Waves are disturbances that propagate throush 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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Refraction seismology - travel time for wave

I am taking an introductory class in seismology, but have some difficulties understanding the logic behind the formula used to calculate the time it takes for a refracted wave to return to the surface ...
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1answer
326 views

Can light be canceled by merging with an inverted wave?

Can light waves be canceled by merging them with their inverted waves? Seems like it would violate conservation of energy but waves are added together when they overlap, right? Where is the flaw in ...
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363 views

Reflection of sound waves

I was doing a physics experiment, and i encountered a question which i couldnt answer. The experiment was about using a radar technique to measure the speed of sound. The apparatus was a plastic tube ...
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184 views

How does one explain this pattern generated by earthquake waving driving a pendulum?

How to explain this pattern generated by earthquake wave driving a pendulum? Specially, there are three groups of curves that look categorically different: 1) The group of curves outside the ...
6
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2answers
186 views

Relaxation time for deviations from spherical shape of a black hole's event horizon (and waves)

A different question about truly spherical objects in nature (Do spheres exist in nature?) made me think of a lecture I had been at where, as I recall, it was mentioned that the most perfectly ...
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4answers
565 views

Is infrared light diffused on walls?

Lamps that produce visible light can light up a whole room because the ceiling and the walls diffuse light. This way, when there is a single lamp in a room, something that is in the shadows is not ...
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1answer
92 views

How was the sinusoidal model for propagation developed?

It's a little difficult to explain this question .. but I'll try anyway. To the best of my knowledge propagation models - audio, RF - are modelled as travelling in a sinusoidal form. Surely if a ...
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1answer
114 views

equivalence of wave equations

I wonder if the following 2 PDEs are equivalent: $$\frac{\partial^2}{\partial t^2}\psi(\vec{r},t)-c(\vec{r})^2\nabla^2\psi(\vec{r},t)=s(\vec{r})\delta'(t)$$ subjects to zero initial conditions ...
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708 views

Circular polarization of variable-frequency light by 3D cinema glasses

A dominant method to obtain 3D images in the cinemas seems to be circular polarization. Separate pictures are projected with (alternating) circular polarization filters and passive glasses of the ...
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1answer
214 views

Are the sound waves from fundamental strings impossible to interact with?

Edited the question thanks to some helpful commenters. Are the sound waves emitted by fundamental strings so small as to be impossible to interact with the world? In other words, do they disappear, ...
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2answers
259 views

Shape of wall's deformation wave caused by baseball's impact

Clicking through this year's top sports pictures, I stumbled upon this one. I was wondering about the shape the baseball is leaving on the wall. What phenomenon causes this peculiar shape? Why is ...
8
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2answers
338 views

How to model the form of a surface water wave?

Normal surface water waves, as generated by wind, do not have sine form but wave peak is higher and shorter than wave trough with different wave steepness. What parameters characterize such a surface ...
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4answers
4k views

Amplitude of an electromagnetic wave containing a single photon

Given a light pulse in vacuum containing a single photon with an energy $E=h\nu$, what is the peak value of the electric / magnetic field?
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1answer
789 views

How would natural (resonant) frequencies affect amplitudes?

I read $y=A\sin(2\pi ft)$, where $A$=Amplitude, $f$=Frequency, $t$=Time and $y$=$Y$ position of the wave. Since natural frequencies only take the most effect when they are close to the frequency. How ...
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2answers
257 views

Does light have timbre?

Timbre is a property associated with the shape of a sound wave, that is, the coefficients of the discrete Fourier transform of the corresponding signal. This is why a violin and a piano can each play ...
6
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1answer
322 views

Why does the echo for soundwaves hitting a vacuum come back out of phase? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Phase shift of 180 degrees on reflection from optically denser medium I've read in a physics book for musicians that, when a soundwave hits a near-solid object, it ...
5
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1answer
214 views

How is it possible for an Ultrasound device to correctly interpret a negative density change in tissue?

I understand the principles of Ultrasound Imaging, and the mathematics behind sonar velocity, impedance, and reflection. I also understand that an Ultrasound device recieves an echo produced by ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Meaning of negative frequency of sound wave

Suppose that Alice and Bob are both holding speakers emitting sound at a frequency $f$. Alice is stationary while Bob is moving towards Alice at twice the speed of sound. In the case of Alice, if I ...
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6answers
1k views

What is the meaning of the word “particle” in particle physics?

I want to use Matt Strassler's definition of the word "particle" as a specific example: Matt Strassler writes: (1) "...all the elementary “particles” (i.e. quanta) of nature are quanta of waves ...
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1answer
226 views

Why are clouds wavy?

Say you're in an ascending airplane as your 10 year-old son asks you: "Dad, why are these clouds wavy?" Now, say you know a little about gravity waves and the formation of wavy clouds(Maybe I should ...
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1answer
100 views

The Effects of Moving Matter Across Light-Year distances

If I were to stand at one end of a light-year long metal pole, and another person were to stand one light-year away at the other end, and then I were to push on my end of the pole. How long would it ...
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1answer
4k views

Phase and Group Velocity of Electromagnetic Waves

Moving charges produce oscillating electric and magnetic fields -we have an electromagnetic wave. In terms of moving charges or at the level of charges, what is phase velocity and group velocity of ...
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2answers
6k views

What is the formula for max kinetic and max potential energy of a spring?

What is the formula for max kinetic and max potential energy of a spring?
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2answers
5k views

Frequency of the sound when blowing in a bottle

I'm sure you have tried sometime to make a sound by blowing in an empty bottle. Of course, the tone/frequency of the sound modifies if the bottle changes its shape, volume, etc. I am interested in ...
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3answers
449 views

Is a soundproofed wall really only as strong as its weakest area?

I've seen a few questions about sound waves and sound travel here on Physics SE, so I'm hoping this question is a good fit for this site. During my internet research on soundproofing, I've come ...
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2answers
2k views

What does the velocity of a wave mean?

I know that the velocity of a wave is given by $v=\lambda f$ but what does this velocity represent in the physical sense. For instance, if I am told a car moves at a velocity of 5 $m/s$ I know that ...
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1answer
351 views

How to reconstruct information from a graph of an oscillation? [closed]

We are given a graph of the position of a wave (amplitude). How can we calculate the wavelength, frequency and the maximum speed of a particle attached to that wave? We have Speed = wave length ...
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1answer
439 views

Refraction and Reflection Seismology

So I am wondering if I got the difference right. Both methods use explosives to send waves into the earth's surface. Now reflection seismology tries to get information from the reflected waves; the ...
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2answers
530 views

Particles vs Waves

As I remember long ago, in my physics classes, I always had a great trouble understanding the concept of waves. Our professor used to explain, as if everything in this world is made up of waves. ...
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0answers
158 views

Physical difference between two different attenuation coefficient functions

The attenuation of a wave through a medium can be modeled by the Beer-Lambert Law using an attenuation coefficient. If $I$ is the intensity, and $I_r$ is a reference intensity, then what is the ...
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0answers
68 views

What's the difference between exchange spin wave and magnetostatic spin wave?

So far I've heard of three kinds of spin waves Magnetostatic spin waves (MSW) Dipole-exchange spin waves (DESW) Exchange spin waves (ESW) What's the difference?
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3answers
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Good books about waves and optics [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What’s a good textbook to learn about waves and oscillations? Where is a good place to learn (classical) optics? I'm looking for a good book about waves and optics, ...
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1answer
1k views

Huygens Principle and principal of rectilinear propagation of light

Suppose I have an wave source and light waves are radiating from it. If I have a point source, then after a time t, with a radius of ct I will have a circular wave front.By Huygens principle each ...
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1answer
78 views

How to compare differences in waves?

I have a series of waves that I would like to compare to one another. The measurements are two-dimensional with time on the x-axis and an intensity measurement on the y-axis. I'd like some way of ...
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0answers
111 views

How do you super impose two or more signals to occupy a fix area of space with the resultant summed wave?

Is it possible to super-impose two or more signals all sent from different directions as a standing wave with the resulting summed wave occupying a fix area of space that is also a complex area? Do ...
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4answers
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What does a de Broglie wave look like?

What does a de Broglie wave look like? Are de Broglie waves transverse or longitudinal? Can they be polarized? What about the de Broglie wave of a ground state neutral spin-zero Helium 4 atom? ...
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2answers
955 views

Matter waves - DeBroglie's relations

I am currently studying from Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers by Taylor et al. They derive the DeBroglie relation $p=h/\lambda$ from setting mass $m=0$ in the energy-momentum relation ...
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2answers
1k views

Are gravitational waves longitudinal or transverse?

Waves are generally classified as either transverse or longitudinal depending on the they way the propagated quantity is oriented with respect to the direction of propagation. Then what is a ...
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1answer
272 views

Does $\lambda\nu = c$ hold for all the waves in the universe?

Are all waves in the universe the same as electromagnetic waves? Basically, my question arises from an equation I found in my chemistry textbook: $$\lambda \nu ~=~ c.$$ This states that the ...
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2answers
1k views

What characterizes a metallic sound, and why do metals have a metallic sound?

We know that when we strike a metal, it usually has a characteristic "sharp" sound, unlike when we strike wood, say. What characterizes this "metallic sound"? Does it have a well-defined power ...
2
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1answer
196 views

What is the name for the whistling “musical” sounds that change stepwise in pitch when a hollow tube is spun like a lasso?

You have likely heard those sounds, science museums sometimes sell Flexible plastic tubes you can whirl like a lasso. The air rushing by the end of the tube causes these sounds, which are admitted in ...
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1answer
625 views

How to prove equations for energy of a wave

In my textbook, it says that the energy (I) of a wave, determined by the power of a wave (P) divided by area (A), is determined by the following formula: $$I = \frac{1}{2}\rho v\omega^2A^2 = 2\pi^2 ...
3
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1answer
314 views

Wave pulse on a freely falling rope

Consider a rope hanging from the ceiling (massive / massless irrelevant, I suppose). A wave pulse is set up on the rope. Just as the wave pulse starts propagating on this rope, the top of the rope is ...
2
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2answers
68 views

Pressure in waves on a string

We know that when we speak sound waves are created. The air particles compress and rarefy and pressure is more at the nodes and less at anti-nodes. But can we say the same thing about waves on a ...
3
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1answer
251 views

Earthquake as a transverse wave

I have a very simple mental picture that earthquake waves travel like shear (transverse) waves through the earth. a. Does the speed of this wave give any valuable information about the mechanical ...
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2answers
806 views

Wavelength and resolution

I'm reading some texts that seam to assume knowledge of light that I'm not too familiar with. How does wavelength of light relate to the minimum distance span that can be observed (i.e. you cannot ...
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1answer
5k views

Science behind the singing wine glass

A wine glass filled with water (approximately half or a quarter), when you use a wet finger and rub the top of the wine glass, the wine glass will produce a sound. I heard that it is because of the ...
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1answer
287 views

Does a football stadium wave satisfy the wave equation?

This is the wave by fans. Does it satisfy the wave equation?
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1answer
283 views

Width of Gaussian Beam and Refractive Index

I know that in free space, the width of a Gaussian beam can be written as $W=W_0\sqrt{1+(\frac{z}{z_0})^{2}}$. However, I was wondering if it was possible to express this width as a function of ...
0
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1answer
287 views

Transmission of Gaussian Beam Through Graded-Index Slab

The $ABCD$ matrix of a glass graded-index slab with refractive index $n(y)=n_0(1-\frac{1}{2}\alpha^{2}y^{2})$ and length $d$ is $A=\cos(\alpha d)$, $B=\frac{1}{\alpha}\sin(\alpha d)$, $C=-\alpha ...