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Math Help - Wavelength problem.

  1. #1
    Member MathBlaster47's Avatar
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    Wavelength problem.

    I have only a vague idea of what to do with this question, and I suspect that I may be going in the wrong direction.
    ----------------------------------------
    Olympic swimmers can swim at a speed of 1.7m/s. If an Olympic swimmer were swimming in the ocean on a day when the wave length of the waves was 20m and the frequency was 1 Hz, would the swimmer be able to swim fast enough to avoid being lifted by the wave? Show your calculations.

    Um...yea...I'm a little bamboozled about where to start.
    I know that the wave length means the distance between crests, and that the frequency is a little slower than the speed of the swimmer, but that is the extent of my understanding...

    Thank you in advance for your help!
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  2. #2
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    Sounds like you need to know some Quantum Mechanics. I learned some of this from my Chemistry class.

    Here's a few helpful things, though:

    Wavelength = speed of light/frequency

    Frequency = speed of light/wavelength

    Speed of a wave = Frequency x Velocity

    1 HZ = 1 cycle/s

    Speed of light = 3.00 x 10^8 m/s
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MathBlaster47 View Post
    I have only a vague idea of what to do with this question, and I suspect that I may be going in the wrong direction.
    ----------------------------------------
    Olympic swimmers can swim at a speed of 1.7m/s. If an Olympic swimmer were swimming in the ocean on a day when the wave length of the waves was 20m and the frequency was 1 Hz, would the swimmer be able to swim fast enough to avoid being lifted by the wave? Show your calculations.

    Um...yea...I'm a little bamboozled about where to start.
    I know that the wave length means the distance between crests, and that the frequency is a little slower than the speed of the swimmer, but that is the extent of my understanding...

    Thank you in advance for your help!
    Use the well known formula: v_{\text{wave}} = f \lambda.

    Quote Originally Posted by A Beautiful Mind View Post
    Sounds like you need to know some Quantum Mechanics. I learned some of this from my Chemistry class.

    Here's a few helpful things, though:

    Wavelength = speed of light/frequency

    Frequency = speed of light/wavelength

    Speed of a wave = Frequency x Velocity *

    1 HZ = 1 cycle/s

    Speed of light = 3.00 x 10^8 m/s
    Sorry but QM and light are irrelevant to the question. (And the line I marked with * is not correct). The simple formula I quoted (valid for all waves) is all that is required.
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  4. #4
    Member MathBlaster47's Avatar
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    Ah....Well...I feel a smidgen silly now!
    But I have learned so all is well.
    Thank you both very much for your help!
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  5. #5
    Grand Panjandrum
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    Quote Originally Posted by MathBlaster47 View Post
    I have only a vague idea of what to do with this question, and I suspect that I may be going in the wrong direction.
    ----------------------------------------
    Olympic swimmers can swim at a speed of 1.7m/s. If an Olympic swimmer were swimming in the ocean on a day when the wave length of the waves was 20m and the frequency was 1 Hz, would the swimmer be able to swim fast enough to avoid being lifted by the wave? Show your calculations.

    Um...yea...I'm a little bamboozled about where to start.
    I know that the wave length means the distance between crests, and that the frequency is a little slower than the speed of the swimmer, but that is the extent of my understanding...

    Thank you in advance for your help!
    You need to know the speed with which the wave/s propagate, then your swimmer speed has to exceed this.

    CB
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