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Real-World Applications of Wave Speed (Grades 11-12)

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Real-World Applications of Wave Speed

Instructions: Read each question carefully. Choose the answer that best fits the question. Short answer response questions must be responded to in complete sentences. If the question involves calculations, you must show all your math work.

Exploration geophysicists can determine the depth of an oil well by using the speed of sound in the wave speed equation. Find the depth of the oil well if a rock is dropped into the oil well with an air temperature of [math]20degC[/math] and the sound of its splash into the oil below reaches the geophysicist's ears in 0.77 seconds. How far down is the oil well?

As depicted below, an ocean wave approaches a bird roosting on an old pier post. The speed of the wave is [math]2.5m/s[/math], and the length of each wave is [math]5.0m[/math]. How far will the wave travel in 13 seconds? How many waves are there over that distance?
Water Wave Speed - Bird - With Text Labels

Two boats are anchored 4 meters apart. They alternately bob up and down, returning to the same up position every 6.8 seconds. There are never any wave crests between the boats. Calculate the speed of the waves.
Water Wave Speed - Boats - With Text Labels

The water waves below are traveling along the surface of the ocean at a speed of 3.2m/s, with the crests splashing periodically against the sedge warbler's perch, drenching his feet. Each adjacent crest is 7.25 meters apart. How much time passes between each successive drenching?
Water Wave Speed - Bird

Carl accidentally locked himself in the 25 meter long, freezer warehouse at his job. The thermometer in the freezer appears to be broken, but he wants to find out how cold the air in the freezer really is. He remembers from science class that the speed of sound (331.4m/s) changes with temperature by a factor of 0.6. He says, "Ha!" at one end of the freezer warehouse, and his echo is reflected back to him in 0.153 seconds. How cold is it in the freezer warehouse?
Sound Wave

In the image below, if the water wave approaching the bird roosting on the old pier post is traveling with an average velocity of [math]4.0m/s[/math] over a period of 5.0 seconds, what is the wavelength of the wave?
Water Wave Speed - Bird

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