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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How far can you propagate something, anything, before it becomes 'background noise'?

An electric field, light, a movement of molecules; anything at all. What is the maximum distance they can go before they are 'noise' to an ideal measurement instrument? So if the distance is ...
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32 views

Amplitude Modulation in dispersive mediums

I'm reading the book "Physics of Waves" by Georgi. In section 10.2 he says that to send a signal through one-dimensional dispersive mediums where the dispersion relation is not $\omega(k)=vk$ ($v$ the ...
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442 views

Does every object, every particle and every thing have it's own resonant frequency?

The principles of resonance are such that the greatest amplitude of a vibrational or electrical wave peak at a certain frequency, and they peak while consuming less power overall to maintain it. I'm ...
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30 views

How does a film with some thickness without reflection alter a wave's phase

How does the thickness of a film alter the phase of a beam of light passing directly through the film without reflection?
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2k views

Does the statement “waves only transfer energy, not matter” violate $E=mc^2$?

I'm beginning to learn a little bit about waves, and I'm a bit confused. It is said that waves only transfer energy and not mass, but doesn't this violate $E=mc^2$?
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Can anybody explain about phase shift and phase spectrum terms in case of multidimensional signal?

I know about phase of a 1D signal, but when I move into higher dimensions like 2D or 3D etc, it becomes headache to grasp the concept. What do the terms "phase shift" and "phase spectrum" mean in ...
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77 views

How can a wave travel if it is spread over all space?

The wave equation in one-dimension is $$\nabla^2\psi = \dfrac{1}{c^2} \dfrac{\partial ^2\psi}{\partial t^2}$$ and in one dimension one possible solution to this equation is the function ...
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133 views

Would passing horizontally polarized light through a varying width vertical slit allow you to measure the positional (x) amplitude of light? [duplicate]

I have found closely related questions on StackExchange, but (surprisingly) not this exact question. Seems some answers say individual photons do not have amplitude, only when traveling with other ...
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60 views

Finding skip distance/one-hop distance for a radio wave?

I've been racking my brains all afternoon trying to figure this out. Here's the question we're given: At an altitude of 400km is the reflective layer in the atmosphere. What is the maximum distance ...
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87 views

If EM waves are made of oscillating electric and magnetic fields, how come photons have no charge?

I just recently learned that electromagnetic waves are made of oscillating electric and magnetic fields, and I have a question. In the standard model, photons are described as having zero charge, and ...
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45 views

Is this a standing or moving wave?

The electric field of a uniform plane wave traveling in a source free region of free space is given by: $ \vec E= (0.5j \vec x + \vec y)(e^{j \beta z} - e^{-j \beta z})$. Is this a traveling wave or ...
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28 views

What is the effect of a magnetic field on a plasma speaker?

I have been doing some research for the past couple years investigating the effect of a magnetic field on a plasma speaker. More specifically, if you apply a relatively uniform magnetic field in no ...
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95 views

D'Alembert Equation and standing wave

As we know the d'Alembert Equation is $$ \frac{\partial^2\psi}{\partial x^2}=\frac{1}{c^2}\frac{\partial^2\psi}{\partial t^2} $$ for an undimentional string. Now if we seek standing wave ...
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163 views

Wave velocity dependence on frequency

Is the velocity of a wave dependent or independent of its frequency? I cannot figure this out on my own. I've asked friends and they do not know.
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102 views

Disadvantages of viewing a diffraction grating at larger order?

If you are using a diffraction grating as a spectrometer you are likely to use high order, because you have a better resolution (as a result of larger dispersion??). But are there any disadvantage? I ...
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81 views

How to get the pressure amplitude at any spatial point?

Working on the pressure equation from the linearized euler equations, I stumble across a very simple problem : How, from the pressure solution of the specific equation (see ...
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66 views

Polarisation by Reflection - oscillation direction

I'm currently studying polarisation by reflection, and have come across two pieces of information from the same source, which I can't seem to understand on how they differ. The oscillation direction ...
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1answer
44 views

Why does a good conductor shows pronounced skin effect?

I am currently studying transmission of em waves and skin effect is puzzling me. Let us consider an em wave propogating in z-direction with electric field in x-direction & magnetic field in ...
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49 views

How to compute phases of the signals?

Let us take 4 signals which are sinusoidal and periodic. Suppose you are given a phase spectrum or (/and) equation of the (main) signal only and you are said that the given (main) signal is formed of ...
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57 views

Calculating the energy of a string wave with different phase and group velocity/amplitude/etc

(Please note this is mostly a theoretical, mathematical question, not one about specific particles. Let me know if this is more appropriate in Mathematica) The energy per wavelength of an ideal ...
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82 views

Wave properties and temperature

Today it was told me that wave properties of a particle increase if the temperature decreases. I'm surprised because I have never listened a similar thing, but I think that it's very interesting. ...
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81 views

Energy Proportional to the Square of the Amplitude

I don't understand how the energy of a wave is proportional to its amplitude squared...For example, if we consider simple harmonic motion at the maximum displacement, there is no kinetic energy and ...
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610 views

Would fog impair echolocation abilities?

I was driving down a major highway today and the fog was thick enough I could barely see 40 ft in front of me. I then wondered if I had had some other form of perception could I have perceived my ...
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Do the electric and magnetic components of an electromagnetic wave really generate each other?

Frequently when EM waves are taught, it is said that the change in electric field causes a change in the magnetic field, which then causes a change in the electric field, and so on and so forth. But ...
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574 views

Wave superposition, is my textbook wrong?

Here's the question: Two coherent electromagnetic waves are incident simultaneously at some point in space. The intensity of each independent wave is $I_0$. What is the intensity of the superposition ...
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241 views

Light follows the shortest path, but to where?

I'm a high school student and I'm trying to understand why waves bend when they refract. I read a few answers on the site, and the explanation that they follow the shortest path makes sense enough to ...
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63 views

Unsmooth behavior of water waves

I happened to come across this rather interesting picture of a very deformed (or perhaps intricate) wave. The structure looks like it illustrates a superposition of multiple waveforms, as intuitively ...
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90 views

Question about group velocity and travelling waves

I'm trying to learn some basic quantum mechanics and I have a question related to group velocity of a travelling wave. I know there are already a few questions related to group velocity, but I ...
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32 views

Disparity between two texts on intensity and phase interference - which is right?

So, I'm learning phase interference. Imagine we have two waves. $$ E_1 = A_0sin(wt) $$ and $$ E_2 = A_0sin(wt+\phi) $$ With $$ \phi = \frac{2\pi}{\lambda}dsin(\theta) $$ Which is the path ...
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106 views

Speed of sound in an inifinitely dense medium

Curious thought i just had. The speed of sound is affected by a few factors, but the density plays a large role. As density increases, does this mean that sound could approach the speed of light? If ...
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432 views

How to derive path difference ($\Delta l=d\sin \theta$) for double-slit interference?

The Wikipedia page for the double-slit wave interference experiment states that the path difference between waves diffracting from the two slits is equal to: $$ \Delta l=d\sin \theta $$ where $d$ is ...
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163 views

Does Fermat's principle of least time apply to sound waves?

I am reading Feynman's presentation of Fermat's Principle of Least Time, which explains the behavior of light; does it apply to waves in general? for example sound waves or waves on the surface of ...
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64 views

Generalized long wave and KdV equation

I have read many papers about benjamin-bona-mahony (BBM) equation or Regularized Long Wave (RLW) equation and found that BBM equation can be derived from KdV equation. from other papers i got others ...
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Have we really measured the wavelength of light? [duplicate]

Have we practically measured the distances between the variations of electromagnetic radiations in space in nanometers or is it just theoritical because of calculations? Also the one who have marked ...
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Does the velocity of a wave change after being reflected against a moving object? [closed]

This problem is from my friend ; A man is waiting for a bus. The bus is heading toward him with $v=20\dfrac{km}{h}$ To evaluate the duration, the man sent a wave with $f=880Hz$ toward the bus. ...
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General solution to the wave equation proving dependence on $x \pm vt$

I am trying to solve for a general solution to the wave function and demonstrate any solution has the form $f(x,t) = f_L (x+vt) + f_R (x-vt)$ I have used separation of variables f(x,t)=X(x)T(t) to ...
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67 views

How does light manage to change its course at the boundary of two media of different optical densities?

This is a conceptual question. I already know the law of refraction but I need something like an idea of the Physical process from both particle and wave theory standpoints. Why does a ray of light ...
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1answer
181 views

The general equation for a wave packet derivation? [closed]

On Wikipedia it gives the general equation for a wave packet (and therefore for a wave?) to be: $$u(x,t)=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\pi}}\int^{\infty}_{-\infty}A(k)e^{i(kx-\omega t)} dk$$ I have been trying to ...
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93 views

Wave velocity (R)LC circuits.

I'm attempting to simulate some fluid like mechanics using circuits. Specifically wave propagation. I am attempting to measure the wave propagation velocity using an oscilloscope on the circuit below, ...
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1answer
63 views

Is a rope wave a perfectly transverse wave?

When i create a disturbance in a rope.What is happening at the particle level.I imagine the particles and the forces on the particles like this: According to my model there should be some ...
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3answers
68 views

Why is wave a function of volts?

I'm looking at a beginner's book on Fourier and waves, and the very first graph shows a periodic wave where the horizontal axis is time (msec) and the vertical axis is something noted as "MAG(V)" ...
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173 views

Wave interference on window film coating

"The windows in an office tower are coated with a film to minimize reflected light of wavelength 550 nm. If the glass has an index of refraction of 1.52 and the film coating has an index of refraction ...
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490 views

Patterns in laminar flow of tap water

This is a simple experiment that anyone can do at home. Open your tap so that the water maintains a laminar flow, and the cross section of flow is considerably thin. Place your finger 3-4 cm below the ...
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147 views

What is the significance of angular frequency $\omega$ with regards to wave functions?

What is the physical significance of $\omega$ in a function like $$ f(x) = Asin(kx + \omega t) $$ The only place that I am familiar with angular frequency is when dealing with circular motion, but ...
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114 views

Fourier series for a wave on an infinite string?

From "Vibrations and Waves" by A.P. French I know that any wave on a string length $L$ can be represented by: $$y(x,t)=\Sigma^\infty_0 A_n \sin(\frac{n\pi x}{L})\cos(\omega_nt-\delta_n)$$ But can we ...
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358 views

Are matter waves (de Broglie) classified as transverse or longitudinal? [duplicate]

We know that waves are of two types: transverse and longitudinal, and we have studied about de Broglie waves as well, so which one of them is it? Or we have other means to classify them?
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117 views

What is slinky-approximation?

I was reading the derivation of wave-equation from Berkeley Physics - Waves by Frank S. Crawford Jr. Let $\Delta z$ be a small segment of a continuous string . At equilibrium, tension is $T_0$ at ...
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119 views

What makes waves propagate?

Why do electromagnetic waves propagate? I have searched a lot about EM waves, but I am still unable to understand what is driving them. Could you explain?
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133 views

Singing for physicists: How to resonate by body cavities with my voice?

My body has various cavities, such as my throat, mouth, chest, and nose. This cavities have resonant frequencies. I also have a voice box, which creates sound. How do I create sounds at the resonant ...
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3answers
572 views

How do waves have momentum?

A question on a practice test I'm taking is as follows: By shaking one end of a stretched string, a single pulse is generated. The traveling pulse carries: A. mass B. energy C. momentum D. ...