The Models

Control objects and their properties

Some models simulate a real ripple tank others are for investigating wave phenomena not possible in the real thing.

Adjust properties like refractive index, gap size and focal length.

Simple Reflection Interference from a double slit Refraction entering a medium Total Internal Reflection Circular Transmitter Parabolic Transmitter Lenses focusing waves Fibre Optic Cables Atmosphere with density constant at all heights Atmosphere with density decreasing with height Earthquake P-Waves Earthquake S-Waves Tsunami Tsunami Gratings Block


Atmosphere with density constant at all heights


Visualise and make measurements

Tool box

The toolbox shows all of the tools being used and a preview of what they are showing.

Paper-tape logger

Records the amplitude at a point over time. Copy a section or the whole of the tape as an image to paste into reports or make detailed measurements and comparisons.


Shows the amplitude of waves along a line.

Intensity tool

Visualise the intensity of the waves along a line as if they were a laser shining on a screen. Can also show a graph.


Measure the frequency of the waves. Various options allow the display to be changed. Use the doppler source with "lines" button turned on to simulate spectral lines and redshift. Accurate measurement of the doppler effect to be made either on the whiteboard or as an investigation by the students.

Signal Level Meter

Level meters showing peak or average values at a point.

Measurement Tools

Ruler, protractor and stopwatch to take simple measurements

Wave sources

Create waves with different patterns.

Waves Sources

Controls for the wave sources. They can be continuous or in bursts. They can be adjusted by wavelength or frequency.

The doppler source has controls for speed, quick positioning and an button that makes the waves more complex to model redshift spectra.

There are five source: Point, Beam, Line, Doppler and Double Point.

Slide shows and other controls

Save several slides as a slideshow.


Slideshows make lesson planning easier and can be used for revision sessions.

Set them up beforehand and save to use later. Add comments to remind you and guide students.

Pause and Reset

Pause the simulation to get a better look, make measurements and save snapshots. Press reset to clear all of the ripples and start from a clear ripple-free tank. Possibly the two most useful controls, they make it so much easier to work with than the real thing.

Other controls

Copy images to clipboard or save to files. Use the drip mode to tap on the water to create your own waves. Use contrast to make weaker waves easier to see.

Videos showing how Rippletank can be used.