Velocity of shallow water waves.

The experiment we run to discuss the velocity of shallow water waves.

In this post, I discussed how it took us several years to modify an experiment to make it both student and teacher-friendly. But what can you actually see in that experiment?

The movies below show the type of standing waves that are excited in the tank. This movie for 24 cm water depth (Ha – this is going to come back and haunt me! I’m not actually sure what the water depth in this experiment is. It looks like this is the case with the highest water level we have run. But if you want to know for sure go ahead, measure the period, calculate the phase velocity (the tank is 175 cm long) and then calculate the water depth. Good practice! ;-))

And then this movie shows the experiment with a lower water level (12 cm? 8? I don’t remember).

It’s interesting to see how much more difficult it is to excite a nice standing wave if you have less water in the tank. Intuitively that makes sense, but does anyone have a good, not-too-theoretical explanation?

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