Physics To Go is an online monthly mini-magazine and a collection of more than 1000 websites with physics images, activites, and info. You can view an archived version of our May 16, 2007 issue, Resonance below, or click to see our September 1, 2013 issue, Two views of Earth.

Physics in Your World

Dipole Antenna image
image credit: Ed Lee

Dipole Antenna

A typical TV antenna such as this one (hi-res version) is a resonant system--the transverse arms are half a wavelength long at the frequencies of the traditional broadcast TV channels. The smaller sets of transverse arms are for higher frequency (UHF) channels. For more on resonance, see Standing Wave Resonance. To read about a new kind of antenna, visit Fractal Antenna Design.

(This feature was updated on July 10, 2013.)

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Physics at Home

Coupled Resonant Pendulums

For a nice example of resonance, try the Exploratorium activity at Coupled Resonant Pendulums.  You'll use everyday materials to show the exchange of energy between two pendulums.  The site provides a thorough description of how the two pendulums interact, contrasts their motion, and presents an easy way to find the rate of energy exchange. For a nice simulation, see Two Coupled Pendula.


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From Physics Research

Eric J. Heller Gallery: Resonance Fine Art image
image credit: Eric Heller; image source

Eric J. Heller Gallery: Resonance Fine Art

This image (hi-res version)--both science and art--shows electron waves resonating in a cavity formed by the curved and straight barriers.  For more information and related images, see Eric Heller's Resonance Fine Art. To learn about matter waves, visit Physics 2000's The Wave Nature of Matter.


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