• Students should be thoroughly familiar with the language and nomenclature for oscillations in time from the “Oscillations” paradigm.
  • They should have had some exposure to the topic of waves in introductory physics, and most will be able to distinguish transverse from longitudinal oscillations, will understand the concept of a standing wave as characterized by nodes, and a traveling wave as “moving”, with velocity $v= f\text{ }\lambda$.

Most students are unfamiliar with, or have certainly not mastered

  • the idea of a function of two variables
  • wave packets
  • waves that are neither pure traveling nor pure standing waves

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