Understanding Standing Wave Diagrams 3 - One Fixed End and One Open End

The meaning and operation of this applet is basically the same as for Understanding Standing Wave Diagrams 1 - Both Ends Fixed. Please see that page if you are unclear how to proceed here.


Below are several static diagrams of standing waves for a medium fixed at end and open at the other, along with the names for each vibration and a count of the antinodes and nodes for each vibration.

If you are unclear about the meaning of the terms 'antinode' and 'node', be sure to look back at Understanding Standing Wave Diagrams. Most likely you got here from that page. The meanings of the terms 'antinode' and 'node' are explained there.

Picture of Standing Wave Name Structure
1st harmonic

1st Harmonic

1 Antinode
1 Node

3rd harmonic

3rd Harmonic
1st Overtone

2 Antinodes
2 Nodes

5th harmonic

5th Harmonic
2nd Overtone

3 Antinodes
3 Nodes

7th harmonic

7th Harmonic
3rd Overtone

4 Antinodes
4 Nodes

9th harmonic

9th Harmonic
4th Overtone

5 Antinodes
5 Nodes


Notice that this harmonic structure is completely different than that for a medium fixed at both ends or open at both ends. This harmonic structure proceeds from the 1st to the 3rd to the 5th harmonic, and so on. The other two harmonic structures proceed from the 1st to the 2nd to the 3rd harmonic, and so on.


However, in every case, (fixed at both ends, open at both ends, fixed at one end and open at the other end), the first possible standing wave is called the fundamental, the second possible standing wave is called the 1st overtone, the third possible standing wave is called the 2nd overtone, and so on.

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