Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

Problems Sorted by Type | Problems Sorted by Subject | Problems Sorted by Chapter in UP

Propagating a Gaussian pulse

The picture at the right shows the shape of a pulse on a stretched spring at the time t = 0. The displacement of the spring from its equilibrium position at that time is given by:

The pulse is moving in the positive x direction with a velocity v0.

(a) Sketch a graph showing the shape of the spring at a later time, t  =  t0. Specify the height and position of the peak in terms of the symbols given. 

(b) Write an equation for the displacement of any portion of the spring at any time,y[x,t]

(c) Sketch a graph of the velocity of the piece of the spring at the position x = 2b as a function of time.

Page last modified October 31, 2002: O29