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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Diffraction grating from first principles

I have realised that a lot of books and online resources fail to give a detailed treatment of the derivation of the diffraction grating interference pattern. Normally only the result is stated. I was ...
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30 views

Coupled oscillators and Normal Modes

Consider we have a system consisting of 2 arbitrary masses and 3 arbitrary springs connecting them horizontally and between fixed walls, and we want to obtain the motion of each mass after we input ...
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30 views

Driven coupled oscillator [on hold]

Consider the following system consisting of 3 masses and 4 springs : Suppose i start to drive the system, for instance horizontally applying a sinusoidal force with frequency w to one of its ...
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1answer
44 views

Using physics in music?

If stereo speakers are connected to the amplifier "out of phase," one speaker is moving outwards when the other is moving inwards.This results in a weakness in bass notes, which can be corrected by ...
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3answers
103 views

How do we know that the Fourier transform of space is momentum?

How do we know that the Fourier transform of real space $x$ is the momentum $p$ space or for energy and time, receptively? What's the mathematical process and physical logic?
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21 views

What affects the period and the frequency of a longitudinal vibration?

In a lab experiment, our objective is to observe the characteristics of longitudinal waves/vibrations. If we changed the mass and amplitude, I feel that they either affect the period and frequency of ...
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29 views

What specific type of light on the EM spectrum has the longest wavelength and has been defined? [on hold]

I am aware that broadcast waves have the longest wavelengths, but is there a specific type of broadcast, or other, wave that we know has a longer wavelength than others? What is the wave with the ...
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2answers
34 views

What's the physical interpretation of an arbitrary normal mode for masses and springs?

Consider the following system consisting of 3 masses and 4 springs : I have learned that this system posseses three normal modes, corresponding to its three natural frequencies, say ...
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1answer
17 views

Why doesn't linear wave theory produce phase velocities that agree with each other?

I'm not sure I understand the dispersion relationship for water waves. According to Wikipedia, the wavelength of ocean wave at arbitrary depth is given by: \begin{equation} ...
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3answers
40 views

Does there exist a hyperbolic relationship between frequency $\omega$ and wavenumber $k$?

As the title states, is it possible to derive a hyperbolic relationship in the form of $\frac{x^2}{a^2} - \frac{y^2}{b^2} = 1$ between frequency $\omega$ and wavenumber $k$ I have tried to start this ...
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4answers
105 views

Space orientation of light waves

Recently I've started to be really intrigued with the electromagnetic spectrum and bumped into this problem: According to the wave theory of light (or any electromagnetic wave, really), the magnetic ...
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46 views

Wave-Particle Duality in the Confinement of an Electron in a Box [closed]

According to the wave particle duality, one can say that an electron is both a wave and a particle. If we confine it in a box, it can only form standing waves at particular wavelengths, which leads ...
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39 views

What is meant by the “intensity” of light? [closed]

7.(A) For a rectangular metal surface with dimensions 5 cm by 3 cm, the threshold wavelength for the photoelectric emission of electrons is 246.0 nm. (a) Calculate the work function of the metal ...
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13 views

Comparing the Intensity of a Point on the Screen to the Central Max (Double Slit Experiment)

For (b), I know that the following equation will give me the ratio of the intensities: $cos^2(\frac{dsin(\theta)\pi}{\lambda})$ I do understand the theoretical basis behind the formula. However, ...
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0answers
11 views

Wave on a string: velocity [closed]

A heavy ball is suspended from the ceiling of a motor car through a light string. A transverse pulse travels at a speed of 60 cm/s on the string when the car is at rest and 62 cm/s when the car ...
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0answers
20 views

If the Super Bowl was broadcasting in CA (4.8x10^6 m away), how long would it take for the sound (343m/s) to reach your ears from a TV set 5 m away [closed]

If the Super Bowl was broadcasting in CA (4.8x10^6 m away), how long would it take for the sound (343m/s) to reach your ears from a TV set 5 m away
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1answer
34 views

Speed of an electromagnetic soliton in free space

What is the speed of an electromagnetic soliton in free space? Is it equal to 'c' ? P.S. My understanding of the Fourier transform says it's not.
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2answers
19 views

How do we count beats?

Books say that one beat constitutes two successive maxima of sound intensity with a minima in between. This is confusing me as the definition of beat period says - it is the time interval between two ...
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3answers
54 views

Question on open organ pipe

Although open organ pipe is open on both ends, how standing waves are produced in a open organ pipe. Can someone explain with more clarity ?
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2answers
137 views

Are solutions coordinate invariant?

In the case of electromagnetism, we can solve the sorceless wave equation in Cartesian coordinates ($x$,$y$,$z$) getting plane waves as solutions: $$ u(x) = A(x-ct) + B(y-ct) $$ and actually I am not ...
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2answers
28 views

Plane polarized light?

I have heard about plane polarized light: light wave which has vibration in one plane. My curiosity forces me to ask a doubt, is there any way to produce polarized light wave which has vibrations in ...
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1answer
80 views

Waves and Newton's Third Law

I'm a really newbie in Physics trying to understand a bit about waves. Firstly, i'm using the Wikipedia's definition of wave , that is, as energy traveling through a medium/space without ...
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1answer
35 views

How does an acoustic guitar amplify its sound?

An essential part of a guitar is its hollow body. Without it, the strings wouldn't be very loud; as far as I know, the purpose of the body is to set up some sort of resonance and make the sound ...
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23 views

Unusual waves and one of its parameter

I'm messing up with this java app on the web about waves on a string and i'm really curious about something. The java app is the following : ...
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1answer
65 views

Why is $B=\frac{1}{\omega} k\times E$?

Why can we derrive from $B=\frac{k}{\omega}|E|$ the formula $B=\frac{1}{\omega} k\times E$ ? Obviously, because they are perpendicular, but why is it mathematically legitimate?
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2answers
54 views

Why is sometimes the wave function written as $\exp(i(\omega t-kz))$, so ωt and kz are switched?

Is it legitimate to write $-\exp(i(kz-\omega t))$ as $\exp(i(\omega t-kz))$?
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1answer
67 views

Quantum Wavefunctions Without Space

A handful of physicists have a rather peculiar definition of 'nothing' in terms of cosmology. Their claim is that the Universe, assuming it has 0 total energy, could have arisen from nothing but ...
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1answer
21 views

Intensity for Single-Slit Interference Pattern

In the derivation for the equation for the relative intensity of a single-slit interference pattern in my textbook, there is an assumption that I find a bit fishy. I know this equation works, so it ...
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1answer
29 views

Standing Waves. Two questions. Please help! [duplicate]

Every time I read an article/text about standing waves they seem to specifically mention that whenever a wave pulse hits a hard boundary it gets reflected back with it's phase changed through 180 ...
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3answers
219 views

The ubiquitous Planewave Ansatz

In physics, the planewave ansatz (meaning: an educated solution guess) is very ubiquitously used, when solving differential equations, in different domains of physics. E.g. to solve the dispersion ...
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1answer
30 views

Does Red shift affect electron waves? [duplicate]

According to the De-Broglie Wave Hypothesis an electron can be considered to be a wave. Red Shift occurs due to the expansion of space(Cosmological red shift), which must expand even on the scale of ...
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1answer
37 views

Must flow be supersonic for disturbances not to affect upstream?

I'm studying oil production and found a fact that puzzled me. It states that fluid flow downstream of the wellhead must be supercritical in order not to disturb the flow upstream of it. From ...
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1answer
51 views

What happens in extrema cases of red shift?

Red shift is the increase in the wavelength of an electromagnetic wave as it travels through space. If the wave travels for a time long enough can its wavelength increase so much that it becomes ...
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11 views

What is the difference between antiferromagnetism and spin density wave?

It seems that antiferromagnetism can be treated as a special case of spin density wave with wavelength equals to twice of the unit cell. Is that so?
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38 views

Smallest Wavelength of light possible? [duplicate]

I was thinking about blue-shifting of light and I couldn't help my self but think about the limits of blue shifting mechanism and since we know energy of a photon is directly proportional to the ...
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26 views

How is it that 62" is the best length for 72Mhz receiver?

According the this article (which was published somewhere in 2005-2008 I think, but it's still comes up first in Google) the best length for a 72Mhz receiver antenna is 62" (~157.5cm). This puzzles me ...
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16 views

How can water waves be transverse when we know that transverse waves are not possible in fluids?

It is said that fluid cannot sustain shear stress so a transverse wave cannot exist in fluids. Well, isn't this contradictory to what see we everyday in the form of water waves?
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0answers
20 views

Ray tracing a three-way intersection

I've been studying ray tracing in media with linear velocity-depth functions. One of the key concepts I've come across is the ray parameter, and in particular the idea that the ray parameter is ...
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1answer
28 views

How did the Huygens probe use EM waves to measure wind speeds on Titan?

In the Wikipedia's article on Huygens spacecraft, it was mentioned that one of the experiments was to measure the wind speeds on Titan by Doppler wind experiment. To quote the exact lines, it was ...
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1answer
27 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
360 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
89 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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3answers
2k views

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
149 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
72 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
47 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 ...
2
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1answer
58 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
37 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
110 views

If a tree falls in the forest [closed]

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
110 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} ...