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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The interference of waves and factors that affect cancellation?

If you had two repeated disturbances on the surface of a water, I know interference will occur. However, if I move the two sources of disturbances closer together, why would the 'gaps' between each ...
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198 views

How does one find the wave velocity and the phase speed?

While I was studying beats, I tried to find a displacement function of any particle in the most generalized form. I ended up with $$y=2A\sin(\pi(t-x/v)(f_1+f_2))\cos(\pi(t-x/v)(f_1-f_2)).$$ Now, ...
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376 views

Are there “gaps” in light, or will it hit everywhere?

Not sure how to word my question. Picture a light source in vacuum, so nothing disturbs the light (or similar conditions), 2d. If I move very, very far away, will it happen that some of the light ...
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1answer
236 views

Definition of energy

What is the definition of energy $E$ given a dispersion relation $\omega=\omega(k)$ where $k=|\vec k|$ and $\omega$ is not necessarily linearly proportional to $k$? What about momentum $\vec p$? This ...
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1answer
347 views

Eddy current losses in electric steel by harmonics of a magnetic field

I am working on an model of a permanent magnet synchronous machine. Right now I am stuck with calculating the eddy current losses caused by the harmonics of the stator magnetic field in the electrical ...
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Validity of naively computing the de Broglie wavelength of a macroscopic object

Many introductory quantum mechanics textbooks include simple exercises on computing the de Broglie wavelength of macroscopic objects, often contrasting the results with that of a proton, etc. For ...
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2answers
679 views

Can someone explain how water from a garden hose can propagate in a sine/cosine wave?

A video posted on Youtube. How does this phenomenon work? I know he is using frequency to propagate water in a sine/cosine wave, but how does it exactly work this way? Why do we see it as if its ...
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274 views

Mechanical Waves

In the book Young and Freedman 13th edition, the wave equation is $y(x, t) = A\,\text{cos}(kx-wt)$ The problem is, I find it hard to console with the fact that $y(x, t) = A\,\text{sin}(wt-kx)$. ...
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Are two waves being in phase is the same as saying that the two waves are coherent?

If two waves are coherent, is it the same as them being in phase? Please correct if I'm wrong.
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1answer
12k views

how to determine the direction of a wave propagation?

In the textbook, it said a wave in the form $y(x, t) = A\cos(\omega t + \beta x + \varphi)$ propagates along negative $x$ direction and $y(x, t) = A\cos(\omega t - \beta x + \varphi)$ propagates along ...
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4answers
884 views

Can light waves cause beats?

My question is pretty brief. When two sound waves of nearly same frequencies interfere, we get beats. But, I have not observed something like that happening in the case of light. In fact, most of the ...
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1k views

Wave propagation in an incompressible flow

Incompressible approximation of fluid flow is usually known to be lame in modeling the propagation of any disturbance in it, predicting a speed equal to infinity for the propagation of the ...
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1answer
106 views

Acoustic wave equation for a closed sphere

I am looking to model the nodal surfaces in a resonating closed sphere. The sound source is external. What sort of wave equation will reveal the spherical harmonics depending on the frequency, speed ...
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1answer
138 views

what is the difference between constant and changing magnetic and electric fields? How do they occur? How do they form an electromagnetic wave?

what is the difference between constant and changing magnetic and electric fields? How do they occur? How do they form an electromagnetic wave?
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1answer
361 views

Cylindrical wave

I know that a wave dependent of the radius (cylindrical symmetry), has a good a approximations as $$u(r,t)=\frac{a}{\sqrt{r}}[f(x-vt)+f(x+vt)]$$ when $r$ is big. I would like to know how to deduce ...
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1answer
325 views

Eikonal approximation for wave optics. Why follow the unit vector parallel to the Pointing vector?

The description of the passage from wave optics to geometrical optics claims that light rays are the integral curves of a certain vector field (the Pointing vector direction, normalized to 1). Here ...
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1answer
4k views

What is light, and how can it travel in a vacuum forever in all directions at once without a medium?

I know there are many questions that are similar (maybe identical?). I am not a physicist nor a student - I am just interested in physics and have been watching many physics channels on youtube ...
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1answer
805 views

De broglie equation

What is the de Broglie wavelength? Also, does the $\lambda$ sign in the de Broglie equation stand for the normal wavelength or the de Broglie wavelength? If $\lambda$ is the normal wavelength of a ...
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9answers
31k views

What is the meaning of phase difference?

What do you mean by phase of a wave? And phase difference? Waves have always confused me as it's too difficult to visualize them. I am no good at waves mechanics, so if anyone could explain in simpler ...
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1answer
98 views

References on wave solutions in continuum mechanics [closed]

I am interested in literature on known wave solutions in continnum mechanics, precisely the following mechanical equation: $$\rho\partial_t^2u_i = C_{ijkl}\nabla_j\nabla_ku_{l}$$ My interest is spread ...
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1answer
3k views

How to calculate the intensity of the interference of two waves in a given point? [closed]

There are two different point sources which produce spherical waves with the same power, amplitude, ω, wavenumber and phase. I can calculate the intensity of each wave in a point: $$ I_1 = P / (4 ...
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2answers
285 views

Sound Wave Propagation: Why HF are more specular while LF are more omni

The propagation of high frequencies sound waves is more directional (specular), and they don't diffract as much as low frequencies. Low-frequencies diffract and thus propagate in a more omni-spherical ...
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5answers
4k views

Why are AC quantities represented by sine waves always?

Usually we use a sinusoidal wave form to represent a alternating quantity. Why not a cosinusoidal wave or a ramp wave form? In sine wave forms we can indicate the maximum and minimum amplitude and ...
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3answers
153 views

How to design an experiment that shows that a rectangular pulse can be expressed as a series of infinite sinusoids?

Is it possible to design a physical experiment that shows that a time limited signal, such as a rectangular pulse is composed of infinite continuous sine/cosine waves?
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111 views

Can a stream of photons to be an environment for carrying light?

As the air molecules are environment for carrying sound waves, could stream of photons be environment for carrying electromagnetic waves? What contradictions cause this assumption in the existing ...
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4answers
805 views

wave-particle duality

I have been trying to understand "wave-particle duality" and other cases related to it. I am currently a college level student. I have few question which I am not getting answers clearly. In double ...
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1answer
219 views

Normal modes of a flexible rod clamped at only one point

I am interested in the vibrations of a thin, flexible rod that would only be clamped at one point, properly I'd like to calculate its eigenvalue. But the way I learned it in wave mechanics doesn't ...
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4answers
3k views

Confused over complex representation of the wave

My quantum mechanics textbook says that the following is a representation of a wave traveling in the +$x$ direction:$$\Psi(x,t)=Ae^{i\left(kx-\omega t\right)}\tag1$$ I'm having trouble visualizing ...
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2answers
110 views

Why is the turbulent energy cascade described as function of a wavenumber?

In all the literature I've seen the turbulent energy spectrum described as $E(k)$ instead of $E(L)$, i.e. as a function of a wave number not eddy size. The connection via $k=2\pi/\lambda$ is clear, ...
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0answers
265 views

Sum of intensity of reflected and transmitted waves

The given state: Let $\psi$ be a wave that passes from medium $a$ to medium $b$. Let $A$ be the amplitude of $\psi$. Let $R$ be the amplitude ratio of the reflected wave $\psi_r$ and the original one, ...
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2answers
5k views

How to get “complex exponential” form of wave equation out of “sinusoidal form”?

I am a novice on QM and until now i have allways been using sinusoidal form of wave equation: $$A = A_0 \sin(kx - \omega t)$$ Well in QM everyone uses complex exponential form of wave equation: $$A ...
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2answers
343 views

Can wind blowing on smooth water create speckle interference patterns?

On a calm smooth lake, or even a large rain puddle, I've seen transient rough patches on the surface suddenly appear and disappear, and sometimes move across the water some distance before ...
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1answer
2k views

Deriving group velocity

At the introduction to quantum mechanic phase $v_p$ and group $v_g$ velocities are often presented. I know how to derive $v_p$ and get equation: $$ \scriptsize v_p=\frac{\omega}{k} $$ What i dont ...
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Ultrasonic wave through air

I am not a physicist but I am extremely interested in this area. The simple version of my question is: "What is the maximum range of an ultrasonic wave traveling through air?" Now, I know it depends ...
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1answer
419 views

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
344 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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1answer
376 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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2answers
189 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 ...
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2answers
188 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
582 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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724 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
348 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
823 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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260 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 ...
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1answer
327 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 ...