Harmonic Motion In A String Lab

(this experiment is to be used with the String program from SPECS)

Before you begin make sure you have reviewed the material on Return Harmonic Motion In A String.

With this lab you will be able to look at the behaviour of a plucked string which is fixed at both ends. You will be able to adjust the density of segments of the string, how far you pluck the string, and the mass of the string.

Things to notice when using the string program:

  • the amplitude of the wave.
  • the wavelength.
  • the frequency.
  • reflection of wave.
  • transmision of the wave.

    Questions you might try to answer:

  • What happens when two waves collide?
  • What happens at the points where the string changes density?*
  • What happens to the wave when it hits the fixed end point?
  • Why is the pridictability of a string important in musical instruments?
  • Can the strings motion be tied into coupled pendulum motion?
  • Is there a relationship between the strings density and its amplitude?
  • What is dampening and how does it affect the motion of the string?
  • Is dampening related to the density of the string?

    *note: when changing the density of the string be aware that the string's density changes continuosly as you move from one section to another. If you want a more abrupt change, place two points close together and a third point with the same density farther away. This will allow for a longer section with the same density.

    Other sites on vibrations in a string:
    Vibrating String Simulation JAVA
    Free and Forced Vibrations