Standing Waves

St. Mary's University Physics

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Kieff, Ptj, Wikipedia, public domain


Standing Wave

St. Mary's Physics Online




B) Standing Wave – waves produced when two waves of the same frequency and amplitude travel in opposite directions in the same medium (Musical instruments)


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Remember the old slinky song? - slinky.wav




Standing Wave
David M. Harrison



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Ruben's Flame Tube

Mythbusters from YouTube




How many antinodes are in each picture?

(focus on the lower half of the guitar)

Physics of the Acoustic Guitar




2, 4, 10



Click on the frequencies above

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Maximum Destructive Interference Occurs
at the Nodes




Standing waves can also be produced by reflection


How many nodes?









How many antinodes?








How many waves?












Standing Wave and Frequency

C. K. Eng



How many wavelengths?


Wikipedia, Houtlijm, public domain


| Larger |






One Antinode



Four Antinodes

Illustration of vibrations of a drum - Oleg Alexandrov
Public Domain Image







How many antinodes?

How many







2 antinodes, wavelength = 3.0 m 




AP Physics

L = distance between walls

String fixed at both ends
 or Open Pipe Both ends

L = (nl/2)

n = 1,2,3 ....

since v=fl


fn = n[v/2L]


n = 1,2,3 ....

Each frequency is a multiple of the fundamental frequency

Pipe Open at One End



Closed at one end




L= [n/4]l

n = 1,3,5,7 .....

since v=fl


fn = nv/4L

n = 1,3,5,7 .....

frequency goes up by 2 times fundamental and are divisible by ODD number

Giancoli p. 348) 34, 36


34) Closed

88 Hz is fundamental

36) Open Pipe Fundamental 40 Hz, both are even number multiples of 40 not odd multiple of 20


f = v/2L = 40 Hz = (340 m/s)/2L   L = 4.3 m



Review Book p. 302) 10.


Open at one end

n = 1 fundamental

f = v/4L

= 340 m/s/(4 x .17)

= 500 Hz


p. 303) 10




Beats - Rhythmic interference between two semi indentical frequency sources












Standing Waves/Sound/Chladni
Berkeley Univ.



Standing Waves - Wake Forest .U.

(Chladni Disk)



Water Drop in Zero g

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Standing Waves
HyperPhysics (offsite


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