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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Do EM waves need a medium to propagate?

The official theorie says that they don't need a medium, it states that: EM waves are a disturbance in the field First of all, what field?? An electromagnetic one ? I mean, I consider that field as ...
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Finding the frequency of vibration of part of a system

The setup: 4 spheres of diameter $d$ are suspended on a horizontal plane (magically). They are arranged in a square with length $l$ (the vertices are correspondent to the sphere's centers). The ...
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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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Solving wave equations with heuristic-like, analytic methods

Take a Klein-Gordon (KG) equation for a model exercise: \begin{equation}\frac{\partial^2 u}{\partial t^2}=c^2\frac{\partial^2 u}{\partial x^2 } - \Omega^2 u,\end{equation} with boundary and initial ...
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Wave Packet in Curved Spacetime

It is known that the classical equation of motion for a scalar field wave packet on a curved spacetime background gives the geodesic trajectory (the e.o.m. is $(\nabla_\mu \nabla^\mu + m^2) \Phi=0$). ...
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Could Bluetooth radio waves be used to pick up UV light [on hold]

i am a bit of a Physic novice. But i was wondering if someone could answer this and if they might be able to make a possible sugguest. i was wondering if it possible for a bluetooth to be able to ...
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Would any interference maxima be missing in the double slit experiment? [on hold]

An aperture of 0.9mm of double slit forms a diffraction pattern on a screen placed 6.0 meters away when illuminated with light of wavelength 600 nm; the distance between two slits are not specified. ...
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About EarthQuake?

As you know in Nepal many aftershocks are coming and earthquake is related to physics as earthquake is also a longitudinal waves . I have some series of question as well as my thoughts about it? ...
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Difference Between Fraunhofer and Fresnel Diffraction

What is the difference between Fraunhofer diffraction and Fresnel diffraction? I mean diffraction is just bending of light waves or waves in general around a point. So how can there be two types of ...
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95 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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16 views

Derivation of impedance matching formula

When matching impedances with a quarter wavelength coupler, how do I derive that its impedance has to be $$ Z_2=\sqrt{Z_1 Z_3} $$ where $Z_1,Z_3$ are the impedances of the adjacent materials?
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Contradiction (?): DNA ion mobility vs diffusion constant

There is a certain confusion about DNA ion mobility and diffusion constant in the literature. Consider double-stranded DNA ions in pure water. DNA ions are negatively charged due to phosphoric acid ...
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Would passing horizontally polarized light through a varying width vertical slit allow you to measure the amplitude of light? [duplicate]

I have found closely related questions on StackExchange, but (surprisingly) not this exact question. Seems some answers say individual photons do not have amplitude, only when traveling with other ...
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Wavy stream of liquid

When pouring a liquid into a glass some streams have a wavy shape, like the one in the following photo: (Couldn't find a better picture, sorry.) What causes the stream to be of such a shape?
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3answers
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Diffraction of matter waves

By considering the De Broglie wavelength of particles, we discover that matter can diffract if passed through openings with itself. This poses a variety of questions, namely Can matter waves ...
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31 views

What discrete form of the wave equation do you need to use to make a wave simulation?

I'm working my way through these blog posts about the wave equation. All has made sense up until now. The wave equation is $$ \frac{\partial^2h}{\partial t^2} = c^2 \frac{\partial^2h}{\partial x^2} ...
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41 views

Can KE and PE of a small element of a transverse progressive wave be maximum simultaneously?

Maybe a string can be taken as an example to produce the transverse progressive wave.
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What is the fringe separation in Young's double slit experiment?

In the double slit experiment, a pattern of dark and bright bands appears on the screen. Is the fringe separation the distance between two bright bands? Question: In a double slit experiment ...
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Does the statement “waves only transfer energy, not matter” violate $E=mc^2$?

I'm beginning to learn a little bit about waves, and I'm a bit confused. It is said that waves only transfer energy and not mass, but doesn't this violate $E=mc^2$?
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Can anybody explain about phase shift and phase spectrum terms in case of multidimensional signal?

I know about phase of a 1D signal, but when I move into higher dimensions like 2D or 3D etc, it becomes headache to grasp the concept. What do the terms "phase shift" and "phase spectrum" mean in ...
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53 views

How far can you propagate something, anything, before it becomes 'background noise'?

An electric field, light, a movement of molecules; anything at all. What is the maximum distance they can go before they are 'noise' to an ideal measurement instrument? So if the distance is ...
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1answer
90 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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14 views

Amplitude Modulation in dispersive mediums

I'm reading the book "Physics of Waves" by Georgi. In section 10.2 he says that to send a signal through one-dimensional dispersive mediums where the dispersion relation is not $\omega(k)=vk$ ($v$ the ...
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92 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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32 views

Does every object, every particle and every thing have it's own resonant frequency?

The principles of resonance are such that the greatest amplitude of a vibrational or electrical wave peak at a certain frequency, and they peak while consuming less power overall to maintain it. I'm ...
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22 views

How does a film with some thickness without reflection alter a wave's phase

How does the thickness of a film alter the phase of a beam of light passing directly through the film without reflection?
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46 views

How to get the pressure amplitude at any spatial point?

Working on the pressure equation from the linearized euler equations, I stumble across a very simple problem : How, from the pressure solution of the specific equation (see ...
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How do waves have momentum?

A question on a practice test I'm taking is as follows: By shaking one end of a stretched string, a single pulse is generated. The traveling pulse carries: A. mass B. energy C. momentum D. ...
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Physics of how the cochlea isolates frequencies along its length?

Can anyone explain the separation of frequencies along the basilar membrane of the cochlea please? (equations would be nice) I understand it being related to the resistance caused by fluid in the ...
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3answers
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How can a wave travel if it is spread over all space?

The wave equation in one-dimension is $$\nabla^2\psi = \dfrac{1}{c^2} \dfrac{\partial ^2\psi}{\partial t^2}$$ and in one dimension one possible solution to this equation is the function ...
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35 views

How to compute phases of the signals?

Let us take 4 signals which are sinusoidal and periodic. Suppose you are given a phase spectrum or (/and) equation of the (main) signal only and you are said that the given (main) signal is formed of ...
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How can we calculate the spherical wave vectors L,M,N [closed]

if we have a vector wave function in spherical coordinates ae^ikz. then how can we calculate its spherical wave vectors M,Nand L
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Finding skip distance/one-hop distance for a radio wave?

I've been racking my brains all afternoon trying to figure this out. Here's the question we're given: At an altitude of 400km is the reflective layer in the atmosphere. What is the maximum distance ...
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If EM waves are made of oscillating electric and magnetic fields, how come photons have no charge?

I just recently learned that electromagnetic waves are made of oscillating electric and magnetic fields, and I have a question. In the standard model, photons are described as having zero charge, and ...
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Is this a standing or moving wave?

The electric field of a uniform plane wave traveling in a source free region of free space is given by: $ \vec E= (0.5j \vec x + \vec y)(e^{j \beta z} - e^{-j \beta z})$. Is this a traveling wave or ...
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547 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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What is the effect of a magnetic field on a plasma speaker?

I have been doing some research for the past couple years investigating the effect of a magnetic field on a plasma speaker. More specifically, if you apply a relatively uniform magnetic field in no ...
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1answer
27 views

Wave velocity dependence on frequency

Is the velocity of a wave dependent or independent of its frequency? I cannot figure this out on my own. I've asked friends and they do not know.
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38 views

D'Alembert Equation and standing wave

As we know the d'Alembert Equation is $$ \frac{\partial^2\psi}{\partial x^2}=\frac{1}{c^2}\frac{\partial^2\psi}{\partial t^2} $$ for an undimentional string. Now if we seek standing wave ...
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Disadvantages of viewing a diffraction grating at larger order?

If you are using a diffraction grating as a spectrometer you are likely to use high order, because you have a better resolution (as a result of larger dispersion??). But are there any disadvantage? I ...
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Polarisation by Reflection - oscillation direction

I'm currently studying polarisation by reflection, and have come across two pieces of information from the same source, which I can't seem to understand on how they differ. The oscillation direction ...
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33 views

Why does a good conductor shows pronounced skin effect?

I am currently studying transmission of em waves and skin effect is puzzling me. Let us consider an em wave propogating in z-direction with electric field in x-direction & magnetic field in ...
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How does one determine whether an object will make an EM wave refract in a qualitative way?

for example, i have a vague notion that the actual answer is that the permittivity and permisivity are different in each different material, so all waves refract at every boundary, but we only call it ...
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164 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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66 views

Wave properties and temperature

Today it was told me that wave properties of a particle increase if the temperature decreases. I'm surprised because I have never listened a similar thing, but I think that it's very interesting. ...
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35 views

Calculating the energy of a string wave with different phase and group velocity/amplitude/etc

(Please note this is mostly a theoretical, mathematical question, not one about specific particles. Let me know if this is more appropriate in Mathematica) The energy per wavelength of an ideal ...
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517 views

Would fog impair echolocation abilities?

I was driving down a major highway today and the fog was thick enough I could barely see 40 ft in front of me. I then wondered if I had had some other form of perception could I have perceived my ...
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Energy Proportional to the Square of the Amplitude

I don't understand how the energy of a wave is proportional to its amplitude squared...For example, if we consider simple harmonic motion at the maximum displacement, there is no kinetic energy and ...
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66 views

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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Do the electric and magnetic components of an electromagnetic wave really generate each other?

Frequently when EM waves are taught, it is said that the change in electric field causes a change in the magnetic field, which then causes a change in the electric field, and so on and so forth. But ...