Let's label the pulses as:
When pulse 1 is reflected from the wall, its shape will be inverted and will move towards the right.
However, after pulse 2 is reflected from the movable spring, its shape will remain the same but move towards the left.
Two identical pulses are moving in opposite directions along a stretched string that has one fixed end and the other movable, as shown in Figure 1.
Above each pulse, a green arrow indicates the direction of motion of the pulse.
The two pulses reflect off the boundaries of the string, and at some later time, they pass through the middle of the string and interfere.
Below are six different sequences of snapshots taken as the two pulses meet in the middle of the string. Time increases from top to bottom in each sequence. Which sequence correctly represents the displacement of the string as the pulse interfere?
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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?
Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Wave Interference concept. You can view video lessons to learn Wave Interference. Or if you need more Wave Interference practice, you can also practice Wave Interference practice problems.