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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Why does a light wave invert at a boundary with greater index of refraction?

Is there a reason why a EM wave reflects invertedly when it meets a boundary point with a greater index of refraction. In the case of ropes, if remember correctly, the reason why it inverts is to ...
3
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2answers
108 views

Third order optical mixing

It's pretty straight-forward to visualise second-order non-linear optical mixing processes in which two waves of frequencies $\omega_{1}$ and $\omega_{2}$ mix up to generate new waves of different ...
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2answers
80 views

Question about the shape of the waves [closed]

What is the molecular level reason behind the pattern (sine function) of the waves?
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1answer
1k views

Theory behind patterns formed on Chladni plates?

In this video of vibrating Chladni plates we can see small sand particles align themselves into different interesting patterns (also shown in the image below) which correspond to some particular ...
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1answer
193 views

Is Huygen's Principle Axiomatic?

Is Huygens Principle just a fundamental way to understand light? It always seemed to me that it was somehow "derived" or that it should be-but is it simply a well-founded theory?
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55 views

Is there a consensus on the definition of wavelength for a solitary wave?

Solitary waves are by definition a wave of single nature so the usual definition for periodic waves does not apply. R. Dalrymple provides a definition but I saw a lot of other websites and papers ...
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2answers
371 views

A difference between Plane Wave and Collimated?

Collimation is clearly in reference to ray($\vec{k}_{xy}$ vector) orientation unlike waterfront continuity( $\phi_{xy}$ phase shift) described by plane-wave. Not to say that one is not directly ...
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1answer
91 views

1D wave equation as a function of sound speed

The 1D wave equation is given by $\frac{\partial ^2 p}{\partial t^2}=c^2 \frac{\partial^2 p}{\partial x^2}$ . I found in a reference that for an unsteady gas, where both the gas and sound speeds are ...
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1answer
85 views

Source of beating phenomena of a Michelson interferometer?

I was discussing the reason why we see beating from a Michelson interferometer, and one of my friend said it 's because the light have different frequencies, therefore, they would be out of phase. ...
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1answer
82 views

Differences of waves in water and air

When one drops a pebble in a body of water, one can observe multiple waves emanating from the point the pebble came in contact with water. Be it because the water "jumps" up and comes back down, ...
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54 views

What's the local law of propagation of disturbances

In Vladimir I. Arnold's Lectures on Partial Differential Equations, Chapter 3 Huygens' Principle in the Theory of Wave Propagation, which is devoted to the proof of Huygens principle (original one by ...
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1answer
84 views

Shaking water inside bowl causes waves but why does the water stabilize?

Suppose you shake water inside a container, then at first the waves goes up and down strongly but they gradually dissipate. What makes them dissipate?
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1answer
148 views

Modeling sound resonance in an arbitrary cavity

I am trying to solve a challenging problem, and I'm hoping for some advice on how to proceed. I want to model sound waves in a cavity for the purpose of determining resonance. The plan is to answer ...
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1answer
460 views

Periodic Wave formula; need explanation? [closed]

I was listening to Quantum Mechanics lecture and there were wave explanation; to be exact it is periodic wave .. its formula is v (speed) = lambda (wavelength) X f (frequency cycles/second) the ...
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2answers
248 views

Numerical simulation of sound propagation in air

How does one go about accurately modeling sound propagation in a room (with reflections, absorption, and diffusion characteristics) from the motion of a loud speaker? More specifically what are the ...
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1answer
162 views

Error in Chapter 15 (Mechanical Waves) of University Physics with Modern Physics - 13th Edition?

After reading this question I figured someone here would be able to answer this as well: I thought the answer to part (c) of this question: (Figure 15.8 to the right:) was $$\frac{3}{8}T$$ ...
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1answer
76 views

Is the sum of the amplitudes of an electromagnetic wave always 1?

It's been a while, and I'm trying to verify my understanding. I remember reasoning (but never being taught) that the sum of the (normalized) electric and magnetic waves in a single electromagnetic ...
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1answer
55 views

Coherence with an infinfinite number of waves

If I had an infinite number of sine waves with frequencies between 0 and 2, and I know what amplitude each wave has, is there a way for me to predict how they interfere? for example if I have: ...
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0answers
33 views

How to represent a multiple in the frequency domain

So, in my previous question Where does this formula for prediction of a multiple wave come from?, I get that using this picture: we have so far written the time it takes for a multiple to travel ...
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2answers
154 views

Can sound be propagated without initial mechanical interference?

I have researched up a little on sound, and it seems that sound is a mechanical wave that propagates through the air as energy, and that is how we hear it through our ears. Depending on the medium's ...
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7answers
947 views

Is it possible for a sound to be louder as you move away from it?

I was asked a puzzling question/thought experiment: Given the source of a sound in a wide open field so acoustics do not play a role, is it possible for a sound to be louder as you move away from it. ...
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2answers
130 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 ...
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1answer
261 views

How/Why does voltage reflect?

I'm trying to understand antenna theory again, and I'm again stumped by the concept of VSW (voltage standing waves). I understand standing waves, I remember these from a physics clases, however I do ...
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2answers
235 views

Does sound cancel itself out?

If there are two 10 x 2 x 1 foot rectangles in space and they are lined up so if they hit each other there will be no spots that are not hit in the front of the rectangle. Then they are pushed forward ...
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3answers
206 views

What is fundamental difference between wave and its 180 flip phase?

I'm studying property of sound wave and I was wondering what is difference between two waves (one is original and one is 180 flip phase of original) ? Amplitude and frequency remains same and also ...
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1answer
70 views

How does the light waves make up to my eye?

I was thinking about a situation were there is a group of people in a room. While all those people are observing something(none of them are blind) the light ways need to reach their respective eyes. ...
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1answer
79 views

Initialize a traveling wave in a 1D gas?

I am trying to initialize a traveling wave for a 1d simulation as one can see from the attached figure. Such that it will be traveling to the right. However, I cannot initialize the right velocity ...
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3answers
150 views

Classical Wave Equation - Approximations

I don't understand the derivation of the wave equation given below - $$T \sin (\theta _1) - T \sin (\theta ) = T\tan (\theta _1 )-T\tan (\theta ) = T \left. \left(\frac{\partial f}{\partial z} ...
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1answer
87 views

Why are waves, the means, of information transfer over long distances, excluding difusion or contact of info stored in matter

Practical long distance communication, which does not rely on the movement of encoded configurations of matter, from source to destination(odor,books,DNA,floppy disk), always involves waves (EM, ...
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1answer
188 views

“Book domino” propagation speed?

I was watching this video on the Guardian website. As it can be seen, the "wavefront" of the fallen books travel with a fairly constant speed, which I guess depends on the mass of the book $m$, on its ...
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1answer
88 views

Is information propagated across a medium in any other way than waves?

Is information propagated in any other way than waves? Please distinguish "propagation across a medium" from information "storage within stable states of matter", which might difuse or interact ...
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2answers
64 views

Problem in progresive wave

In this progressive wave we need to find out the phase difference. If we define it by $\phi$ in the x distance, we get . $$\phi = \frac{2 \pi}{\lambda}x$$ But when we write the prograsive wave ...
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1answer
53 views

Plane wave reflection

Using the plane wave reflection equation... $$1-R=T \space ?$$ I cannot find the symbol of reflection constant so i will call it as "L" 1+L = T What ...
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1answer
69 views

What if a probably non wave equation, satisfies the wave equation? [closed]

What does it mean for a function to satisfy the wave equation? Does it necessarily mean that it is a wave equation? Take for instance the function $f(t,z)=(at+b z)^2$. This function satisfies the ...
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1answer
75 views

Fourier Transform of E-Field with Decay Constant

Given an atomic transition with associated E-field $E(t) = E_{0}\cos(\omega_{0}t)e^{-t/\tau}$ where $\omega_{0}$ is the natural line frequency and $\tau$ is the decay constant of the simple harmonic ...
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85 views

What could be the distribution of an explosion energy of a mining-grade and seismic exploration explosives?

Seismic exploration involves the excitation of seismic waves using the industrially made explosive charges. What could be the distribution of explosion energy of such a charges? My guess is that it ...
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2answers
434 views

Doppler effect problem with moving mirror

This was the given question: A light beam of intensity $I$ and frequency $f$, directed along the positive $z$-axis, is reflected perpendicularly from a perfect mirror which itself is moving ...
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2answers
268 views

Does our existence cost us energy?

Anything when it needs to inform its presense such as electromagnetic presense of charged particles and gravitational presense of particles due to their mass does so by sending information of its ...
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1answer
1k views

Definition of the complex wavenumber

My syllabus of electromagnetism defines the complex wavenumber as: $$k = \omega\sqrt{\epsilon\mu}$$ with $\epsilon$ the complex permittivity and $\mu$ the complex permeability. Thus $\epsilon$ and ...
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3answers
460 views

Are matter waves transverse and can they be polarized?

Are matter waves transverse and can they be polarized? What I know:I'm aware of the de Broglie matter waves hypothesis and de Broglie wavelength relation(at a very basic level as part of high school ...
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1answer
203 views

The Mysterious Reverb in a Jar of Hair Gel

I have a small jar filled with hair styling gel (or, as it calls itself: Ultra Gel-Wax). The jar is cylindrical(with the height being less than the width), has an unscreweable lid and is made of ...
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2answers
698 views

Do water movement in the seashore represent waves? [closed]

I have seen water moving front and going back in the seashore.Do they represent waves?Explain.
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0answers
62 views

What is the physical meaning of group velocity for elastic waves through crystals?

In a chapter about phonons they define group speeds for elastic waves in crystals as the derivative of the dispersion relation: $$v_g = \frac{d{\omega}}{d{k}} $$ I wonder though how they come to ...
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2answers
370 views

A foundational question about harmonic motion : 2 pipes with different length and frequencies [closed]

How to solve the following question? A pipe open only at one end has a fundamental frequency of 256Hz. A second pipe, initially identical to the first pipe, is shortened by cutting off a portion ...
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1answer
100 views

Polarization of light

So for my experimental optics class, I had to create a device that would emit horizontally polarized light such that its intensity is independent of an incoming linearly polarized beam of arbitrary ...
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1answer
1k views

Harmonics in an open organ pipe

How to solve the following question? An open organ pipe has two adjacent natural frequencies of 500 and 600 Hz. Assume the speed of sound in the air 340m/s. The length of the organ pipe is? What ...
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2answers
101 views

Mode of vibration comparing Classical and Quantum waves

I'm now studying Quantum Mechanics, and I took a course on Vibration and Waves last year. I have been trying to make an analogy between classical and the quantum waves. Is it true that both the modes ...
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1answer
163 views

Amplitude and phase in vector wave field

Is it possible to make some separation of amplitudes and phase for a general vector-wave field? For example, like a paraxial approximation of a complex scalar field of the form $$\Phi(x,y,z) = ...
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3answers
368 views

How do EM waves propagate?

I have read about this and what I surmise is that when charged particles such as electrons accelerate they produce time-varying electric fields. These E-fields produce H-fields and the process goes ...
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1answer
78 views

What are natural sources of longwave radiation

I am studying now the Earth radiation balance and I came across the question regarding the sources of the long-wave radiation on earth surface. The only source of theses wavelengths indicated in the ...