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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

-1
votes
1answer
40 views

What's the difference between wave equation in PDE form and wave equation in normal form?

What's the difference between "wave equation in partial derivative form" and "wave equation in y(x,t) form" ? Are they both same? And why "wave equation in in y(x,t) form" is the solution of "wave ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Question about standing wave

By considering the superposition of two waves propagating through a string, one representing the original or incident wave and the other representing the wave reflected at the fixed end, if both ends ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

How can radiation be a transverse wave? Does light really resemble a rope? How can a 3D field be a medium for non-spatial 1D waves? Need mental model

I understand longitudinal waves. For example, I've got a clear mental modal of air waves: a slice of air becomes overcompressed, then the slice next to it becomes overcompressed and the first slice ...
3
votes
1answer
750 views

Why do I hear beats through headphones only at low frequencies?

I was recently playing with this Wolfram Demonstrations applet, which demonstrates beats. At first I thought the app didn't work because I couldn't hear any beats. Then I realized that the applet ...
-2
votes
0answers
23 views

Traveling wave on a (transmission line) rope encountering a mass [on hold]

I would like to know the solution to this problem (or at least some very helpful tips): On a rope with a constant line density $\rho$ we have a traveling wave with wavelength lambda. On a certain ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Could submarine SONAR kill a diver?

Could a diver swimming next to a submarine be killed or seriously injured by its SONAR? What physical aspect of SONAR affects the human body in a potential harmful way?
-1
votes
0answers
14 views

Reflected wave from free end

A wave pulse on a string moving from left to right towards a free end will reflect and propagates from right to left with the same speed and amplitude as the incident wave, and with the same polarity. ...
-2
votes
0answers
44 views

Understanding sine waveform [on hold]

Hey I want to study basics of propagating periodic signal I.e. sine waveform which is a power signal. Let us write expression as $$y=A*sin(2\pi*ft)$$ There are mainly two types of energies ...
4
votes
0answers
67 views

The logarithmic decay of WIFI

I have been told that Wi-Fi, LTE etc signal strength fall of as $$\propto \frac1{\log(r)}$$ where $r$ is the distance. I am wondering why this is. I better explain what I mean with this question. ...
2
votes
4answers
273 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
39 views

How do we know the boundaries of a wavelength?

So the length of a wave is the distance between two compressed regions as shown in this representation of a longitudinal wave: But how do you know exactly where the two points are? Is there a point ...
0
votes
1answer
163 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?
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Question about force in transverse waves on a string

In deriving wave equation or power transmission of wave transmitted by a string, it is usually stated (with some assumptions) that the transverse force on a point of the string is proportional to the ...
5
votes
2answers
907 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
228 views

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 $(\nabla_\mu \nabla^\mu + m^2) \Phi=0$). ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

Physical meaning of wavelength of a EM Wave

The wavelength of a wave is defined as the spatial separation after which it repeats its shape. It is easy to visualize it for one dimension but if we consider a light wave/EM wave which is ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Minima of Single Slit Diffraction

In a single slit diffraction, it is approximated for the slit to compose of two slits of length $$ \frac{d}{2} $$ and hence the conditions for minima satisfy $$ \frac{d}{2}sin(\theta )= (n+ ...
41
votes
7answers
5k views

Why don't two musical instruments sometimes generate destructive interference?

I'm an electrical engineer, and I understand wave propagation, interference patterns, and so on. But I'm missing something basic, so perhaps my understanding isn't as good as I believe. I'll show my ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

Mechanism of propagation of pulse in a string

If you give one end of a stretched string a single up-and-down jerk, a wave in the form of a single pulse travels along the string. This pulse & its motion can occur because the string is under ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Energy distribution for a monochromatic plane wave [on hold]

the task it to examine the energy distribution over the spectral components of a monochromatic plane wave averaged over time. To do this, I need to prove: There are no other clues! How do I ...
3
votes
1answer
107 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Property of the wave functions of a free particle

How can I show that the following holds? $$\langle nlm\mid \partial_z^2\mid nlm\rangle=-\int_0^{4\pi}d\Omega\int_0^{\infty}drr^2\left|\partial_z\psi_{nlm}\right|^2$$ The wave functions of a free ...
3
votes
2answers
153 views

Period of double slit experiment

What is the period of the pattern from the double slit experiment? It varies along the pattern right? Namely I'm confused because when considering two point sources (See: Period of Interference ...
0
votes
2answers
22 views

Propagation of transverse wave energy

Since I feel this question was not clearly answered, I am rewording it here. How does energy reaches from left to right in a transverse wave when the vibration of particles is only in "up and down" ...
5
votes
2answers
362 views

Why do we must initially assume that the wavefunction is complex?

The sound waves are real, and they can interfere, so corresponding apparat may be used in quantum mechanics. We also may use the time dependence in a form of orthogonal matrix multiplying the initial ...
3
votes
2answers
72 views

Patterns in laminar flow of tap water

This is a simple experiment that anyone can do at home. Open your tap so that the water maintains a laminar flow, and the cross section of flow is considerably thin. Place your finger 3-4 cm below the ...
0
votes
2answers
10k views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
186 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
10 views

shear wave speeds and elastic anistropy

Background: I am working with 2d tissue slices that are known to be elastically anisotropic as a result of different collagen fiber bundle orientations. Question: I am interested in whether it is ...
-1
votes
0answers
18 views

Propagation of force thought experiment [duplicate]

Imagine you have a million rigid spheres lined up edge to edge in a way that they can only move in one direction. now imagine that there is a wall at one end of this alignment. If you were to push at ...
0
votes
1answer
105 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) + ...
1
vote
2answers
393 views

Sonic boom and resonance

Can the damage caused by sonic booms be seen as an example of resonance? that is, when the driving frequency (be the sound wave) is equal to the natural frequency of the glass being damaged?
0
votes
2answers
41 views

A plane electromagnetic wave - phase change - amplitude

A plane electromagnetic wave has the shape: $\vec{E}(\vec{r},t)=E_0\cdot cos(\vec{k}\vec{r}-\omega t)\cdot \vec{e}_y$ $\vec{B}(\vec{r},t)=(B_1\cdot cos(\vec{k}\vec{r}-\omega t)+B_2\cdot ...
0
votes
0answers
8 views

EM wave - phase change - amplitude [duplicate]

A plane electromagnetic wave has the shape: $\vec{E}(\vec{r},t)=E_0\cdot cos(\vec{k}\vec{r}-\omega t)\cdot \vec{e}_y$ $\vec{B}(\vec{r},t)=(B_1\cdot cos(\vec{k}\vec{r}-\omega t)+B_2\cdot ...
1
vote
2answers
135 views

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. ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Why is wave energy zero at maximum deviation?

The equation for the energy density of a longitudinal wave in a thin rod is $$w = \rho\cdot \left(\frac{\partial \xi}{\partial t}\right)^2$$ So the energy density seems to be 0 when the deviation ...
0
votes
1answer
26 views

relation between potential energy, kinetic energy and sound energy of water

When water flows its PE gets converted into KE so what causes its KE to get converted into sound energy and what the difference will occur in its sound if it is provided with a parallel surface?
-1
votes
1answer
48 views

Deriving basic form of sine wave [closed]

I'm trying to derive the basic form of a sine wave: $$y = A\sin(wt + θ)$$ I'm guessing I could probably first derive the cosine wave as follows and then add a phase of $- π/2$. $$y = Re(z) = ...
0
votes
1answer
571 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
16 views

Models for vibrations and stress waves generated due to impact?

Say that a small metal ball impacts a long thin cylindrical rod from above (let's say height of around 10 cm) in an elastic collision and causes stress waves to propagate left and right from the point ...
15
votes
2answers
702 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Waves speed and particle speed

Is the speed of a wave the same as the speed of the particle it displaces? Homework question,any help is appreciated.
1
vote
1answer
35 views

How sound waves are graphed

I asked a basic question about sounds waves recently and got really helpful answers. I have another question (from the same youtube video) about how different sound graphs are used in real world ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Can electrons reflect light?

Lately, I have been watching sparks while connecting my electronic devices and I can notice that electricity is kind of blue, and theoretically it's blue because it reflects blue wavelengths?? And ...
0
votes
1answer
149 views

How does a longer wavelength penetrate deeper with Rayleigh waves?

I'm struggling slightly to understand this idea. I've slowly been building up an explanation, so at this stage it might be just some confirmation I'm looking for, but also some guidance if I'm off ...
0
votes
1answer
134 views

What exactly is the “coherence” between waves?

I know, by definition, that coherence means that a pair of waves have constant phase difference. What does this mean? Does it mean they always have a 360 degrees, or 0 degrees phase difference? Or ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Determining wave vector

If I have an $\mathbf{E}$ field: $$ \mathbf{E}_1 = (\hat x 2e^{j\pi/2} + \hat y5)e^{-j4z} $$ How do I find the wave vector $\vec{k}$? If I multiply through I get $ \mathbf{E}_1 = \hat x ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Using the equations $y(x,t)=A\sin(kx-wt)$ and $w=2\pi f$, if we solve for amplitude could we determine a relationship between amplitude and frequency?

I'm reading all over the internet that there is no relationship between frequency and amplitude of a wave given the context of a simple experiment where a string is tied between two points and one of ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

Impact Force/Pressure of a wave on a vertical wall given PIV velocity field

I have PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry) data of liquid sloshing on a rectangular tank which produces a wave impacting one of the vertical walls. In the picture below you can see the wave about to hit ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Cavity dynamics from traveling waves to standing waves

This is a question on mathematical physics. The conventional reasoning about the characteristic wave modes in a cavity is to apply the boundary conditions, namely, wave amplitude is equal to 0, and ...