To calculate a water wave's wavelength, you need a number of values, including an estimate of the wavelength itself. Calculating therefore requires numerous iterations, which computer programs can manage far more easily than humans. But a slightly simpler formula exists. It determines the wavelength from the wave's period and height.
Multiply pi by two.
π * 2
Divide your answer by the wave's period. If it has a period of 5;
6.2831 / 5
Square your answer.
1.26 * 1.26
Multiply your answer by the wave's height, in meters. If the wave is 2 m high:
1.58 * 2
Divide your answer by the gravitational constant - 9.81
3.16 / 9.81
Raise your answer to the power of 0.75.
0.322 ^ 0.75
Find the tanh of your answer, using a scientific calculator.
Raise your answer to the power of 0.66.
0.403 ^ 0.66
Square the wave's period.
5 * 5
Multiply your answer by the gravitational constant.
25 * 9.81
Divide your answer by your answer from step 1:
245.25 / 6.2831
Multiply your answer by the answer to step 8 to determine the wave's wavelength in meters.
39 * 0.549
= 29.4 meters
- Photo Credit D-BASE/Photodisc/Getty Images
How to Calculate Wavelength
A traveling wave is characterized by three numbers: the amplitude A, the frequency f and the wavelength λ. The general formula for...
How to Calculate Height
You can calculate the height of a structure too tall to measure directly, such as a flagpole or a building, by geometric...
How to Calculate Wavelength With a Formula
The wavelength is a measure between crests of adjacent waves or troughs of adjacent waves. While wavelength may sometimes be directly measured,...
How to Calculate the Wavelength of Sound
The procedure to calculate the wavelength of sound (that is, the distance a sound waveform travels between its peaks) is dependent on...
How to Calculate Frequency of Waves
Waves are pervasive in many areas of science and engineering. Electrical systems use waves to transmit signals, light and sound travel in...