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Waves and Oscillations


As a High School or Undergraduate Physics or Earth Sciences teacher, you can use this set of computer-based tools to teach about the characteristics, properties and types of waves and oscillations, and how atmospheric wave dynamics possibly influence extreme weather events.

A wave is a continuous oscillation of a field about its equilibrium value. The wave traverses through the medium but when some parts of the medium are fixed then the waves reflect at this fixed point, become stationary, and are called standing waves. Standing waves occur in the atmosphere very often, due to heating in the tropical regions, land surface features like mountains, and land-water temperature gradients. Recent research suggests that the interaction of standing and travelling atmospheric Rossby waves could result in extreme weather events, such as heat waves and floods

Thus, the use of this lesson plan allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a core topic in Physics or Earth Sciences

Learning Outcome

The tools in this lesson plan will enable students to:

  1. Learn about waves, oscillations and their properties
  2. Understand how standing waves are formed and how they interfere with travelling waves
  3. Discuss the influence of Rossby waves on Earth’s weather patterns
  4. Explain how the interference of atmospheric Rossby waves could cause extreme weather events
Teacher-contributed lesson plan by Joy Merwin Monteiro, IISER, Pune, India. Want to know more about how to contribute? Contact us.

Mapped Sustainable Development Goal(s), apart from 4 and 13


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