Standing Waves


When two waves of the same speed and wavelength and equal (or almost equal) amplitudes travelling in opposite directions meet, a standing wave is formed due to the superposition of the two waves.

The different possibilities for standing waves produce different harmonics.

... remember you are able to get the wavelength of the various standing waves and then you can find the frequency.

Standing waves on a vibrating string

frequency = velocity/wave length

fn=n[v/(2L)] n=1, 2, 3, ...


Standing waves in an air column

  • harmonic series of a pipe open at both ends

fn=n[v/(2L)] n=1, 2, 3, ...

  • harmonic series of a pipe closed at one end

fn=n[v/(4L)] n=1, 3, 5, ...


HW. PG 256: 1-3, 5, 8, 10-15, 18.


Standing Waves and Instruments


Flutes and Clarinets


River Standing Waves




Simulation Physics Classroom

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