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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.


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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 Makes sense, thanks. – IvanInTheHat May 10 '14 at 14:22

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