Longitudinal waves and the mass-spring system
The mass-spring system is a simple but powerful model that provides insight into waves and their propagation. In particular, the equations describing the system can be simplified using elementary techniques and, in the appropriate limit, the wave equation can be found. Following identification of the wave equation, the form that waves can take is discussed.
This chapter presents the model in three sections. First, the case of two masses is analysed. Second, the case of arbitrarily-many masses is given attention. Finally, the case of infinitely-many masses, resulting in the wave equation, is studied. As everything is built up from first principles, there are few citations
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