s and p Waves and Earth Structure

Whilst this topic is not really featured directly in most specifications for triple science physics but it's a lovely real life application of wave theory and to provides an alternative application of the ideas that the students should be confident and comfortable with - A great example of them having to apply their ideas from one context to another. A key technique that will be needed at A level and so if we see TS as part of a possible preparation for A level well worth including and spending some time on.

It's also worth noting that as well as the SEP seismometer mentioned below, almost all smart phones have vibration detectors and there are many free or very cheap apps that can provide a visual output. They usually show three graphs, one for each plane and so with a bit of delicate shaking of the phone you can get a signal on one or two but not the others. Certainly worth some playing around or telling the students about. The SEP seismometer is an interesting piece of equipment as all it really is made up from is a hacksaw blade with a strong magnet on it that is near a coil of wire from which a p.d. output is taken (and amplified). With a bit of effort it’s more than possible to make one yourself, perhaps not getting calibrated readings from it but certainly showing a principle.

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