Education Technology

Studying Wave Phenomena with "WaveSim"

Published on 03/27/2010

Activity Overview

This is a program allowing teacher/student to interactively and graphically investigate a variety of wave concepts commonly studied in physics: traveling waves, standing waves, beats, Doppler effect, two-point source interference, Fourier wave forms, reflection and refraction, amplitude modulation, and attenuation.

Before the Activity

This program can be used by the teacher to introduce the various concepts mentioned previously when appropriate in a physics course. Alternatively, the student can use the program to investigate the concepts on their own.

During the Activity

After loading the "WaveSim" program (PRGM) and the associate picture (PIC) files and graph database (GDB) files, simply type and enter wavesim() in the entry line on the TI-89 home screen. After a short animated "splash" screen visually showing the relationship between circular motion, simple harmonic motion, and the production of waves, you can select the wave concept you wish to study from the toolbar at the top of the TI-89 screen.