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In many textbooks an illustration of a vibrating string at a fundamental mode shown (and wikipedia) shown like this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Standing_waves_on_a_string.gif). However if you watch youtube videos of string vibrating in slow motion you see something like this (http://projects.kmi.open.ac.uk/role/moodle/pluginfile.php/1239/mod_page/content/1/ta212_2_008i.jpg) 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.


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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.

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Ohh yes, just found this youtube.com/watch?v=2KBJp5ysS74. Makes sense, thanks. –  IvanInTheHat May 10 '14 at 14:22

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