Waves are disturbances that propagate throush space and time. Classically, they travelled through a medium, disturbing the particles but not changing their mean position. Electromagnetic waves/particle-waves need no medium; they are disturbances in their respective fields.

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Wave Equation Variables and Interpretation [on hold]

Consider the scalar wave function $\exp[i(kr -\omega t)]$, where $k$ is the wave number and $r$ is the spatial coordinate. We can alternately define $k$ to be a vector that gives the direction and ...
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20 views

Question about wavelength of EM wave in dielectric

Many websites (http://maxwells-equations.com/materials/permittivity.php) lists out the following formula as to how you can compute the wavelength of an EM wave in a dielectric $$\lambda_d = ...
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5answers
336 views

Why do the high frequency waves have the most number of modes?

While reading the Wikipedia page of Ultraviolet Catastrophe, I came across how Rayleigh and Jeans applied the equipartition theorem. They told that each mode must have same energy. Now as the number ...
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1answer
70 views

Converging Lenses with Objects at “Infinity”

Whenever we take the case of an object at infinity, we say that the image formed ends up being a point of light on the focal point if we had put a screen right at the focal point. Now, for my lab, ...
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What do we see while watching light? Waves or particles?

I'm trying to understand quantum physics. I'm pretty familiar with it but I can't decide what counts as observing to cause particle behave (at least when it's about lights). So the question is what do ...
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4answers
114 views

Why Light isn't like an Acoustic wave?

I just wanted to know why light isn't an Acoustic wave.Is it because light wave doesn't obey acoustic properties?
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2answers
70 views

A question over the reality of $\sin x$

Harmonic functions are in widespread use in physical descriptions of natural real phenomena. I am just wondering therefore how we can define $\sin(x)$ to be part of a real physical quantity (with ...
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1answer
34 views

Abstract concept of wave propagating on a string

I'm a real beginner in physics with a really basic doubt about waves. Suppose i have a string ( perfect elastic material ) whose left-end i can manipulate ( i can change its heigth ) and whose ...
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1answer
57 views

Diffraction and $k$-space

Regarding diffraction I am a little bit lost reading about reciprocal space and the space of $k$'s. As I understand it the Fourier relationship between a wavepacket $\Psi(\vec r,t)$ and the complex ...
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1answer
34 views

What is the movement of the material point? [closed]

The parametric formulas for movement of a material point are: $x(t) = A \sin (kt)$ $y(t) = B(1 - \sin(kt))$ Describe the movement of the MP. That is the entire question and I can't find a ...
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3answers
97 views

If a tree falls in the forest

The question of whether or not a tree that falls in the forest makes a sound - if there is nothing or no one around to hear it - comes up frequently at my house. So, my question is: is there any way ...
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3answers
103 views

A misunderstanding regarding infinite square well

Here is a picture of the energy states of infinite potential well. We can see That the first level have a half wavelength which fittes with a full wave of the second level. $$\frac{ \lambda _{1} ...
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3answers
39 views

Why inversion of wave for rope fixed at one end?

Setup: A rope is fixed at one end to a wall. You swing the other end up and down once. A wave starts travelling. It moves, hits the wall, then flattens, then is created again underneath (inversed), ...
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25 views

Why can the Poynting vecoter be written as $c^2\epsilon_0 \vec{E}\times \vec{B}$? [closed]

Given that the usual writing is $\vec{E}\times \vec{B/\mu_0}$ ...
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1answer
20 views

Two layers of glass reflection related to wave interference [closed]

A highly reflective mirror can be made for a particular wavelength at normal incidence by using two thin layers of transparent materials of indices of refraction $n1$ and $n2 (1 < n1<n2 ) $on ...
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1answer
27 views

Water wave packet variance

Consider the following quantity, $$I = \int x^2|\eta(x)|^2 \ dx,$$. For $\eta(x)$ a solution to some linear equation, we have $\eta(x) = \int a(k) e^{ikx} \ dk$ where, for $\eta$ to be real, we ...
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2answers
29 views

Is there a (cheap) optical resonance demonstration using visible light?

I'm looking for a impressive, inexpensive lecture demonstration of optical standing wave resonance. Preferably visible light. Can anyone suggest such a demo?
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23 views

Wave Energy Flux Demonstration [closed]

I found this exercise in a old sheet about a wave demonstration. Can someone help me with this? Note: This is not homework. Two ropes, with tension $T$ and mass densities $\sigma_1$ and $\sigma_2$ ...
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0answers
43 views

Phase and group velocity of a soliton? [closed]

How do I find the phase velocity and group velocity of a soliton with a $\operatorname{sech}$ (hyperbolic secant) envelope?
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3answers
78 views

Isn't all light polarised?

I apologize if my question does not make sense.(I'm teaching myself microscopy.) So reading Fundamentals of Light Microscopy and electronic imaging by Douglas&Murphy, at one point the author ...
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1answer
48 views

Definition of “destructive” interference of waves

What is the commonly accepted precise definition of "destructive" interference of waves. Does it mean: interference with complete cancellation or interference where the amplitude gets smaller ...
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2answers
51 views

Importance of the $\exp (i \bar{k} \cdot \bar{r})$ part of the plane wave equation

I am having trouble grasping how the equation $\bar{E} \left( \bar{r}, t \right) = \bar{E}_{0} \exp \left[ i \left( \bar{k} \cdot \bar{r} - \omega t \right) \right]$ fully describes a plane wave. ...
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1answer
28 views

How do traffic waves travel downstream?

How do traffic waves travel downstream (traveling in the same direction as the flow of traffic)? i.e. How can the flow of traffic in a particular location be affected by the flow of traffic behind ...
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2answers
24 views

Drawing phasor diagrams when $x$ is the sum of two cosine terms

If $$x= A\cos(w t) + A\cos(W t),$$ how do I draw a phasor diagram when $t=2$? Do I treat each cosine term as a vector, and then do vector addition? I know I have to differentiate to get the ...
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0answers
20 views

polarization of a transverse wave travelling in ionosphere with polarization direction perpendicular to earths magnetic field

Assume a transverse electromagnetic wave entering ionosphere such that its Electric field of wave is perpendicular to earths magnetic field. Now, i read that as it will enter plasma, the wave will ...
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1answer
44 views

General solution to the wave equation of electromagnetic field

Suppose that we have the four-vector potential of the electromagnetic field, $$A^i$$ The wave equation is given by $$\Box A^i=\frac {\partial^2}{\partial x^k \partial x_k } A^i= \left(\frac {1}{c^2} ...
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17 views

Amplitude resonance

Why does amplitude resonance occur at a frequency lower than the natural frequency of a body? specifically, why is $w=\sqrt{w_0^2-2a^2}$ where $a=\frac{damping\space force}{2\cdot mass}$
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1answer
58 views

How does a non-diffracting beam form from a converging ring of illumination?

I am trying to intuitively understand the basics of the supplementary text of a recent publication from Eric Betzig's group on lattice light sheet microscopy (1). I am confused by the explanation of ...
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2answers
33 views

What is the phase shift incurred by a sound wave as a result of reflection?

While studying waves I read the fact that a sound wave gets shifted by $\pi$ as a result of reflection against a surface. But I am unable to prove that fact. Assuming the interface to be a node I can ...
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1answer
36 views

How to create a barrier for sound waves?

Is there a way to create a barrier so that sound waves cannot pass through? Does laser light have this ability to act as a barrier or bounce sound waves back? This came to my mind when I was ...
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1answer
19 views

What influences the intensity of a wave? Frequency vs Amplitude

So, in school, I have been taught that $I$ is proportional to $A^2$. However, when I look at the equation $E = h\cdot f$, I see the frequency has an impact too on the intensity! Now, if a sound wave ...
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0answers
19 views

Electric Field Inside Dielectric Filled Cavity

I want to determine the electric and magnetic fields inside the following cavity: perfect conducting walls at $z = 0, z=d, x=0, x=b, y=t, -t^\prime$, with a dielectric $\epsilon$ filling ...
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1answer
71 views

Refraction of light beam water to air

Because of light's refraction, the arris of the bottom of a swimming pool (which, by the observer's point of view appears exactly aligned with the adiacent border), seems less deep than it actually ...
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2answers
89 views

Would this Produce Thrust? (Photon Momentum, Speed of a Pressure Wave)

This thought occurred to me after I began reading about the EM drive, and I know there are a lot of theories out there on how that works/doesn't work, I'm wondering why this solution wouldn't make ...
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2answers
36 views

Symbol in energy formula vs amplitude

Can someone tell me what does the symbol mean in the formula for energy compared to amplitude? Looks like a partial infinity sign, almost like a fish symbol.
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31 views

Polarisation definition

What is more correct and what is the difference? Polarised waves are waves with vibrations in one direction perpendicular to energy propagation "vibrations in one plane" "vibrations in one direction ...
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1answer
29 views

Tranverse electromagnetic waves

TEM waves do not exist in waveguide. Is this the correct explanation- Both curl and divergence of TEM are zero inside the waveguide and because of the boundary conditions (electric field zero at every ...
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3answers
78 views

Why frequency is inversely proportional to time-period?

Why frequency is inversely proportional to time-period? While studying about Fourier transform that shows frequency representation. A doubt that came to me was a set of signal with same wavelength ...
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1answer
48 views

Path Difference Due to Angled Incident Light

If light incident on a diffraction grating makes an angle $\alpha$ with respect to the normal to the grating, show how $$m \lambda = d\sin\theta$$ becomes $$m\lambda = d[\sin(\theta - \alpha) + ...
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1answer
21 views

Radio wave propagation in ionosphere

Radio communication is based on the concept that a radio signal incident on the ionosphere is reflected if the frequency of the wave matches the plasma frequency. But what exactly happens? Is it ...
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1answer
89 views

Why does water appear still near the shore

Often when there's a light wind I notice this behaviour on lakes that there appears to be a very distinct line between the water with waves and the calm water. I don't know how well it comes through ...
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1answer
42 views

How does Huygens Principle explain interference?

How exactly does Huygens theory about the propagation of wavefronts account for interference?
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1answer
30 views

What does it mean by coherence between waves?

I know by definition, coherence is pair of waves that have constant phase difference. What does this mean? Does it mean they are always have a 360 degrees, or 0 degrees phase difference? Or could they ...
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0answers
28 views

How can Young's double slit experiment explain the wave nature of light?

I've been reading about wave theory of light and the famous experiment performed by Thomas Young. But how does this experiment prove that light is a wave ?
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84 views

What is matter made of in the light of Quantum Mechanics? [closed]

I've always wondered what matter (particles, force particles, etc.) was actually made of considering the fact that quantum mechanics has shown us that particles can actually act as a probabilistic ...
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1answer
26 views

Does the equation for a wave passing through two slits apply for particles as waves?

The standard equation for a wave travelling through a double-slit apparatus is $w=\dfrac{z\lambda}{d}$, where $w$ is the fringe spacing at the detector screen on the other side of the slits, $z$ is ...
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1answer
24 views

Direction of the particle's motion

^ y | | |--------------> x Above I have labelled the axes of the graph. In the figure we can see that the direction of the particles motion is downward ...
2
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0answers
39 views

Fluctuation Dissipation Theorem [closed]

I take this course at university called Waves and Optics, and a few lectures ago our teacher talked about the Fluctuation Dissipation theorem but I didn't really understand it. The math behind it is a ...
2
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2answers
52 views

Negative frequency contributions for very short pulses?

I am wondering if very short optical light pulses can have a Gaussian envelope? When I describe the pulse shape with a Gaussian than the frequency distribution has also a Gaussian shape. But if the ...
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3answers
43 views

Derviation of group velocity

I am working thru a derivation of the group velocity formula and I get to this stage: $$y=2A\cos(x\frac{\Delta K}{2} -t\frac{\Delta \omega}{2})\sin( \bar k x-\bar \omega t)$$ Then all the derivations ...