Wave Machine

Wave Machine

The Physics:

The wave machine is a very simple device used to show what waves look like. It has many long steel rods connected by a thin wire. When you move the rod on the end, it transmits energy to the other rods through the wire. The wave shown here is analogous to a sound wave and we can use it to see what different frequencies look like.

This wave is also similar to the wave you do at sporting events. Instead of people moving up and down, we have metal rods moving up and down. In both cases, energy is transmitted in the form of a wave. A sound wave is similar to this, but in a sound wave the movement is back and forth instead of up and down.


Link to Teacher Resources

Page Updated 8/29/08