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Waves

self-check:

g / As the wave pulse goes by, the ribbon tied to the spring is not carried along. The motion of the wave pattern is to the right, but the medium (spring) is moving up and down, not to the right.

In figure g, you can detect the side-to-side motion of the spring because the spring appears blurry. At a certain instant, represented by a single photo, how would you describe the motion of the different parts of the spring? Other than the flat parts, do any parts of the spring have zero velocity?

Example 2: Worm in Motion

The worm in the figure is moving to the right. The wave pattern, a pulse consisting of a compressed area of its body, moves to the left. In other words, the motion of the wave pattern is in the opposite direction compared to the motion of the medium.

Example 3: Sufing

The incorrect belief that the medium moves with the wave is often reinforced by garbled secondhand knowledge of surfing. Anyone who has actually surfed knows that the front of the board pushes the water to the sides, creating a wake --- the surfer can even drag his hand through the water, as in in figure h. If the water was moving along with the wave and the surfer, this wouldn't happen. The surfer is carried forward because forward is downhill, not because of any forward flow of the water. If the water were flowing forward, then a person floating in the water up to her neck would be carried along just as quickly as someone on a surfboard. In fact, it is even possible to surf down the back side of a wave, although the ride wouldn't last very long because the surfer and the wave would quickly part company.

h / Example 3. The surfer is dragging his hand in the water.