Equations Stripped: Wave Equation

I strip back some of the most important equations in maths so that everyone can understand…

This time it’s the turn of the wave equation – it started out as model for the vibration of a violin strong and eventually led to the discovery that light itself is a wave. I’d say that’s pretty important…

 

Making Waves

Waves are ubiquitous in the marine world, but how do we study them and why do they matter? I went along to the lab at Cambridge University’s Maths department to meet researcher Megan Davies Wykes…

 

  • Waves are created in a tank in the lab by moving a paddle backwards and forwards
  • There are two types: deep water waves and shallow water waves – the type is determined by how large the wave is compared to the depth of the water
  • Changing the speed of motion of the paddle does not alter the wave speed as it is determined entirely by the wavelength, which is set by the distance the paddle is moved
  • Internal waves in the ocean are very important for mixing which in turn helps us to understand how things such as climate change will affect the ocean

You can listen to the full interview for the Naked Scientists here.

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