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  01 January 2013

Ok, having a debate about a silly concept with waves, about time/distance/speed and the quantity of waves passing different points.

My friend thinks that further out at sea, waves can be passing a point at 5 waves per minute, while closer in shore, they can be passing at 6 waves per minute.
He believes that due to the volume of the waves increasing that the distance between the waves decreases, without their speed changing at all.
I've tried explaining that distance is a part of speed.. can someone please explain it, because I've been trying for nearly an hour now.

"You'll have more waves over the same distance without any changes in speed, because they'd all be travelling at the same speed because you're increasing the volume of the wave."
  01 January 2013
I know it seems hopeless, I've tried explaining to him that you cannot change the distance between anything without adjusting the speed..
He still thinks that the waves coming closer together by their outer edges coming closer due to the waves expanding without their speeds changing somehow puts more waves within a set distance, and that the centre-points of the waves are irrelevant to the equation because it being a fluid makes it somehow specially exempt from the laws of physics.

He also thinks that he even has a side of a debate to argue for..
If someone can just quickly reply even if just to say whose 'side' is correct here.. and yes, I know how silly it is to even ask that, and that it doesn't need confirming, but for his sake if you could lol (given him the link to this post).

Hell while we're here, I have another friend whose obsessed with movies and thinks that the digital aspect of them is the easiest work and the least important, and that the producers or big names claiming the titles do the most of and the hardest work while having more skill at physically creating movies than anyone working for them. If anyone wants to leave a message for that guy, this is also the place.

Problem is I have Aspergers, and no matter what I say in person, it's not enough. All I do is give out the facts, even stress them.. then I'm told I'm wrong and that's that. Could use some support. Thanks =)
  01 January 2013
He might think that because the waves grow in size, they are closer together. While it may look that way, the distance between the crests of the waves will be the same. The only way the distance between the crests will decrease is if the speed of the waves decrease as they move towards the shore. This does happen in real life because the wave drags on the ocean floor. The observed phenomenon is fundamentally due to a change in speed, not volume.

Your friend may also be thinking of the doppler effect. This would allow for a stationary observer on the shore to observed 6 waves per minute from a wave source that produces only 5 waves per minute, if the source of the waves is moving towards the observer. This has nothing to do with volume again and is due to a change in distance, which is speed.
  01 January 2013
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