Saturday, January 22, 2011

Physics Form Five: Chapter 1 - Refraction of Water Waves

  • Refraction, or the bending of the path of the waves, is accompanied by a change in speed and wavelength of the waves.
  • The most significant property of water that would affect the speed of waves traveling on its surface is the depth of the water
  • Water waves travel fastest when the medium is the deepest. Thus, if water waves are passing from deep water into shallow water, they will slow down.
  • This decrease in speed will also be accompanied by a decrease in wavelength.
  • So as water waves are transmitted from deep water into shallow water, the speed decreases, the wavelength decreases, and the direction changes.

Click on the diagram below to play!

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