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# Ocean wave speed

ocalhoun
A simple question...

Do all ocean waves (and most other waves in water) travel at the same speed? Or does the speed change?

What causes the speed to change or stay constant?
Bikerman
The phase speed of an ocean wave can be very accurately approximated by
c=sqrt(g.λ/(2pi) . tanh(2.pi.d/λ))
(where c is phase speed, λ is wavelength, d is depth and g is approx 9.81m/s^2)

From this is can easily be seen that the important variables are wavelength and depth.
slashnburn99
Nice knew those buttons on my calculator were for something.

bonus point i understand binary

10 = 2
bernardnapoleon
 slashnburn99 wrote: Nice knew those buttons on my calculator were for something. bonus point i understand binary 10 = 2

lolx! didn't understand the formula he gave... >.< how do you solve 2.pi.d or what does it mean?
Bikerman
bernardnapoleon wrote:
 slashnburn99 wrote: Nice knew those buttons on my calculator were for something. bonus point i understand binary 10 = 2

lolx! didn't understand the formula he gave... >.< how do you solve 2.pi.d or what does it mean?

Measure the depth (d). pi is approx 3.14159. measure the wavelength (the distance from one wave peak to the next), slot the values into the formula, and voila...you have the speed.
bernardnapoleon
. = multiply?
Bikerman
 bernardnapoleon wrote: . = multiply?

Yes, sorry I should have made that clear. The period is, indeed, an alternative sign for multiply.
bernardnapoleon
thanks... i was considering a decimal point a while ago. haha
atul2242
 ocalhoun wrote: A simple question... Do all ocean waves (and most other waves in water) travel at the same speed? Or does the speed change? What causes the speed to change or stay constant?

I guess the speed changes would depend upon the salinity of the water, the temprature, the tidal pull, the currents and practically whatever the wetherman throws at you and more.
tony
Bikerman wrote:
 bernardnapoleon wrote: . = multiply?

Yes, sorry I should have made that clear. The period is, indeed, an alternative sign for multiply.

It's an interpunct technically: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpunct