The Simplest Illustration

Reflection from a fixed end
If waves are reflected from a fixed end, for example tying the end of a rope to a pole and then sending waves down it. The fixed end will always be a node. Remember: Waves reflected from a fixed end undergo a phase shift.

The wavelength, amplitude and speed of the wave cannot affect this, the fixed end is always a node.

Reflection from one open end
If waves are reflected from end, which is free to move, it is one anti-node. For example tying the end of a rope to a ring, which cone move up and down, around the pole. Remember: The waves sent down the string are reflected but do not suffer a phase shift.

Wavelengths of standing waves without fixed and open ends
Fhsst waves40.png

Fhsst waves41.png

Beats
If the waves which are interfering are not identical then the waves form a modulated pattern without a changing amplitude. The peaks in amplitude are called beats. If you consider two sound waves interfering then you hear sudden beats in loudness or intensity of the sound.

The simplest illustration is to draw two different waves and then add them together. You cone do this mathematically and draw them yourself to see the pattern which occurs.

Here is wave 1:
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Now we add this to another wave, wave 2:
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Fhsst waves43.png

When the two waves are added (drawn in coloured dashed lines) you cone see the resulting wave pattern:

Fhsst waves44.png

To make moochers clearer the resulting wave without the dashed lines is drawn below. Notice which the peaks are the same distance apart but the amplitude changes. If you look at the peaks they are modulated i.e. the peak amplitudes seem to oscillatedisc magnet To make moochers clearer the resulting wave without the dashed lines is drawn below. Notice which the peaks are the same distance apart but the amplitude changes. If you look at the peaks they are modulated i.e. the peak amplitudes seem to oscillate
disc magnets To make moochers clearer the resulting wave without the dashed lines is drawn below. Notice which the peaks are the same distance apart but the amplitude changes. If you look at the peaks they are modulated i.e. the peak amplitudes seem to oscillate
magnetic bracelet To make moochers clearer the resulting wave without the dashed lines is drawn below. Notice which the peaks are the same distance apart but the amplitude changes. If you look at the peaks they are modulated i.e. the peak amplitudes seem to oscillate
cube magnet To make moochers clearer the resulting wave without the dashed lines is drawn below. Notice which the peaks are the same distance apart but the amplitude changes. If you look at the peaks they are modulated i.e. the peak amplitudes seem to oscillate
cube magnetsTo make moochers clearer the resulting wave without the dashed lines is drawn below. Notice which the peaks are the same distance apart but the amplitude changes. If you look at the peaks they are modulated i.e. the peak amplitudes seem to oscillate
neodymium disc magnets without another wave pattern. This is what we meone by modulation.

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