Appears in:
Pages: 4127-4133
Publication year: 2019
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2019.1033

Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain

# USING OCTAVE AS A SIMULATION ENVIRONMENT FOR TEACHING WAVES

T. Náhlík

Institute of Technology and Business (CZECH REPUBLIC)
Within the framework of teaching physics students meet the concepts of oscillation and waves. It is clear from our experience that they have a big problem in distinguishing these two concepts. They meet these phenomena in everyday life but understanding these phenomena and mathematical description is not clear to them.

One of the ways, in which these phenomena can be introduced, is illustrative demonstrations in classroom. This can bring understanding the phenomenon, but not the understanding of mathematical contexts. The description using the equation is for students very abstract.

Therefore, it is necessary to create a simulation tool for simulating these phenomena, where students can easily change the individual parameters of the equation and see a change in the graph and the behaviour of individual waves and oscillations.

Simple oscillation simulations can also be created in a spreadsheet environment such as MS Excel. For more complex behaviour and possible spatial display, you need to switch to other software. In order to keep the application accessible to students, OCTAVE was chosen as the simulation environment, which is available for free.

Our application allows you to simulate various oscillations and their composition. The oscillations that move in the same (opposite) direction and the oscillations perpendicular to each other can be composed. Both constructive and destructive interference and resonance as well as interference patterns can be observed.

All equations of oscillations are parametrized. All parameters can be easily changed. Results of simulations are displayed in both - time space and phase space with all important parameters and the specific equation of the given oscillation.

Not only harmonic oscillations are simulated, perhaps more important and more challenging to understand are damp oscillations.
For a good understanding of waves, it is necessary to understand the oscillations first. As soon as a student is able to handle oscillation, simulations of waves can be introduced. The wave equation contains two parameters - time and distance from the source - giving students additional difficulty in understanding. In this situation, the appropriate visualizations of waves and composition of waves can help to better understand this issue.

Waves are simulated in the same way as oscillations. This allows students to understand not only the simulations but also the whole topics and real-world applications. Changes in parameters are intuitive. Graphs of the waves are not only displayed but also drawn point by point with some time steps. Students can see the evolution of the waves.

The application can be successfully used both in frontal education and home preparation. We are presenting graphs and equations in frontal education with theoretical description. During home preparation students can easily play with all parameters, change them and see how these changes affect the final graph or behaviour of the whole system.

Feedback from students is positive. They reports better understanding of the topic.
@InProceedings{NAHLIK2019USI,
author = {N{\'{a}}hl{\'{i}}k, T.},
title = {USING OCTAVE AS A SIMULATION ENVIRONMENT FOR TEACHING WAVES},
series = {13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2019 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-08619-1},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2019.1033},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2019.1033},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {11-13 March, 2019},
year = {2019},
pages = {4127-4133}}
TY - CONF
AU - T. Náhlík
TI - USING OCTAVE AS A SIMULATION ENVIRONMENT FOR TEACHING WAVES
SN - 978-84-09-08619-1/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2019.1033
PY - 2019
Y1 - 11-13 March, 2019
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2019 Proceedings
SP - 4127
EP - 4133
ER -
T. Náhlík (2019) USING OCTAVE AS A SIMULATION ENVIRONMENT FOR TEACHING WAVES, INTED2019 Proceedings, pp. 4127-4133.
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