Sign up ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free.

In many textbooks an illustration of a vibrating string at a fundamental mode shown (and wikipedia) shown like this However if you watch youtube videos of string vibrating in slow motion you see something like this ( So which one is this? Is the first one just a schematic version of the second? Also the notion of a wave propagation in a string sort of relevant only to the second pictire only? Or am I wrong? Please clarify, I think I am missing something fundamental here.


share|cite|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

The wikipedia is showing a standing wave while the second link has a wave propagating along the string and reflecting from a wall. These are 2 distinct types of waves. Both these types are possible and valid.

share|cite|improve this answer
Ohh yes, just found this Makes sense, thanks. – IvanInTheHat May 10 '14 at 14:22

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.