Physics Dept. Demonstration Manual

DVW03.1 - Longitudinal Waves (Vertical Rods)


To show the propagation of longitudinal waves.

  • Longitudinal wave demonstrator (Pasco)
    Clamp, right angled (custom)



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. All of the wave concepts contained in lab VW# can be clearly illustrated.
    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.