Introduction to Waves

Table of Contents
Representative Image

PS4: Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
How are waves used to transfer energy and information?

PS4.A. Wave Properties: What are the characteristic properties and behaviors of waves?

Learning goals by the end of grade 5: Waves of the same type can differ in amplitude (height of the wave) and wavelength (spacing between wave peaks). Waves can add or cancel one another as they cross, depending on their relative phase (i.e., relative position of peaks and troughs of the waves), but they emerge unaffected by each other. (Boundary: The discussion at this grade level is qualitative only; it can be based on the fact that two different sounds can pass a location in different directions without getting mixed up.)
Earthquakes cause seismic waves, which are waves of motion in Earth’s crust.

PS4.C. Information Technologies and Instrumentation: How are instruments that transmit and detect waves used to extend human senses?

Learning goals by the end of grade 5: Lenses can be used to make eyeglasses, telescopes, or microscopes in order to extend what can be seen. The design of such instruments is based on understanding how the path of light bends at the surface of a lens.

Digitized information (e.g., the pixels of a picture) can be stored for future recovery or transmitted over long distances without significant degradation. High-tech devices, such as computers or cell phones, can receive and decode information—convert it from digitized form to voice—and vice versa.

Ocean Literacy Principles

Principle 6: The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected.

Ocean Literacy Fundamental Concept: The ocean is a source of inspiration, recreation, rejuvenation, and discovery. It is also an important element in the heritage of many cultures. (OLP6c)

Principle 7: The ocean is largely unexplored.

Ocean Literacy Fundamental Concept: Understanding the ocean is more than a matter of curiosity. Exploration, experimentation, and discovery are required to better understand ocean systems and processes. Our very survival hinges upon it. (OLP7b)

Ocean Literacy Fundamental Concept: New technologies, sensors, and tools are expanding our ability to explore the ocean. Scientists are relying more and more on satellites, drifters, buoys, subsea observatories, and unmanned submersibles. (OLP7d)


These concepts will be explored in this unit through the following activities and investigations:



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Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawai?i, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.