Objectives - Waves

The Minds On Physics program consists of 15 modules. Each module covers a different topic and consists of a varying number of assignments. Every assignment addresses one or two objectives. The objectives for the Waves module are listed below.

  • Assignment 1:
    • The student should be able to describe the nature of a wave and explain the distinction between wave motion and particle motion.
    • The student should be able to identify and distinguish between contrasting types of waves.
  • Assignment 2:
    • The student should be able to describe the basic characteristics of waves such as frequency, wavelength, amplitude, period, and speed.
    • The student should be able to utilize mathematical relationships related to wave characteristics.
  • Assignment 3:
    • The student should be able to define wave speed and identify the variables which effect wave speed.
    • The student should be able to utilize the definition of wave speed to solve simple computational problems involving speed, distance and time.
  • Assignment 4:
    • The student should be able to perform straight-forward calculations using the wave equation.
    • The student should be able to interpret textual information and diagrams in order to perform mathematical analyses using the wave equation.
  • Assignment 5:
    • The student should be able to predict how alterations in the medium through which a wave is traveling will effect the properties of that wave.
    • The student should be able to predict the orientation of the reflected pulse at the boundary between two media.
  • Assignment 6:
    • The student should be able to recognize the distinction between constructive and destructive interference.
    • The student should be able to utilize the principle of superposition to predict the shape and amplitude of a wave form resulting from the interference of two waves.
  • Assignment 7:
    • The student should be able to identify key concepts regarding the anatomy of a standing wave.
    • The student should be able to relate the length of a medium to the wavelength of a standing wave established in that medium.
  • Assignment 8:
    • The student should be able to mathematically analyze standing wave patterns.
    • The student should be able to utilize a combination of textual information and diagrams to mathematically analyze standing wave patterns.


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