Waves are disturbances that propagate through 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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Are reflection and transmission coefficents real or complex?

Is it common practice to give reflection and transmission coefficients as the ratio of the respective waves with respect to the incident wave when written in complex form or real form? I have seen ...
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37 views

Why can't we define a unique wavelength for a short wave train? [duplicate]

Here we encounter a strange thing about waves; a very simple thing . . .namely, we cannot define a unique wavelength for a short wave train. Such a wave train does not have a definite wavelength; ...
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16 views

Power reflection and transmission coefficients? [on hold]

How do we define power reflection and transmission coefficients, and more specifically do we use average power?
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1answer
23 views

Can ultrasonic signal be guided through a tube?

I have an industrial application using an ultrasonic sensor to detect whether transparent film is present in a plastic ring. Ring minimum diameter is > 30mm. Sensing distance is 90mm. Sensor ...
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0answers
170 views

Fourier Transform of ribbon's beam Electric Field

I have a monochromatic ribbon beam with $E(x)e^{i(kz-\omega t)}$ being the electric field's amplitude. I want to show that the lowest order approximation in terms of plane waves is ...
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7 views

Simple Sound Waves Review [on hold]

These are just simple test review questions. They are rather basis. I have them all solved, now I just need someone to check my work with. If anyone could solve these so that I could compare my ...
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1answer
87 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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24 views

What is a ray and what is the difference between rays and wavefronts? [on hold]

What is a ray? What is the difference between rays and wavefronts?
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8answers
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Why no longitudinal electromagnetic waves?

According to wikipedia and other sources, there are no longitudinal electromagnetic waves in free space. I'm wondering why not. Consider an oscillating charged particle as a source of EM waves. Say ...
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Help! I need to know the category and subcategorie [closed]

I make a project about how to decrease the tsunami wave.. And the generation of energy from it But they need the project category and sub-category...... I don't know what it should be! Engineering or ...
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2answers
76 views

Why does light travel as waves? [duplicate]

Why does light travel as waves instead of say just a straight line? What are the forces that make a light photon travel in a wavelike pattern?
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4answers
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Validity of naively computing the de Broglie wavelength of a macroscopic object

Many introductory quantum mechanics textbooks include simple exercises on computing the de Broglie wavelength of macroscopic objects, often contrasting the results with that of a proton, etc. For ...
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2answers
77 views

Light wave crossing media and the relationship between speed, wavelength, and frequency

There are many threads on this topic (like this one) but one aspect about the equation $ v = \lambda\nu $ still confuses me. I have read that frequency does not change when light crosses into ...
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15 views

standing wave formation in a string of varying density

What will be the condition of standing wave formation in a string fixed at both end if density of string is uniformly increasing ?
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12 views

ratio between conduction current and displacement current

First, recall that Maxwell displacement current for a plane wave is $$ \vec j_D = \epsilon \partial_t \vec E = \epsilon \partial_t (\vec E_o cos(\vec k \cdot \vec r - \omega t)) = \epsilon \omega ...
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23 views

Does superposition principle apply to the velocity of each particle in a wave?

Superposition principle can be applied to find the net displacement of a particle when two waves interfere. But can it be applied in case of velocity? If so, then what happens to the velocity of the ...
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2answers
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How do mirrors work?

My physics professor explained to me that electromagnetic waves are consisted of two components - electric and magnetic - which cause each other. Which part of the mirror actually reflects the wave? ...
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5answers
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Why are electromagnetic waves called waves even though they don't travel through a medium?

If waves are defined as the oscillation of a medium, why are electromagnetic waves called waves as they do not need a medium to travel through?
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92 views

Particle displacement at a rarefaction or compression

In a longitudinal wave, why is there zero particle displacement at a compression or rarefaction and maximum displacement at a point pi/2 from it? Shouldn't it be the other way round?
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Do these graphs represent anything in the real world? [closed]

Do these graphs represent anything in the real world? They represent the sum of a sphere over time. I was thinking pressure wave but the 3d version looks too messed up to be one. So throwing that out, ...
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15 views

Can a patterned microwave beam with alternating frequencies be created?

Is there a way to create a patterned microwave beam with alternating frequencies such that, in the far field, from top to bottom of beam, there is repeated pattern of Wavelength one, Wavelength two, ...
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1answer
26 views

Why do dispersive waves get wider?

Consider the two waves $$y_1=Acos(\omega_1 t+k_1 x), \tag{1}$$ $$y_2=Acos(\omega_2 t+k_2 x), \tag{2}$$ where $\omega_i=k_iv(k_i)$ for $i=1,2$ so we have a dispersive medium. Then if we take their ...
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1answer
72 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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3answers
146 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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1answer
25 views

Natural frequencies

It's defined as the frequency that an object vibrates at when there is no driving force. What's a driving force? IS the natural frequency the frequency at which the atoms inside vibrate? People ...
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3answers
52 views

Definition of a normal mode?

What is the formal definition of a normal mode for a string? And how does this relate to the definition from e.g. wiki that seem to be applied to discrete systmes of particles only? Also on a string ...
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2answers
52 views

Why do we lose signal in elevators? [duplicate]

Whenever I am talking on my phone and walk into the elevator the call drops as soon as the doors close, and also the WiFi signal completely stops. Why does this happen? Note: I am asking this ...
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3answers
42 views

Sound waves during day and night

A man stands on the ground at a fixed distance from a siren which emits sound of fixed amplitude . The man hears the sound to be louder on a clear day than on a clear night. Why?
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162 views

Questions related to resonance/standing-waves and sound

I understand resonance for a simple harmonic oscillator but not for more complex systems like standing waves. How can I be in resonance with the normal mode in an organ pipe? I understand that the ...
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1answer
79 views

Doppler effect and light

Approaching the speed of sound in an aircraft is relatively difficult, because the closer you get to Mach 1, the denser the pressure is around you (sound accumulates causing vibrations). Is there a ...
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2answers
80 views

Resultant frequency if 3 harmonic notes (a chord) is played

If I know the frequency of individual notes being played (let's assume D, F# and A), how do I determine the final frequency if they are played (nearly) simultaneously as a chord. To put the problem ...
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7answers
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Why aren't there compression waves in electromagnetic fields?

I just started learning about optics, and in the book I'm reading they explain how the electrical field caused by a single charged particle could be described by a series of field lines, and compare ...
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2answers
70 views

Why do objects have resonance at natural frequency?

What actually is a natural frequency for an object and what makes it vibrate with increased amplitude when coupled with an external oscillator that matches the natural frequency?
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1answer
22 views

Is difference in wave number always small?

Over the last few days I have been looking at a derivation of group velocity. The derivation is the one shown in this question Deriving group velocity. I have seen this derivation in many places, and ...
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3answers
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Popular depictions of electromagnetic wave: is there an error?

Here are some depictions of electromagnetic wave, similar to the depictions in other places: Isn't there an error? It is logical to presume that the electric field should have maximum when ...
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74 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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What happens to the energy when waves perfectly cancel each other?

What happens to the energy when waves perfectly cancel each other (destructive interference)? It appears that the energy "disappear" but the law of conservation of energy states that it can't be ...
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0answers
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Derivation of group velocity?

In the standard simplified derivation of group velocity (which can be found here) we use two waves $$y_1=A\sin(K_1x-\omega_1 t)$$ $$y_2=A\sin(K_2x-\omega_2 t)$$ In the proof we then get ...
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4answers
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Energy of a wave and Planck formula

Especially from this post I understand that the energy of a wave is directly proportional to the amplitude of that wave squared. Therefore, we can determine the total energy of a wave by summing the ...
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0answers
76 views

What happens to the velocity distribution during constructive interference?

Two pulses(one inverted & having velocity in the opposite direction) moving towards each other with same wavelength & amplitude after undergoing destructive interference do reapper. Why? ...
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1answer
63 views

Choice of sign of exponential argument affecting tractability of wave reflection at a boundary

It is possible to show that functions of the form $f_{1}(kx-\omega t)$, $g_{1}(kx+\omega t)$, $f_{2}(\omega t-kx)$ and $g_{2}(\omega t+kx)$ are all solutions of the wave equation ...
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Are electrons matter waves? [duplicate]

While studying the de Broglie equations today I learned that electrons are particles that also act as matter waves. But in my text book I learned that there is a mathematical equation that says that ...
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1answer
50 views

is it possible to load a transversal wave with a longitudinal wave

like in communication engineering for sending information what we do, we take a high frequency carrier and modulate it with the message signal so can we do the same thing like take a high ...
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1answer
73 views

Why can't transverse waves travel through a liquid?

Can someone explain why a longitude wave can pass through the liquid, but a transverse wave can't. And can someone recommend some good animation of these processes.
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1answer
28 views

Why doesn't the speed of the wind have an effect on the apparent frequency?

A boy is standing in front of stationary train. The train blows a horn of $400Hz$ frequency . If the wind is blowing from train to boy at speed at $30m/s$, the apparent frequency of sound heard by the ...
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1answer
503 views

Deriving the group velocity of a wave produced by some basic cosine waves with unequal amplitudes

Consider some basic cosine waves of the form ${E_i} = {E_0}\cos ({\omega _i}t - {k_i}z)$ with different amplitudes, frequencies and phases. We know a combination of such waves could result in a wave ...
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0answers
69 views

Mathematical defintion of a standing wave? [closed]

I know that a standing wave is the superposition of two waves of equal amplitude and wavelength, moving in opposite directions. But I am looking for a more mathematical defintion of such a wave. The ...
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9answers
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Why does wavelength affect diffraction?

I have seen many questions of this type but I could nowhere find the answer to "why". I know this is a phenomenon which has been seen and discovered and we know it happens and how it happens. But my ...
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2answers
4k views

Relationship between amplitude and frequency of a wave

What is the relationship between amplitude and frequency of a wave? Some say there isn't any relationship, some say that there is, but from their answers the relationship is still unclear.
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1answer
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A Doppler Effect problem with a moving medium

I tried solving the following question and started having multiple doubts: Two cars A and B are moving towards each other with some speed $25$ m/s. Wind is blowing with speed $5$ m/s in the ...