# What kind of motion will a string behave when the condition to form stationary waves is not met?

We know that stationary waves can only form when the wavelength of the wave and the length of the string satisfies certain conditions.

My question is, how will the string behave when this condition is not met? Because when we flip the string, the waves reflected from each end (same amplitude, same speed and wavelength and travels at opposite directions) still overlap with each other and the resultant wave function is still a function of a stationary wave. If there is no wave on the string because the boundary condition is not met, how does the wave we create disappear?

• @Winniebear not sure what you mean by "flipping the string" - doesn't it simply change the phase of the oscillations by $\pi$? Dec 2, 2021 at 11:00