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ERIC Number: EJ860664
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
From Newton's Second Law to Huygens's Principle: Visualizing Waves in a Large Array of Masses Joined by Springs
Dolinko, A. E.
European Journal of Physics, v30 n6 p1217-1228 Nov 2009
By simulating the dynamics of a bidimensional array of springs and masses, the propagation of conveniently generated waves is visualized. The simulation is exclusively based on Newton's second law and was made to provide insight into the physics of wave propagation. By controlling parameters such as the magnitude of the mass and the elastic constant of the mesh elements, it was possible to change the properties of the medium in order to observe the characteristic phenomena of wave mechanics, such as diffraction and interference. Finally, several examples of waves propagating in media with different configurations are presented, including the application of the simulation to the study of frequency response of a complex structure. (Contains 10 figures.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A