Problems for
Intermediate Methods in Theoretical Physics

Edward F. Redish

The Wave Equation and the Guitar String

In our study of the vibrating string, we made the "small angle approximation" in order to derive the wave equation. For a plucked guitar string, estimate how big the angle we are assuming to be small might get.   Is this angle too large or will our use of the wave equation be OK here?   Be sure to clearly state your assumptions and how you came to the numbers you estimated, since grading will be mostly based on your reasoning, not on your answer.



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This page prepared by

Edward F. Redish
Department of Physics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: (301) 405-6120

Last revision 2. December, 2005.