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A string can be approximated by many connected particles as shown in the animations (position is given in meters and time is given in seconds). Restart. This Exploration considers a pulse on a string and looks at the motion of the individual particles that make up such a string. Pulse 1 shows a Gaussian pulse incident from the left, while Pulse 2 shows a Gaussian pulse incident from the right. Notice how the particles never really move in the x direction, yet the information in the pulse does travel across the screen.
In the other two animations the pulse is incident from the left and hits either a Hard or a Soft barrier. The hard-barrier example is depicted by the hand that represents a string whose end is tied down; the soft-barrier example represents a string with one end free to move in the y direction only.
Illustration authored by Morten Brydensholt, Wolfgang Christian, and Mario Belloni.
Script authored by Morten Brydensholt, Wolfgang Christian, and Mario Belloni.
© 2004 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. A Pearson Company