lego dimensions waves release dates and sound brain waves and dimensions
Physics 2415 Lecture 28
Michael Fowler, UVa
• Waves in two and three dimensions
• Doppler effect Harmonic String Vibrations
• Strings in musical instruments have fixed ends, so
pure harmonic (single frequency) vibrations are sine
waves with a whole number of half-wavelengths
between the ends. Remember frequency and
wavelength are related by f = v
String length L
(fundamental) = 2L
2 harmonic = L
3 harmonic = 2L/3 Longitudinal Harmonic Waves in Pipes
• What are possible wavelengths of standing
harmonic waves in an organ pipe?
• Unlike standard string instruments, organ
pipes can have two different types of end:
closed and open.
• Obviously, longitudinal vibrations have no
room to move at a closed end: this is the same
as a fixed end for a transversely vibrating
• But what does the wave do at an open end? Boundary Condition at Pipe Open End
• At an open end of a pipe, the air is in contact with the
atmosphere—so it’s at atmospheric pressure.
• The boundary condition at the open end is that the
pressure is constant, that is, ΔP = 0.
• This means the amplitude of longitudinal oscillation is at
a maximum at the open end
• Node Antinode Pressure node Pressure antinode
• For an organ pipe with both ends open, the
lowest note (fundamental) has = 2L.
• What is the wavelength of the next-lowest note
(the second harmonic)?
• A. = 3L B. = (3/2)L C. = L D. = (2/3)L
• Both ends open: second harmonic has = L.
Waves in Two and Three Dimensions
• Recall that the wave equation for waves on a string
was given by matching the mass x accn for a tiny
piece of string with the tension force from the two
ends not being quite parallel.
• A similar argument applied to a tiny square part of a
drumhead gives its acceleration as resulting from
imbalance between the forces tugging at all four
sides: it curves over in the x and the y-direction,
2 2 2
f f f
2 2 2
xy TtWaves on a Drumhead
The two-dimensional wave equation can be solved to find
the fundamental and harmonics of a vibrating drum head.
Here are some of the modes of vibration (click to play):
These are from James Nearing, University of Miami
Different two-dimensional shapes have different boundary conditions, we can
see different modes of vibration by forcing a node at a particular place in a
vibrating system—the Chladni plates, for example, vibrating plates with sand
on top. The sand comes to rest in the nodes, which are not points but curves. Waves in Three Dimensions
• The equation now is for a small cube being buffeted
around by varying pressures on its six faces The
2 2 2 2
f f f f
2 2 2 2
• This combination of differentiations comes up so often
we have a special symbol, called del squared.
• This is the equation (for a component of local
displacement, or for local density) that describes how
sound waves get from me to you—it may look pretty
scary, but don’t worry, we won’t need it except to know
it works for harmonic waves going out spherically, and
it’s linear, so we can just add waves. Sound Waves in Three Dimensions
• Think of a small source
emitting a steady
harmonic note: the
equally spaced crests of
the wave radiate
outwards in concentric
here by circles, so their
radii are one
wavelength apart. Wave Interference
• Imagine now two such sources,
emitting waves of the same
wavelength in sync with each
• The air displacement at any
point will be the vector sum of
the two displacements (the
• On the red line, the crests add.
• Green line: crests add to troughs.
Green line: quiet zone, nodal line.
• Yellow line: crests add.
Red and Yellow: antinodal lines.
Excellent Website Interference of Two Speakers
• Take two speakers • .
• There will be constructive
interference at any point
where the difference in
distance from the two
speakers is a whole
number of wavelengths n,
meets trough, they
destructive interference if
it’s an odd number of half
wavelengths (n + ½). Beats
• If two harmonic waves close in frequency are added, they
gradually go in and out of phase, the amplitude maxima
(beats) occur with frequency equal to the difference of the
This is k = = 30, k = = 33.
1 1 2 2Beats
• Adding the two harmonic waves:
Asin k x t Asin k x t
1 1 2 2
k k k k
1 2 1 2
1 2 1 2
2sin x t cos x t
2 2 2 2
• The first sin term is a harmonic wave half way
between the two being added, the cosine term is
a slowly varying modulation: it has frequency
equal to half the frequency difference of the two
waves added, but beats occur twice per cycle,
when cos has maximum amplitude, so at f – f .
The Doppler Effect
• For a harmonic source at rest,
the crests are shown as circles
separation where f = v, the
crests arrive with time interval
= 1/f , note that v = .
• If source moves at speed u ,
between emitting crests it moves
u , so for crests moving to
right, wavelength is shortened,
s 0The Doppler Effect
• An observer to the right of the
source will hear waves of
( being the interval between
crests being emitted)
meaning he’ll hear frequency
1 u / 1 u / v
s 0 sLeft Behind
• What about an observer to the
left of the source?
By an exactly similar argument,
she’ll hear a lower frequency,
sStationary Source, Moving Observer
• If the observer is moving directly towards the
stationary source, he will hear crests reaching
v u v
him time ´ apart, where ,
1 v u u
The observer moves at u towards
the incoming waves, meeting
incoming waves at
successive crests at time intervals