What governs the frequency of waves?

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Steve Williams

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What governs the frequency of waves?
« on: 08/09/2011 23:01:02 »
Steve Williams  asked the Naked Scientists:
Dear Naked Scientists,
I've noticed waves (and to a certain degree gusts of wind) all seem to occur at specific frequencies.

What factor governs this frequency please? (for example; the size of the planet perhaps)
Many thanks
Steve W

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 08/09/2011 23:01:02 by _system »


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What governs the frequency of waves?
« Reply #1 on: 11/09/2011 20:55:55 »
This as written is an extremely broad and general question and cannot be answered in a detailed way without more precise definition of the sort of waves and conditions involved.  the general answer in any wave motion the frequency depends on three main things firstly the elasticity of the material involved and then the inertia involved in the motion (these together determine wave velocities and frequencies and finally on the nature of the excitation that is driving the wave motion.  Sharp impulsive excitetions tend to excite harmonics where as soft gentle drivers excite only the fundamental frequency
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