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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276 views

Crown shape in water waves?

Watching this slow motion video of waves caused by a droplet falling on water, I am puzzled by the first wave shape. The first wave rises with circular symmetry as I expected, but is not even in ...
0
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2answers
45 views

Does observing an EM wave take energy from it?

Here is the question that got be started on this: Suppose 1,000 people were sitting in a room with their laptops out and a WiFi transmitter in the front of the room. If everyone was connected to the ...
3
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1answer
208 views

What is the basis of Huygens principle?

When we were studying mechanical waves like sound waves, and waves on strings in class, we never studied Huygens' principle with these - and nor did we really derive the laws of reflection or ...
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1answer
45 views

In a lattice, what, technically, are random (thermal) atomic motions?

I'm familiar with normal modes and their periodic nature. And I know that the term 'independent mode' is used to describe how each individual atom in a lattice can move (degrees of freedom). But, ...
2
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1answer
439 views

Why can we hear sound better on the water than on land?

If we sit in a boat on a lake we can often hear people talking on the shore clearly in contrast to sitting in an empty field and hearing the people talk over the same distance. I heard that this ...
0
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0answers
19 views

Looking for a good book on waves? [duplicate]

I know this is not a direct physics question. I'm looking for a good book on waves I'm interested in waves that propagate in a medium like sound and water waves I'm interested in what happens to the ...
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1answer
39 views

Wave Particle Duality - Weight?

Regards the issue of wave particle duality and the double slit experiment. If the experiment was run with the ’screen’ and detector as a 'box', with electrons being sent into the box from an ...
0
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0answers
38 views

Are there lattice waves/vibrational modes in materiels at room temperature and above?

The following excerpt is from: http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Lattice+Vibrations 'At room temperature and above, most of the thermal energy resides in the waves of highest frequency. ...
2
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2answers
101 views

How can the choice of wood make a good violin?

We always hear about some really fine and expensive wood that is used to make guitars, violins and other musical instruments. What's the physics behind this? What parameters (e.g. bulk modulus etc.) ...
0
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1answer
88 views

Path length difference from multiple sources?

I know that path length difference is given by the difference in the distance from each source to the observer, but I feel like this doesn't apply when some of the distances are the same, like in the ...
0
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1answer
67 views

Why do spiral waves annihilate each other when 2 wavefronts collide?

I was reading about Fitzhugh-Nagumo model. And in a 2D space the simulations a Reaction-Diffusion process associated with FitzHugh system look like this. But intuitively I could not satisfy myself ...
4
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2answers
166 views

Do individual rays of light lose energy via the inverse square law?

We've all heard of the inverse square law, but apparently that refers to the flux or intensity or number of photons hitting an imaginary surface area. This is not exactly what I want to ask about. ...
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1answer
37 views

Need help on understanding mechanical wave function [closed]

My textbook states that, equation 1 : y(x=0,t) = Acos($\omega$t) = Acos(2$\pi$ft), which I understand. However the book goes deeper stating also that, t-$\frac{x}{v}$, and $\frac{x}{v}$-t I am ...
0
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1answer
181 views

Density and Wave Speed

For a string, the formula for wave speed is $v=\sqrt{\frac{T}{\mu}}$, where $\mu=\frac{m}{L}$. The greater the linear density, the more massive the string is per unit length, the more inertia it has, ...
1
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1answer
64 views

Books on waves with Fourier Transforms [duplicate]

There are many waves and oscillations books out there that also include Fourier analysis but very few give the subject a thorough treatment, they just pass it in a few pages. If anybody has any ...
2
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2answers
123 views

Interference conditions problem

We know that two wave sources can interfere if two sources have the same frequency two sources must have a constant phase difference over time. But I think that if condition 1 is satisfied, ...
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0answers
26 views

can light bounce off another light? [duplicate]

If light is a wave and a particle (wave particle duality), is it possible for light to bounce off another light since light bounces of another matter(particle)?
0
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1answer
58 views

Light Spectrum - Sum of Waves or Collection of Waves

I am wondering about the spectrum of light that is often shown pictorially as a distribution of power, say, from sunlight. My question is: does this indicate that each wave of light contains all of ...
0
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1answer
47 views

Fourier expansion and transform - what about the phase of the waves that i am adding?

Say we have a wave on the surface of the water and we want to describe it as a sum of other waves. So we use Fourier expansion to add waves of different wavelengths. For simplicity, say we have to ...
3
votes
2answers
268 views

How does Huygens Principle incorporate the unidirectional property of a traveling wave?

I was reading French's Vibrations & Waves where he discusses Huygens-Frensel Principle. The principle talks about how secondary sources give rise to secondary wavelets to form the displaced ...
1
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1answer
48 views

What justifies adding phasors' vertical components

I learned that, when superimposing two waves on top of each other to calculate the resulting wave's amplitude, it's helpful to use phasors. From what I gathered, phasors are vectors originating at the ...
4
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2answers
78 views

Refraction, diffraction or reflection of human voice

Why is possible to hear in an open space someone's voice even if he's not facing me? Is it because of refraction, diffraction or reflection of the sound wave?
2
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1answer
70 views

Wave equations - how to get a real solution from imaginary roots

Im trying to follow the derivation on how to solve Laplace equation used in my fluid dynamics course. We are trying to solve for the velocity potential in potential theory. So far we have this: ...
0
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2answers
36 views

Does background noise while strumming a string affect the frequency recorded?

Does the interference of the waves cause instances of destructive interference where there is no amplitude. Technically the wave is still there although its amplitude is 'cancelled' out but those ...
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2answers
144 views

Do two waves of different frequencies create a resultant wave of lower frequency?

In my results for testing background noise, i found that while strumming a guitar in: a noisy area, the frequency picked up by the mic was 352 Hz while in a quiet area, the frequency picked up by ...
3
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2answers
54 views

Why array of telescope is used?

To increase the resolution of an instrument, smaller wavelength and larger aperture is desirable. It is mentioned in some textbooks that the "effective" diameter of a telescope can be increased by ...
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1answer
445 views

How does temperature affect the frequency produced by a fixed vibrating string

How does temperature affect frequency produced by a fixed vibrating string? In the case of the sonometer experiment, the length is fixed so temperature cant really affect length. It affects the ...
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0answers
123 views

Question about dark fringe in diffraction

In finding the angle for the mth dark fringe of single slit diffraction using Huygen's principle, they usually split the slit into equal portions. For example, to find the first dark fringe the slit ...
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2answers
52 views

Interference of two waves of different frequencies relevance to background noise + sonometer

If two sound waves of different frequencies are recorded then does the interference between the two waves of different frequencies alter the resultant frequency recorded. In better context, I'm ...
0
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1answer
67 views

Does the term phase difference apply only for sinusoidal waves?

This question may sound dumb, (it will to me, hopefully, in a day or two!), but does the term phase difference apply only for sinusoidal waves? Wikipedia defines 'phase' as the following: Phase ...
1
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2answers
218 views

modelling the sound wave of a guitar string with an equation [duplicate]

Currently I'm doing a physics related coursework on guitar strings and wave. I would like to ask how I can model the sound wave of a guitar with an equation. I asked some of my teachers and they told ...
0
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1answer
44 views

Energy conservation in interference?

Does interference of light follows first law of thermodynamics? If yes then where does light vanishes in minimum interference pattern?
1
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1answer
95 views

How does one measure the phase of a wave?

Given an electromagnetic wave of unknown characteristics, is it possible to measure its phase? Or does it always have to be inferred from interference with another wave (e.g. beating etc.)?
0
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4answers
136 views

Why do not the ripples on a pond form a 3 dimensional wave?

I can see that that the expansion of the the circles happens in a two dimensional plane. Therefore, we say that a two dimensional wave is formed. But, why cannot we count the vertical disturbance so ...
32
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2answers
4k views

Pouring oil on choppy water to calm it , does it work and if so how?

Near where I live, local fishermen often bring cans of castor oil with them, to calm the water around their boats, if they feel bad weather is due. They claim this method of sea calming works, ...
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0answers
44 views

Waves ionsphere?

Explain why the ionosphere can be treated as a plane mirror when transmitting short-wave radio, even though it is a curved surface. Is it because the area involved is small?
5
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1answer
214 views

Why is the wave equation so pervasive?

The homogenous wave equation can be expressed in covariant form as $$ \Box^2 \varphi = 0 $$ where $\Box^2$ is the D'Alembert operator and $\varphi$ is some physical field. The acoustic wave ...
0
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0answers
109 views

Determine beat frequency

I am currently trying to create a plot of the beat from superimposing two sine waves. I know the formula is given by $$\sin(\omega_1 t)+\sin(\omega_2 ...
3
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2answers
151 views

How do we know that the CMBR is the oldest light?

How do we know that the CMBR is the oldest light which we can see? Is it based just on the facts 1.that waves redshift with expanding space, and 2.predictions of the big bang theory; Or is there a way ...
0
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1answer
142 views

Power of a wave in a string

My text of physics, Gettys', shows how the energy, both kinetic and potential, of a small element $\Delta x$ of a string, through which a wave (whose wave function is $y:\mathbb{R}^2\to\mathbb{R}$, ...
1
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1answer
84 views

Conventionally, how many amplitudes does a (harmonic) oscillator pass through in one full cycle? [closed]

I don't know the typical scientific convention. My book says there are 4 amplitude. But no matter where I start the oscillator , the answer is at most 3.
0
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2answers
456 views

A heavy rope is attached to one end of a lightweight rope [closed]

If one end of a heavy rope is attached to one end of a lightweight rope, a wave can move from the heavy rope into the lighter one. (a) What happens to the speed of the wave? (b) What ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

How large or small can frequency in the EM spectrum get?

The largest frequency range is gamma rays, but does the EM spectrum 'stop' somewhere? Like is there a limit to how large a frequency can get? Or how small frequency can get? Is it one of those things ...
1
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1answer
209 views

What really is the significance of the resonant frequency in terms of “ease of vibration”?

I was studying the concept of resonant frequency and I've read quite a few articles and notes on it. What I have understood from what I have read is that the resonance frequency of an object is its ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views

What is the Optimal Separation Length for the Tines of a Tuning Fork?

I'm building tuning forks (for fun... why not?), and among one of the design decisions is how far apart should I place the tines (the two long prongs) from each other. I'm not entirely certain whether ...
2
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1answer
322 views

Physical meaning of wavelength of an EM wave

What is the physical meaning of the wavelength of light? This question has been asked before but I cannot find a satisfactory answer. Some respondents have said that the question is vague, I don't ...
0
votes
1answer
169 views

Differentiating between standing waves (stationary waves) and progressive waves [closed]

The question is ''Differentiate between standing waves (stationary waves) and progressive waves?" I do not understand what exactly they would like to hear. Should we talk about the frequency, ...
2
votes
2answers
318 views

Why does a continuous water stream form ripples when colliding with a surface? [duplicate]

I was in the shower one day washing my hair, and noticed that the water falling off my hair formed perfect streams that ceased to break into droplets for quiet some distance (probably about 5-6 cm). ...
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4answers
2k views

How to derive the formula for phase difference $\Delta \Phi = \frac{2\pi}{\lambda}\Delta x$?

How can I derive the formula $$\Delta \Phi = \frac{2\pi}{\lambda}\Delta x$$ for calculating the phase difference? On a relative note, why does the particle velocity have an upwards direction when ...
0
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0answers
70 views

Amplitude of wave with distance

How is the amplitude related to distance with waves on a plane? I am creating a mathematical model for water waves in a ripple tank, first assuming that there are no other factors that may affect the ...