Understand the Power of a Standing Wave

   

The Power of a Standing Wave ( Tek-THinK)

I remember the first time that I was introduced to the concept of the standing wave. I think it as science class in public school. In the school yard the best example would be when you make a jump rope seem to stay in one place when you hold it horizontally ( see the image from NASA below).

You can easily see when the waves are standing and why they are called that.

a jump rope used as an exampe of a standing wave

Do not underestimate the power of a standing wave

In the real world through history there are have been terrifying examples of the standing wave in action on poorly designed or over used bridges. Every object has something call natural harmonics or the frequency at which the objects mechanical system resonates.If you cause the object to vibrate at his natural frequency it is possible to cause a standing wave within the object often with catastrophic results.

In the opening video, Physics girl demonstrates the phenomenon of standing waves.

These next videos are real world examples of what we have been describing.

 

Video 2