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Waves - Unit 3

Waves - Unit 3

Author: Nate Holz
  • What are waves?
  • What is a medium?
  • What causes waves?
  • Be able to list several kinds of waves
  • Be able to describe the properties of waves; amplitude, wave length, etc.
  • How do frequency and period relate to one another?
  • Be able to calculate the speed, frequency, and wave length of waves
  • Discuss the speed of sound and light
  • Understand the basics of the Doppler Effect
  • Look at the kinetic theory of gases, liquids, and solids as they relate to waves
  • and finally, look at wave interactions - reflection and refraction

This unit relies on a 3 part ppt and video clips in helping my 9th grade earth science class understand waves

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Chuck Yeager Breaks the Sound Barrier

Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier Oct 14 1947 at Edwards air force base.

Source: Standard YouTube License

Extra Credit Alert (30 to 50 pts!) - Build a Wave Machine!

Build your own Wave Machine - this is a great physics demonstration for the classroom or at home as a brilliant science experiment for kids.

This science demonstration video is one of over 8,000 free teaching resources available for from the National STEM Centre following registration. Register here

The Wave Machine is also a fun and useful tool for the science classroom as it can be used to demonstrate transverse wave motion and is a great way of demonstrating how light waves change when moving through different media such as glass and air.

Waves - An Introduction

Introducing the concept of waves

Source: expertmathstutor

What we are going to be looking at in this unit?

  • What is a wave?
  • What do we mean by a wave's medium
  • Give at least 3 examples of a wave medium
  • Why do EM waves NOT require a medium?
  • What causes waves?
  • How are waves classified?
  • Be able to list the basic properties of waves
  • What is a wave frequency? A wave period?
  • Be able to solve wave freq. & period problems mathematically
  • Be able to relate the speed, freq, and wavelength of a wave mathematically
  • Be able to explain how a wave's medium determines the speed of a wave
  • Understand the kinetic theory of wave speed
  • What is the speed of light?
  • Be able to discuss the Doppler Effect
  • A look at wave interactions: reflection & refraction
  • Be able to discuss constructive & destructive wave interference

Source: Bob Grove

Unit 3 Assignments (Waves)

Source: Bob Grove


A 3 part powerpoint lesson on waves.

Source: Bob Grove

Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse

Check out the power of waves...

Tacoma Narrows Bridge Project - Extra Credit

Source: Bob Grove

Wave Anatomy Project

This ppt gives you the info on our wave anatomy assignment. The basic grade is 15 pts but if you make a high quality poster size version, the pts can be doubled.

Doppler Effect via "The Big Bang Theory"

A pretty amusing clip from "The Big Bang Theory" on the Doppler Effect

Ruben's Tube

Be able to visualize sound waves with this cool demo using propane and fire

The Doppler Effect

Instructor Blaine Greenhalgh explains the doppler effect.

Source: Blaine Greenhalgh