Education Technology

Exploring the Relationship Between Wavelength and Frequency

Published on 08/01/2011

Activity Overview

Students will explore the relationship between wavelength and frequency of the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum graphically to understand the mathematical relationship that exists.

Before the Activity

Load the TI-Nspire document (wavelengths.tns) onto all student handhelds.
Copy the step-by-step teacher instructions (wavelength.doc) for your use and the related handout (wavelengthsws.doc) for students to complete as they work through this activity.
The TI-Nspire document (wavelengtht.tns) allows the teacher to view the results the students should obtain as they work through this activity.
A worksheet key (wavelengthkey.doc) is also provided for teacher use,.

Notes on shortening this activity:
The graphing in this activity can be shortened by having students go back to the scatter plots already created and overlay their function graphs on top of the existing scatter plots. The instructions provided instruct students to create a second scatter plot for the function overlay. This may be beneficial for teaching the basics of graphing, but is redundant for students who are proficient at graphing with TI-Nspire technology. For example, steps 24-26 could be skipped if the students are instructed to return to the graph obtained after step 17. Steps could similarly be shortened for the remaining two scatter plots that are created.

During the Activity

The teacher should direct students to open the wavelengths.tns file. Once students have opened the file, the teacher should monitor students, assisting them as they work through the steps provided in this activity. Students will likely need assistance if the teacher wants the students to modify axes and/or label the graphs. Remind students that CTRL G will remove the function window and the x, y variable choice windows from the bottom of the graph screen to provide larger viewing windows for the graphs.
A worksheet is provided with this activity for completion by students.

After the Activity

An answer key is provided for checking student results.