Determine the frequency, period, and speed of a water wave with a wavelength of 0.14 meters is created by repeatedly dipping a finger into a pan of water twice each second.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

To find frequency, we apply the definition of frequency: frequency is the number of times a wave repeats in a given amount of time.  Usually, frequency is measured in repeated cycles per second which is commonly called the Hertz (Hz).  According to this problem, the wave is being forced to repeat twice each second, therefore the frequency is 2.0 Hz.

Period is defined as the reciprocal of the frequency.  Therefore the period for this problem is T = 1/f = 1/(2.0cycles per second) = 0.50 seconds.  T = 0.50s

Wave speed can be determined in several ways.  One way is to determine the speed which must be required for the wave front to move across the distance between repeated cycles.  In this case d = 0.14m in 0.50s.  s = d/t = 0.14m/0.50s = 0.28m/s

Or one could get the wave speed by solving one of the following formulae

s = d/T

s = df

in either case you should still get s = 0.28m/s

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial