BCIT Physics Department

Demonstration Manual

Sound and Wave Motion

DVW03.1 - Longitudinal Waves (Vertical Rods)


- To show the propagation of longitudinal waves.



Displacement of the rods may be done manually, with either the clamp in place (terminated) or without the clamp ("open-circuited").


  1. This demonstration is the analogue of standing waves in air columns and musical instruments.
  2. The restoring force for the wave motion comes from the springs between rods.
  3. The rod masses and spring constants chosen result in slow speed oscillations for improved observation.