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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

2
votes
0answers
96 views

After quantization of electron vibrations, do we need electrons anyway?

The title question is not ment in a general context, but one in which goes to the plasmon theory. In that case, how is are the statistics (boson vs. fermions) of plasmons determined? And is there an ...
2
votes
2answers
134 views

What is the history behind the factors of 3 in the classification of electromagnetic radiation?

What is the history behind the factors of 3 in the classification of electromagnetic radiation? See e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_spectrum#By_frequency Is this (just) inherited from the ...
1
vote
2answers
96 views

What is difference between the miltary radar in 1940's from commercial antenna that is for the use of TV

What is difference between the miltary radar in 1940's from commercial antenna that is for the use of TV? I have read article from some of the WW2 history website that call the German radar the ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How do mirrors work?

Apparently, light is just a certain wavelength, or "the visible spectrum" of electromagnetic waves. If I recall correctly, my physics teacher explained to me that electromagnetic waves are basically ...
1
vote
2answers
435 views

Standing wave and energy flux

Here is a problem I have been asked that I do not know the answer. Consider two ideal wave generators (it can be sound generator or whatever) separated by a distance L and facing each other. At t=0 ...
2
votes
2answers
318 views

A question on intereference experiment with water waves as given in the Feynman Lectures on Physics

I have a question related to the interference (thought)experiment with water waves given in the book Feynman Lectures on Physics Vol.3. When only one hole (hole 1) is open the measured wave intensity ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Why and how is sound produced when two objects hit each other?

When two objects collide and undergo a partially inelastic collision (so every one we experience in every-day life), they rebound to a certain degree, but kinetic energy is not conserved. Thus, the ...
9
votes
1answer
106 views

Wave Physics - can a dynamic waveform be constrained to a specific geometry by signal processing alone?

Suppose that you have a signal source, a set of point-transducers, and a handful of moderately powerful DSPs. Is it possible to construct an arrangement of the transducers such that the original ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How can sound waves propagate through air?

We know that the sound waves propagate through air, and it can't travel through vacuum. so the thing that help it doing that is the air's molecules pressure. So my question how can that happens? I ...
0
votes
1answer
360 views

How do we find the frequency of wave propagated along the x-axis?

I don't know how to solve question like this: A transverse wave is propagated in a string stretched along the x-axis. The equation of the wave, in SI units, is given by:y = 0.006 cos π(46t - 12x). ...
0
votes
2answers
210 views

Sound “exploding” in car's window at certain speed [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why, when one opens 1 car window, does that noise occur? My knowledge in this area is really out-of-dated and stopped somewhere like ten years ago. So I would like to ...
5
votes
3answers
411 views

Physics of a guitar

I understand that when you pluck a guitar string, then a bunch of harmonic frequencies are produced rather than just the frequency of the desired note. If this is true, why does C2 sound so different ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the best material and design for building a parabolic dish?

I'm currently using a homemade metallic spaghetti strainer with a wifi adapter inside it to increase my wifi adapter's signal reception, but would think that a different material, like the aluminum ...
4
votes
1answer
447 views

What's the optimal shape for a continuous Galilean Cannon?

A Galilean Cannon is a toy similar to the famous basketball-and-tennis-ball demonstration. You take a tennis ball, balance it on top a basketball, and drop them both. The tennis ball will bounce up to ...
4
votes
10answers
2k views

Why do we think of light as a wave?

I've read that light travels in a straight line and has a wavelength of 400nm to 700nm. But I don't understand why does it have a wavelength and what creates its wavelength? I agree with the concept ...
3
votes
3answers
451 views

waves on water generated by a falling object

Let an object of mass $m$ and volume $v$ be dropped in water from height $h$, and $a$ be the amplitude of the wave generated. What is the relation between $a$ and $h$. How many waves are generated? ...
7
votes
1answer
104 views

Critical bathymetric profile to maximize surge and minimize breaking?

Reading about storm surge, I found it fascinating that the gradual slope of the Gulf Coast of Florida resulted in a much higher storm surge but much lower energy release in breaking waves. Is there ...
8
votes
3answers
325 views

Intuitive explanation for the de Broglie / Planck relations

A friend asked me to explain "why" a particle's energy is proportional to it's frequency, i.e: $$E=h\nu$$ The reason this result is so un-intuitive, is that in the macroscopic world, A wave's energy ...
1
vote
1answer
350 views

Open Ended/ Close Ended instruments?

Close ended instruments have twice the wavelength, because the wave must travel twice the distance to repeat itself. Why must a wave reach a lower density medium (air in this case) to repeat? When ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Galilean transformation of wave equation

I have this general wave equation: \begin{equation} \dfrac{\partial^2 \psi}{\partial x^2}+\dfrac{\partial^2 \psi}{\partial y^2}-\dfrac{1}{c^2}\dfrac{\partial^2 \psi}{\partial t^2}=0 \end{equation} ...
0
votes
1answer
240 views

Rayleigh diffraction by circular aperture

I am a beginner to physics and would need an explanation on a statement in a book "Karttunen, Fundamental astronomy". In a section named "Rayleigh diffraction by circular aperture", author states: ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views
1
vote
1answer
584 views

How Light or Water Intensity is equal to square modulus of wave function of Light or Water Waves $I=|\psi|^2 \,$?

I've seen the Wave Function as a psi $\Psi$ $\psi$. And always heard that the wave function is the Complex Number as Imaginary and real number. But I've never seen it I've never seen components of ...
1
vote
2answers
369 views

matter wave and wave function

Is there any mathematical relationship between matter wave (or de Broglie wave) and wave function? Also, does each type of particle (e.g. photon, electron, positron etc.) have its own unique wave ...
0
votes
2answers
208 views

Behavior of shock waves at relativistic speeds

Suppose I am in a spaceship traveling inertially at a velocity $v$ that is of the same order as $c$. As I pass by a metal bar that is oriented parallel to $v$, someone hits it with another metal bar, ...
1
vote
1answer
646 views

Relationship between classical electromagnetic wave frequency and quantum wave function + de broglie frequency

As it is. As I study through classical mechanics and quantum mechanics, I began to wonder whether there is a relationship between classical electromagnetic wave frequency and quantum wave function ...
14
votes
4answers
11k views

Phase shift of 180 degrees on reflection from optically denser medium

Can anyone please provide an intuitive explanation of why phase shift of 180 degrees occurs in the Electric Field of a EM wave,when reflected from an optically denser medium? I tried searching for it ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Producing photons with same frequency, different amplitude wave

I don't understand how two photons of the same frequency can have different amplitudes, neither how to produce them. I know that classically the square of the amplitude is proportional to the energy, ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

The energy of an electromagnetic wave

The intensity of an electromagnetic wave is only related to its amplitude $E^2$ and not its frequency. A photon has the same wavelength as the wave that's carrying it, and its energy is $h f$. So ...
-1
votes
2answers
336 views

Why do you get electric field of a light wave?

Why do you get electric field of a light wave in following form: $E(x,t)=A cos(kx-\omega t- \theta)$?( look at: https://public.me.com/ricktrebino -> OpticsI-02-Waves-Fields.ppt, p. 18)
1
vote
1answer
213 views

Relationship between gauss and decibels

In my ongoing effort to understand the world around me, I want to wrap my head around the relationships between two units of measure. Specifically gauss and decibels. The quandary comes from my ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Geometry of wireless signal strength

How does wireless signal strength correspond to distance? RSSI lies between -100 and 0 (at least, on my computer). Let's say I walk a distance x towards the router, and my RSSI goes from -60 to -50. ...
9
votes
5answers
856 views

Superposition of electromagnetic waves

The superposition of two waves is given by $$\sin(\omega_1 t)+\sin(\omega_2 t)=2\cos\left(\frac{\omega_1-\omega_2}{2}t\right)\sin\left(\frac{\omega_1+\omega_2}{2}t\right).$$ For sound waves, this ...
2
votes
2answers
300 views

How does gravitation propagate along curved spacetime?

In this wikipedia article it is described how a beam of light, with its locally constant speed, can travel "faster than light". That is to say it travels a distance, which, from a special relativistic ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is there a 90˚ phase angle between particle velocity and sound pressure in spherical waves?

My text says that in a plane sound wave (or in the far field), particle velocity and pressure is in phase. As we move closer to the sound source (to near field and more spherical waves), the phase ...
0
votes
2answers
342 views

So where is mistake in the formula of wave number (magnitude of wave vector)?

I have following form for wave vector $k_2=n_2 \omega/c_0$. Now because $\omega=2 \pi c/ \lambda$, then $k_2=n_2 \omega/c_0=\frac{n_2 2 \pi c_0}{c_0 \lambda}=\frac{n_2 2 \pi}{\lambda}$. But problem is ...
40
votes
10answers
10k views

What happens to the energy when waves perfectly cancel each other?

What happens to the energy when waves perfectly cancel each other (destructive interference)? It appears that the energy "disappear" but the law of conservation of energy states that it can't be ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Reflection of transverse and longitudinal waves

Why is it that when a transverse wave is reflected from a 'rigid' surface, it undergoes a phase change of $\pi$ radians, whereas when a longitudinal wave is reflected from a rigid surface, it does not ...
5
votes
2answers
178 views

Wave with mass transport?

I don't think this question has been asked on this forum before (at least I didn't find it). In the case of a tsunami, an earthquake generates a wave which will travel with the sea/ocean as the ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Physical interpretation of Parseval's theorem

I have read that Parseval's theorem, relating the norm of a function $f$ and the norm of its Fourier transform $g(k)$: \begin{equation} \int |f(x)|^2 dx=\int|g(k)|^2 dk \end{equation} has the ...
5
votes
1answer
227 views

Why do rain waves form and what is their connection to the texture of the surface they're on?

When it rains and water flows down an inclined street, ripples may form that are carried along with the current. Here's a picture with an example of what I'm talking about I'd like to know what the ...
7
votes
2answers
531 views

How does infrared light 'erase' phosphorescence on zinc sulfide?

I found some sheets of zinc sulfide in my basement that phosphoresce green for up to 24 hours or so after exposure to bright light in the violet range or shorter. One of the first things I tried was ...
1
vote
2answers
741 views

Does a cycle (in Simple Harmonic Motion) have to equal 2π?

So, I search for the definition of cycle and I get this in Wikipedia: A turn is a unit of angle measurement equal to 360° or 2π radians (or ...). A turn is also referred to as a revolution or ...
10
votes
8answers
4k views

Why no longitudinal electromagnetic waves?

According to wikipedia and other sources, there are no longitudinal electromagnetic waves in free space. I'm wondering why not. Consider an oscillating charged particle as a source of EM waves. Say ...
1
vote
3answers
592 views

Is it correct to say that electromagnetic waves does not require a medium?

I can conceive of a particle existing in empty spacetime, but not a wave. A wave appears to me at least, to insist upon a medium for its very definition. I understand that the 19C physicists ...
2
votes
1answer
408 views

How was this pressure pulse propagation speed be derived?

Some lecture notes I was reading through claimed that a pressure pulse propagates through a liquid-filled tube (blood in a vein) with the speed $$c=\sqrt{\frac{A}{\rho}\frac{dP}{dA}},$$ where $A$ is ...
1
vote
1answer
358 views

Is there orbital angular momentum for all particles?

Light as an electromagnetic wave can be polarized in different ways, e.g. linear or circular. As far as I understand it currently this can be compared to the spin direction of a propagation electron ...
1
vote
0answers
188 views

How to derive a multi-reflection echo from a given single-reflection “trace”

Consider a one-dimensional semi-bounded "ray" (or thin "cylinder") of stratum (or just any homogeneous substance) which has several "features" along it's length (say, thin films). Consider a wave that ...
3
votes
1answer
217 views

Electric field Fourier decomposition

I have the following decomposition for the electric component of light: $$\renewcommand{\vec}[1]{\mathbf{#1}}\vec{E}(\vec r)=\frac1{4\pi^2} \iint_\Omega \vec A(k_x, k_y) \mathrm{e}^{i \vec{k} \cdot ...
0
votes
0answers
85 views

Can a wave propagate in an elastic fluid in the absence of volume forces?

A motion (wave) $\mathbf{x}: \mathcal{B}_0 \times [t_0,t_1] \to \mathcal{E}:$ such that $q-o = \mathbf{x}(p,t)=(p-o)+\mathbf{a}_0 cos(\mathbf{k}_0\cdot(p-o) - \omega_0 t)$ can propagate in an elastic ...