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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Convention about delta x in Waves Interference

http://imgur.com/oxFF7q8 They seem to adopt a convention that delta x must always be positive. Otherwise, there is no way to know what the phase difference of the sources actually means. Does a ...
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20 views

Reflected waves and phase changes

If a wave passes from a lightweight string to a higher density string, we say that the reflected wave has a pi phase change. Can we say that it has minus pi phase change? If yes, why would that not ...
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Calculation of frequency from known beat pattern

< Why is the answer 498 Hz and not 502 Hz? The difference between the two frequency is 2.
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Intense of liner polarized wave: with a polarizer vs. without a polarizer differences

We had this experiment in which we measured the intense of linear polarized wave - with and without a polarizer. I noticed that without the polarizer the intense was slightly lower than with the ...
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30 views

Effects of energy loss for a damped wave

I have two questions: 1) When a lightly damped wave losses all it's energy, must it maintain it's wavelength before it dies? 2) When a travelling sine wave is damped, can the peaks be skewed from ...
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Can we represent Simple Harmonic function as triangular waves?

Having studied the topic recently I found out that simple harmonic motion can represented well with sine and cosine functions.Take for example a pendulum swing which could look like : and the ...
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1answer
47 views

What happens to light at sharp points? [on hold]

At the tip of the sharp point shown, what will happen to light incident on it. This curiosity was invoked by a friend and also my childhood of watching shiny pointed swords in cartoons. Original ...
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3answers
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Why does frequency increase as the length of an open air column shortens?

I am curious as to why the frequency of a wavelength increases as an open air column becomes smaller in length. Is it because an open air column will always contain half a wavelength, therefore if the ...
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53 views

The Effect of Tortoise Coordinates

Referring particularly to http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9909056 in regard to the wave equation for Schwarzschild-AdS black holes (p.4), I'm trying to understand tortoise coordinates. So starting ...
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44 views

Dimensions of wave equation

If you take the homogenous wave equation: $$-\Delta_x u(x,t) + \frac{1}{c^2} \frac{\partial^2 u}{\partial^2 t} (x,t) \ = \ 0 \ \ \mathrm{in} \ \Omega \times (0, \infty),$$ with some proper initial- ...
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How to calculate the dispersion relation for a wave equation with non-constant speed of wave propagation?

Specifically, it is a one-dimensional wave equation for waves on a string with a non-constant cross-section, i. e. $$S(x)=S_1+S_2 \cos{2x}; \qquad c(x)=\sqrt{F/\rho\, S(x)}.$$ Separating the variables ...
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How to calculate the intensity of interference multiple point in spherical wave? [closed]

Physics isn't my major T^T So, I'm going through a hard time to find the equation. I referenced this question. but It is calculating two different point sources which produce spherical waves with the ...
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Skin depth of current density in magnetic conductor at boundary between two different materials

Imagine a magnetic conductor with a cylindrical cross section, surrounded by a coil with a time varying current of $$I = I_0\cdot \cos (2\pi f t)$$ The conductor is split into two parts, the first ...
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What Exactly is a Shock Wave?

The Wikipedia defintion of a shock wave pretty much sums up all I've found online about what a shock wave is: A shock wave is a type of propagating disturbance. Like an ordinary wave, it carries ...
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1answer
35 views

How to understand “the speed of propagation of the condition of constant phase”?

I still can't understand that the phase can be a constant until now. If the phase is constant, from the $$y(x,t) = a \times \sin(phase)$$ the shape of wave will be a line parallel to x-axis.But I ...
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1answer
43 views

Displacement of an object due to opposite and equal forces acting at different times?

This question is about mechanical waves in solids, the speed at which forces propagate through solids, and the displacement that might occur due to unequal starting times of equally sized forces. ...
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51 views

amplification of magnetic field

can we by any means amplify magnetic signal as we can with electric signal. As both electric and magnetic field can be represented in the form of a wave the analogy seems to be natural. I want the ...
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18 views

What happens when a slow wave reaches lower hybrid resonance?

Lower hybrid resonance occurs when $n_{\perp}^2$ goes to infinity, and it occurs only for the slow wave solution, not the fast wave. Since $n_{\perp}$ is proportional to $k_{\perp}$, and $k = \frac{2 ...
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2answers
68 views

How damaging is light?

On Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman, when talking about the Trinity test, the author states: the only thing that could really hurt your eyes (bright light can never hurt your eyes) is ultraviolet ...
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25 views

Interaction of ocean waves and currents

I was on a small island recently near high tide. As the tide started to go out, a tidal pond emptied into the ocean through a narrow channel with a strong outgoing current. There was also wind on ...
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Determine the particle velocity of a pressure wave

I am using constant density wave propagators to model seismic waves in the subsurface. What I want with these acoustic waves is to estimate the energy of them at a certain grid point at a given time. ...
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3answers
35 views

Doppler effect- will frequency continually decrease?

My problems: I know that when a person is moving away, the perceived frequency will be lower than the frequency of the source. However, in the question, if the person is moving away, the ...
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1answer
30 views

Energy estimation of an acoustic wave

I have an issue with 2D acoustic wave field modelling. In order to estimate the energy propagation direction of an acoustic wave I use Poynting vectors $S$ which can be described by $$ \vec{S} = - ...
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How do we get a wave pulse and wave packet/train?

Ok, If a disturbance is localized to a small part of the space for a certain time we get a wave pulse and if the source is active for time greater than to complete a single pulse we get a wave ...
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For what wavelength is wave nature observable?

I was going through a problem in which they had given mass and speed and asked its wavelength. Now its de Broglie wavelength $h/\lambda$ and I had to find out which of them had wave nature which could ...
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2answers
78 views

How does a fixed amount of transmitted radio energy supply an unknown number of destinations?

I did some maths and physics up to the age of 18, and hold an amateur radio licence. This thing has puzzled me for a while - does reception of an electromagnetic wave imply an interaction with the ...
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246 views

Can a wave propagate in any substance? Aren't there any prerequisites?

We see waves propagate in air, water, through the cristal of a metal and along a rope. Isn't a wave a wonder of Nature, or is it just a simple phenomenon? Are homogeneity and isotropy necessary ...
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Longitudinal waves in a large (infinite) solid block

Specifically, I am trying to roughly determine the sound produced by a ball when it hits the floor and bounces. If the ball exerts a pressure onto the floor, then certainly this pressure will go on to ...
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35 views

Why did we see intereference from a single point source?

In class we were doing an experiment where an agitator was used to create spherical waves on a ripple tank. I noticed that when using only a single paddle (so a single point source) that you could see ...
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1answer
57 views

Distance between Newton's Rings fringes is does not seem linear

On the outer edges of Newton Ring patterns, the fringes are really close together, and much more uneven. Also, the spacing does not seem to decrease linearly at all as you move from the center. Why is ...
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1answer
51 views

The inverse square law of sound through solids?

We all know about the inverse square law of sound. In short the power of the wave will get evenly spread on an ever increasing spherical expansion and this will dissipate the power of the wave at a ...
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1answer
109 views

Does a square wave “smooth out” in the air?

I understand that playing a square wave from speakers cannot produce a PERFECTLY sharp division between compression and rarefaction. But it's sharp enough to sound distinctly different from a sine ...
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3answers
643 views

Why can't light penetrate solid objects?

Light is combination of perpendicular electric and magnetic fields, since electric fields penetrate a conductor, why can't light travel in them? I think my argument does sound stupid, but I can't ...
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Since cables carry electricity moving at the speed of light, why aren't computer networks much faster?

Why can't cables used for computer networking transfer data really fast, say at the speed of light? I ask this because electricity travels at the speed of light. Take Ethernet cables for example, I ...
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Relationship between frequency and amplitude of mechanical waves

Can two mechanical waves carry same energy whose frequencies are different?(assuming same medium but having different amplitudes
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Why is Huygens' principle only valid in an odd number of spatial dimensions?

Apparently Huygens' principle is only valid in an odd number of spatial dimensions: http://mathoverflow.net/a/5396/21349 Huygen's principle in curved spacetimes Why is this? [EDIT] This is ...
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134 views

Huygen's principle in curved spacetimes

Does Huygen's principle hold in even dimensional (2m+1,1) curved spacetimes, or are there certain necessary conditions for it to hold? In other words, if I have Cauchy data for a field satisfying the ...
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1answer
33 views

How you call the constant $\alpha$ within the heat equation in general and in terms of electromagnetism?

The heat equation or diffusion equation does contain a constant $\alpha$. $$\frac{\partial u}{\partial t} - \alpha \nabla^2 u=0$$ How is it called? I'm interested in a general name which can be ...
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Why does absorption cause seismic pulses to increase in length over distance?

The specific question I'm trying to answer is "How does the progressive loss of higher frequencies in a propagating seismic pulse lead to an increase in pulse length?" I understand how the higher ...
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Shallow water wave question from Acheson's book

I am learning Fluid mechanics by reading Acheson's book entitled "Elementary Fluid Dynamics". Below is from problem 3.1. Consider the Euler equation for an ideal fluid in the irrotational case. We ...
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Question on envelope-carrier description of traveling wave

I'm doing a research internship in attosecond physics right now, and one of the really important things in the field is the description of a propagating laser pulse as the combination of a slowly (or ...
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1answer
43 views

Woodwind instruments overtones [duplicate]

When playing woodwind instruments, e.g., flute, if one blows harder, the sound will be one octave higher. Even harder gives even higher overtones. Does anyone know why?
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Where does wave frequency come from

I am trying to wrap my head around where do oscillations in electromagnetic waves come from. As an example if I would take a string of guitar and ring it, it would produce a certain sound based on the ...
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1answer
35 views

Single slit diffraction pattern in 2D

I was looking at previous exams and I saw a question with single slit diffraction. Please look at picture on the website: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=4807732#post4807732 So, this ...
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Double slit experiment with slit material acting as a detector

Suppose the classic experimental setup of the double slit experiment. What is the probability that an electron does not pass through the slits? That is, for every single electron that comes from ...
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3answers
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It seems that the harmonic (integer multiple) overtones of a sound usually all have the same phase. Is this true, and if so why?

And if you were to give each of them different phases, would the sound start to sound "off", or would it sound the same? All the same frequencies would be present, which makes me think it might sound ...
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Trouble understanding phase matching equation

consider a 2nd order non linear optical material, i.e. a material in which it holds that $ P = \epsilon_0 E + 2dE^2$. In the Born approximation, the non linear contribution to the polarization density ...
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Sea surfer position displacement

Waves are means by which the energy propagates through a medium (e.g., sea water). This is not associated with a net movement of water in the direction of wave propagation. If this is the case, then ...
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Intuitively proof that intensity of a wave is proportional to the square of its amplitude [duplicate]

Firstly I would like to know if this is valid for every kind of wave, or are there any conditions/exceptions where this is not valid. But the main question is, is it possible to prove this fact for a ...