion/Discussion of Results. The Data section should include a table of measurements and node and antinode counts.  Some form of numerical analysis (a data plot with linear regression analysis, trial and error equation testing, and/or the use of additional columns of calculated data) should be evident in the Data section.  The Conclusion/Discussion should include the stated mathematical equation and a discussion of the evidence which supports such an equation.  An error analysis should be included, discussing the degree of certainty to which you hold to your conclusion and identifying outlying data and any possible alternative equations.



W8. Opening Questions and your Use of a Notebook as a Record-Keeping Tool

Your course notebook is a record-keeping tool. You record information from class which can be used when doing homework and preparing for quizzes and tests. An organized and well-documented notebook typically serves as a useful and effective tool which a student can make much use of. Such a notebook includes notes from class post-lab discussions, book readings, and answers/discussions of opening questions. The information is recorded in the notebook in an organized manner which the student can understand upon review.




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