Waves, Sound and Light: Wave Basics

Wave Basics: Audio Guided Solution

Problem 2:

Strong winds can apply a significant enough force to tall skyscrapers to set them into a back-and-forth motion. The amplitudes of these motions are greater at the higher floors and barely observable for the lower floors. It is said that one can even observe the vibrational motion of the Sears Tower in Chicago on a windy day. As the Sears Tower vibrates back and forth, it makes about 8.6 vibrations in 60 seconds. Determine the frequency and the period of vibration of the Sears Tower.

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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