Now that we have introduced you to the very basic concept of waves, we should become more familiar with them quantitatively. Whenever you see an unfamiliar mathematical function or relation, probably the best way to understand the relation is to plot it graphically. In this course we provide the student version of the commercial package MATLAB, a very powerful engineering computing tool, for your use. Lets start using MATLAB now to plot some of the one-dimensional waves we have introduced in this lesson.
We assume that you have already installed MATLAB on your computer and can begin using it now. If you havn't done the installation as described in UNIT 1, be sure you do that soon.
By the way, although the instructors of this course have chosen MATLAB as the graphing and calculation package to be used here, our requiring MATLAB is not intended as a specific product endorsement by the faculty or by the Pennsylvania State University. MATLAB simply seemed to ``fit well" with the design objectives of the class and the student version price was right.
(Picture of the student version of MATLAB)