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This animation shows the first three mode shapes of "longitudinal vibration" that happen when you hit one end of a wooden batten with a hammer. By measuring the response of a real batten of wood it is possible to calculate the stiffness of the timber - an important property to know for engineering.

This simulation tool has been kindly provided by Edinburgh Napier University's firrs website. Their aim is to tell people about the forest and timber industry in the hope that better knowledge about it will mean more people considering careers related to it. For more information and more interactive learning tools click here to visit their website.

whack a stick video
Watch the video!

Click here to see the real soundwave test.