Simple Harmonic Motion
Forces and Motion

S.H.M. on a rope

Practical Activity for 14-16 PRACTICAL PHYISCS

Class practical

To show that the wave train on a rope has a sinusoidal shape.

Apparatus and Materials

  • Rope, 6 m (or rubber tube)

Health & Safety and Technical Notes

Read our standard health & safety guidance

It is best if the rope is long enough for the wave to die out considerably by the time it reaches the far end, so that reflections do not cause standing waves. One should then see a continuous train of waves travelling along the rope.


  1. Stretch a rope on the floor.
  2. Oscillate one end of it at about 4 Hz by hand.

Teaching Notes

Simple Harmonic Motion
can be analysed using the quantity Natural Frequency
can be described by the relation a=-(w^2)x
is used in analyses relating to Pendulum Mass on a Spring
is exhibited by Oscillating System
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