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Which of the following is a characteristic of stationary waves?

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Which of the following is a characteristic of stationary waves?

A. The antinode is a point of minimum displacement.

B. The distance between two successive nodes is one wavelength.

C. They can be transverse or longitudinal

D. They are formed by two identical waves travelling in opposite directions.




When two similar waves of same amplitude and frequency travel in opposite directions, and interfere with each other, the velocities of both waves will cancel out, leaving it at zero velocity. This resultant wave with zero velocity is called stationary or standing wave.

This is in contrast to progressive wave which could be formed when the two waves travel in the same direction and interfere to increase the velocity.

Now for the right answer to the above question:

  1. Option A is incorrect. antinode is not a point of minimum displacement in a stationary wave but a point of maximum displacement (amplitude).
  2. Option B is incorrect. the distance between two successive nodes in a stationary wave is half the wavelength.
  3. C is incorrect. yes, they can be transverse or longitudinal, but this is not an exclusive characteristic of stationary waves, progressive waves too can be transverse or longitudinal.  
  4. D is the correct answer. Two identical waves of equal frequency and amplitude travelling in opposite direction interfere destructively to cancel out their velocities.
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You may please note these/this:

  • A good example of stationary (or standing) wave include a stringed instrument like a guitar string which when plucked produces two identical waves travelling in opposite direction through the string.
  • The waves in the string remain within the instrument with net velocity = 0

You can freely add your own answers below or click the GOLDEN ASK A QUESTION BOTTON down this page to raise new related questions… OUR COMMUNITY OF EXPERTS WILL BE HAPPY TO TACKLE IT…

/ culled from 2016 JAMB-UTME physics past question 18 /

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