Pulses on Slinkies: Quantitative Observational Experiment

Aim

Come up with an idea of what factors affect the speed of propagation of a pulse down the Slinky.

Prior Knowledge

  • Motion.
  • Speed.

Description of the Experiment

Observe how the pulses propagate on a Slinky. Decide how you will determine the speed of the pulse.

Addtional Information

In each video, each major white mark on the ruler represents 20 cm. The entire ruler is 4.5 m long.

Frame rate:
30fps

Size:
480 X 360

File Size:
0.30Mb
Please wait or read the page while the movie loads up. (This may take a while.) You will need QuickTime to view the movies. If you want to download the movie to your computer, right-click or control-click HERE.

Frame rate:
30fps

Size:
480 X 360

File Size:
0.40Mb
Please wait or read the page while the movie loads up. (This may take a while.) You will need QuickTime to view the movies. If you want to download the movie to your computer, right-click or control-click HERE.

Questions

  • What were the differences in the experiments in the first video? What was the purpose of the second video?
  • Compare the speed of pulses of different amplitudes on the first Slinky.
  • Compare the speeds odf the pulses of the same amplitude on two different Slinkies.
  • What do you think determines how fast a pulse will propagate on a Slinky?
  • What experiment you could preform to test your answer?