Normal Modes

Pianos and other string instruments create music because of the oscillating strings. Most science labs don't have coupled mass-spring oscillators, so this simulator meets that need. Scholars play with them in 1-D or 2-D with the ability to alter the masses as well as change the initial conditions and amplitude of each phase. It includes both longitudinal and transverse modes.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Connect this concept to the way generators work
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires Flash 9 or later
  • Assumes prior knowledge of the behaviors of waves
Pros

  • Includes a document with ideas for simplifying the simulation, how to control the simulation, and insights into student thinking
  • Translates into more than 20 languages, allowing for wider use
Cons

  • None