How can we model seismic waves in the classroom?
Roger Groom, science teacher at Mount Tabor Middle School, demonstrates how a slinky is a good analogy for P & S seismic waves. He also points out where the model fails to fully mimic seismic-wave behavior. Slinkies prove to be a good tool for modeling the behavior of compressional P waves and shearing S waves. We recommend reading about the behavior of seismic waves and watching the variety of animations linked to this animation to understand how they travel, and how the P, S, and surface waves differ from each other.
- How can a slinky model P and S waves in the Earth?
- What is the difference between the movement of P waves and S waves?
- Which one is faster? Why?
- What can the particle motion tell us?