Rotating Vectors and Sinusoidal Waveforms Tutorial
What it teaches: This interactive tutorial teaches the concept of a rotating vector and how it generates a
sinusoidal waveform. It uses animation to illustrate a topic that is very difficult to illustrate
on a written page. Here is a screen shot of the contents:
The purpose of part 1 is to make you familiar with the sin curve.
When you are finished you will know how to solve an equation of the form:
for all values of t, given the parameters A, and
Then in part 2, via animation, you are introduced to rotating vectors and the concepts of angular velocity and phase angle.
In part 3 you see the waveforms that correspond to the rotating vectors.
In part 4 you see animations of various cases of the addition of sinusoidal waves, including Fourier
How it works: By double-clicking on a topic in the table of contents you jump to the screen associated with that topic. In each
screen there is text on the right side explaining some
concept and graphics
on the left illustrating the concept. Most topics have a 'try it yourself' section where you can
create your own examples.
Here is a screen shot from the topic Sinusoidal waveforms - try to find the equation of this
By using the scroll bars you can adjust the values of the parameters
, f, T, and A
of the green waveform and try to make the green waveform identical to the (randomly generated) red waveform.
This will help you understand the role of each of the parameters.
Here is a screen shot from the topic Addition of sinusoidal waveforms - rotating vectors with the
same angular velocity. This topic illustrates the method of phasor addition (that you can add
waveforms indirectly by adding the rotating vectors that generate them).
Where to now?
- Home to the MathOnWeb Software homepage.
- Back to see the other 8 programs in the Technology Suite.
- Down to download this program and the rest of the Technology Suite.