Fundamental Waves on Strings

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Fundamental Waves on Strings

You will have already seen that by changing the length of a string you can alter the wavelength and frequency of the waves the string can produce. However, those musicians amongst you will know that you can change the note a string can produce by changing the tension in the string or by changing the thickness of the string.

If you have a chance to look at a guitar or violin you can see that each string is a different thickness, which allows them to produce a different range of notes.

So how can we find the frequency of the wave that will be produced at different tensions and string thickness?

Click on the buttons to change the properties of the string.

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We can calculate the speed of a wave using:

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Where:

v = speed (m/s)

F = tension (N)

M = mass per metre of the string (kg/m)

We already know that frequency, Copyright S-cool so: Copyright S-cool

We can see from this that the frequency of the wave (or note) produced will increase as tension is increased or as the mass per metre is decreased.

Question:

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