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Wave Superposition
The Wave Superposition exercise is an interactive JAVA environment that allows the user to look at the linear superposition of up to four ocean waves of different amplitudes and period. Direction of travel (right or left) and the local depth of water can be specified. Students can learn definitions of wavelength, wave speed, wave amplitude, and wave period and gain an overall understanding of the superposition of waves. Waves reflection and standing waves can also be explored. Although this is an oceanography activity it could be used in any course that has some discussion of waves (electromagnetic waves, sound waves, seismic waves, and water waves). This site also provides teaching notes and tips, teaching materials, assessment idea and additional resources on wave superposition. This activity is part of the Starting Point Collection:
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
  • College (15-16)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Lab activity
    • Guide for instructor
  • Educational theory and practice
  • Ocean Sciences:
    • Physical oceanography
  • Physics
Technical requirements:
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright and Other Restriction Information Unknown.
DLESE Catalog ID: SERC-STARTINGPOINT-000-000-000-041
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Contributor: Robert Mackay
Clark College