Ripple tank

The complete ripple tank:

  • Stroboscope unit
  • Power Supply
  • Traverse and rods (2) f. strobe
  • Legs and plate holder
  • Ripple Tank
  • Mirror
  • Projection screen
  • Vibration Generator  
  • Holder for lever arm
  • Lever Arm w. pivot
  • Rod with cross foot
  • Height adjust unit
  • Cable for vibrator
  • Remote control f. single pulses
  • Acrylic block, convex  
  • Acrylic block, concave
  • Acrylic block, prism  
  • Dipper for parallel waves
  • Pipette flask w. detergent


The Ripple tank provides a dramatic demonstration of the general properties of waves and propagation phenomena.
1) Reflection and refraction. By using the linear dipper bar plane parallel waves can be produced. 
Reflection and refraction of waves can be demonstrated by using appropriate barriers in the water tank.
2) Interference occurs when two point source dippers generate circular waves. 
The distance between the sources and their frequency can be regulated.
3) The famous double slit experiment: When a plane wave encounters a barrier with two holes, these act like two point 
source dippers, giving rise to the same interference pattern.
4) The transparent lens cross section is covered by only a shallow layer of water. 
This decreases the propagation velocity corresponding to an increased index of refraction.