Day 5: Visualizing Wave Movement

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

the wave

What the heck is going on in the above picture? It all started with my top 5 teaching challenge this week: kids don’t want to believe that in a transverse wave, the particles of the medium vibrate perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation. I first showed this awesome GIF:

Many of the kids described that the dots were moving left to right. So I asked for volunteers who didn’t mind holding each other’s hands. Each hand-hold became a dot from the animation. I gave them a minute to coordinate, then asked the whole class to watch the wave being sent along the line.

That great animation above came from ISVR animated GIFS of wave properties (and you thought this format was only for expressing your reactions with pithy movie clips).


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