Waves, Sound and Light: Wave Basics

Wave Basics: Audio Guided Solution

Problem 13:

Humpback whales are known to produce a collection of elaborate and repeating sounds with frequencies ranging from 20 Hz to 10 kHz. The sound waves travel through water at speeds of approximately 1400 m/s. Determine the wavelengths of the waves at the lower and the upper end of this frequency range.

Audio Guided Solution

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Habits of an Effective Problem Solver

  • Read the problem carefully and develop a mental picture of the physical situation. If necessary, sketch a simple diagram of the physical situation to help you visualize it.
  • Identify the known and unknown quantities and record in an organized manner, often times they can be recorded on the diagram itself. Equate given values to the symbols used to represent the corresponding quantity (e.g., v = 12.8 m/s, λ = 4.52 m, f = ???).
  • Use physics formulas and conceptual reasoning to plot a strategy for solving for the unknown quantity.
  • Identify the appropriate formula(s) to use.
  • Perform substitutions and algebraic manipulations in order to solve for the unknown quantity.

Read About It!

Get more information on the topic of Waves at The Physics Classroom Tutorial.

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