Monday, November 17, 2008

P-Waves and S-Waves

In class we have been studying about earthquakes and the different types of waves that can occur during an earthquake. In this post you will notice two different types of waves demonstrated (P-waves and S-waves). Both of these waves are considered body waves.

In our experiment, we had one person moving the slinky while the other held it. A third person would time how long it took for the wave to reach the holder and vibrate back to the person that started the movement in the first place. In the videos, notice the wave "bounces" back after reaching the holder.

In this first video, Ben and Alberto demonstrating a P-wave using a Slinky. P-wave stands for primary wave, it is also a compressional wave. Primary waves are the first waves observed during an earthquake. These waves move in a up and down motion (compression), and are followed by S-waves.

Again Ben and Alberto are helping demonstrate for us. This time they are demonstrating S-waves. S-wave stands for secondary wave, these are also called transverse waves. These waves move from side-to-side, in a "S" motion. In our experiment we found that s-waves are the slower of the two and cause the most damage in real-life earthquakes.

Mr. McClung


Cendy said...

I like the way you used a slinky to demonstrate the movement of the earth when a earthquake occurs.

Ben said...

the ends of the spring were pretty far apart so i had to swing it pretty hard.


Now listen up kids! Did you know the worlds longest slinky can stretch all the way across the golden gate bridge! WOWZERS!