Doing The Wave
Demonstrate the movement of a beam of light by making the following types of waves:
Vertical transverse wave
Horizontal transverse wave
Diagonal transverse wave
With each type of wave, observe the following:
Wavelength the distance from the top of one wave to the top of the next.
Amplitude the height of each wave crest (the top of the wave) or the depth of each wave trough (the bottom of the wave).
Frequency the number of wave crests passing a point in one second.
What can you do to change the wavelength, amplitude, or frequency of your waves?
Light travels in a combination of horizontal, vertical, and diagonal waves, each vibrating in a different plane. By separating out one set of waves, you can polarize the light. To simulate polarized light, pass a thin cord or rope through a slit on the back of a slatted chair. Observe what happens when you try to produce a horizontal wave!
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