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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Simulating the Interference Pattern of Fraunhofer Diffraction by a Single Slit

I'm attempting to simulate the Fraunhofer diffraction pattern due to a single slit. We know that the intensity at an angle $\theta$ is $I(\theta)=I_0 \text{sinc} ^2(\beta)$ where ...
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1answer
356 views

How to determine the positions of two points in a radial line by an intensity level dB?

The following is the question from my school. A source emits sound uniformly in all directions. A radial line is drawn from this source. On this line, determine the positions of two points, 1.00m ...
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1answer
505 views

Deriving the group velocity of a wave produced by some basic cosine waves with unequal amplitudes

Consider some basic cosine waves of the form ${E_i} = {E_0}\cos ({\omega _i}t - {k_i}z)$ with different amplitudes, frequencies and phases. We know a combination of such waves could result in a wave ...
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27 views

Question regarding waves squeezed

in one MOOC I am taking, the professor had a slide stating "when squeezed into a narrow space wave is amplified". I am not sure I understand what he meant by that, and I am trying to think into terms ...
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1answer
119 views

Plane Wave expansion method

I really don't know if this is the right forum to ask the question...but please help me if you can!! I was going through the Plane Wave Expansion Method Derivation...But to be honest I could not find ...
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1answer
285 views

Work Done by Vibrating String - Without Small-Amplitude Assumption

I'm trying to derive the equation for work done by a vibrating string, but I'm running into problems. The easiest way - the method used by the other question by this name - makes the approximation ...
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2answers
152 views

How do waves meet at a single point?

In principle two objects can never meet,because of electromagnetic repulsions for example if I touch something, I am not actually touching it considering the fact that there is a small region left due ...
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4answers
7k views

Difference Between Fraunhofer and Fresnel Diffraction

What is the difference between Fraunhofer diffraction and Fresnel diffraction? I mean diffraction is just bending of light waves or waves in general around a point. So how can there be two types of ...
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4answers
973 views

Do Electromagnetic Waves really propagate through continuous Induction?

I've often seen it said that in an Electromagnetic Wave the changing Electric Field component creates the Magnetic Field Component and the changing Magnetic Field Component in turn creates an Electric ...
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547 views

Chladni Plate Mathematics

I am a high school student doing an IB Extended Essay investigation concerning the resonant frequencies of Chladni plates of differing materials and sizes. Would someone please explain the definition ...
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50 views

Why is a $\pi$ phase added on reflection and why do things change with absorption? [duplicate]

Mathematically, how does a $\pi$ phase shift appear upon reflection of light off a optically denser medium? Why is it always $\pi$? If the medium is absorptive it is no longer $\pi$?
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1answer
125 views

Why linear wave equation does not have solitonic solutions?

As many people define solitary waves they are localized pulses that propagate without changing the shape. As far as I know the same pulses exist in ordinary wave equation ! why should we look for ...
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1answer
128 views

Why does a street light cast a wavey shimmer across the water (at night)

See image You will have to zoom in. Why is the reflection a wavey one? Could someone explain how this is occurring, to the layman, (with the style of feynman if possible -heh) :)
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2answers
107 views

Why the wave-particle duality cannot be explained as a traveling-standing wave duality?

This would explain why speed and position cannot be measured at the same time, since either the wave would be traveling (speed) or enclosed and standing (position). The act of enclosing it (to be ...
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3answers
513 views

What is the energy of a standing EM wave? Is it probabilistic?

In a cavity, the standing wave will constructively interfere with itself, so its energy gets higher while the oscillator is still vibrating. Since the vibration time is not a constant value, and ...
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0answers
187 views

Waves produced by a mass of water on the calm sea surface

Suppose we have a parallelepiped shaped box full of water on the surface of the sea. Suddenly the box disappears. What is the shape of the waves vs. time caused by the fall of the water contained in ...
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2answers
335 views

What restrictions on time boundary conditions does it have to use Fourier transform to solve wave equation?

The wave equation can be solved using Fourier transform, by assuming a solution of the form of $$\mathbf{E}(x,y,z,t)~=~\mathbf{E}(x,y,z)e^{j\omega t}$$ and then reducing the equation to the Helmholtz ...
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1answer
239 views

Isn't the front edge of a wave, kind of “information” which travels faster than light?

Considering the definition of phase and group velocities, We know group velocity can't exceed C but phase velocity can be infinitely high. Assume a monochromatic electromagnetic wave traveling with a ...
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2answers
174 views

“Complex Variables Method” in Diff. Eq. - Justification and physical meaning?

A common method of simplifying calculations that involve differential equations - particularly involving oscillation - is to replace $\cos(\theta)$ with $e^{i \omega t}$, evaluate, and then take the ...
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1answer
89 views

Nonlinear Dirac's Equation?

Are there any nonlinear variations of Dirac's Equation analogous to the Nonlinear Schrodinger Equation, that have been studied and published in any mainstream journals or books? Perhaps such a ...
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1answer
134 views

More extensions of the wave equation for dispersion

The Phys.SE question Minimal Extension of Wave Equation to Include Dispersion extended the wave equation for only a very simple form of dispersion. However, what about more complex dispersion ...
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2answers
426 views

Relation between the spin of a particle and the polarization of it's wave

Is there any intrinsic relation between the spin of a particle, and the degree of freedom of it's polarization? does it holds for any particle-wave couple? like EM-photon, ...
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1answer
237 views

Ship wake height

It is well known that a ship traveling in a deep water produces wake. Far from the aft of the ship, these wake are called a Kelvin wake. I found the mathematical expression of the shape of the wake, ...
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1answer
115 views

Simulating a 1-dimensional wave on (a segment of) an infinite line

I'm trying to numerically simulate a 1-dimensional with a chain of linked harmonic oscillators as described here (the result can be seen here). The simulation behaves like a wave on a finite line ...
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2answers
529 views

Does thin film interference (anti-reflective coating) let more light through?

The theory of an anti-reflective coating is that the reflected light off the coating and the reflected light off the substrate is 180 degrees out of phase, causing destructive interference and ...
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2answers
875 views

How do you calculate the position of the antinodes on a wave?

if for example i have a waveform with the formula $y=\sin(1.2x)+\sin(1.8x)$. The first 6 antinodes on my graph come up at around: $$ x=\begin{cases} 1.01\\ 2.97\\ 4.65\\ 5.80\\ 7.48\\ 9.46\\ ...
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3answers
24k views

What is the difference between phase difference and path difference?

I have learnt that path difference is the difference between the distance travelled by two waves meeting at a point. If that is path difference,then how will one know what is phase difference and how ...
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1answer
128 views

Minimal Extension of Wave Equation to Include Dispersion

Let's say you are modeling some process with the wave equation $\frac{1}{c^{2}}\frac{\partial^{2}\psi}{\partial t^{2}} = \nabla^{2}\psi$. You wish to improve your model by including dispersive ...
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96 views

Differential Equations - Waves (Physics self-study suggestions) [closed]

I apologize ahead of time, in case this post is not allowed. After taking a few courses at a community college, I've taken the fall 2013 semester off (I was accepted into a university for the spring ...
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1answer
113 views

Is it better to call the doppler effect a change in wavelength or frequency?

Why is it preferable to say that the doppler effect causes a shift in frequency rather than a shift in wavelength? I often read on websites that they define the doppler effect as a change in ...
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2answers
738 views

How is the Schroedinger equation a wave equation?

Wave equations take the form: $$\frac{ \partial^2 f} {\partial t^2} = c^2 \nabla ^2f$$ But the Schroedinger equation takes the form: $$i \hbar \frac{ \partial f} {\partial t} = - \frac{\hbar ...
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1answer
882 views

Equation of progressive wave [closed]

A progressive wave traveling in positive x-direction given by $y=a\cos(kx-\omega t)$ meets a denser surface at $x=0,t=0$. The reflected wave is then given by: I know that since the wave changes its ...
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1answer
257 views

Wave theory of light [closed]

how come light is a wave and how do you visualize it?Why waves are thought to be like sine or cosine function?Also my most important question what is the basic difference between interference and ...
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5answers
865 views

Radio antenna producing waves in the visible spectrum

If a radio could produce waves in the visible light spectrum, what would the result be? This is a thought experiment that I've pondered for a few years now. I realize there are a few/many real-world ...
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1answer
453 views

Huygens wave theory not applicable to lasers or parallel beams of light?

According to Huygens wave theory, every point on a wavefront acts as a secondary source of waves. Using this principle we can never have pretty narrow parallel beams of light right? Like lasers? ...
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2answers
3k views

Optimal slit width in Young's double slit experiment

I'm trying to do Young's double slit experiment at home. Note that I don't have a laser, only a torch. I could get a bulb or use a candle though, if it helps I built the slits by cutting into a ...
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0answers
494 views

The physical meaning of electromagnetic wave

What, fundamentally, is an electromagnetic wave? As far as I know, all wave phenomena are derivations of an oscillating processes, e.g. particles vibrating in a medium. I can't imagine a wave process ...
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1answer
275 views

Is there a way to increase photon energy by decreasing its wavelength?

Can I decrease a photon's wavelength by a medium or a vacuum? Are there other ways of decreasing the wavelength?
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2answers
294 views

What type of electromagnetic radiation strikes the Earth's surface the most?

If you can could you lists the types of light from the greatest amount to the least amount (Ex: Visible, Infrared, Violet).
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2answers
408 views

Dispersion of Probability Wave Packets

A picture in my text book shows a three dimensional wave packet dispersing, "resulting from the fact that the phase velocity of the individual waves making up the packet depends on the wavelength of ...
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2answers
56 views

Where the extra power comes from?

Suppose we have two radio waveforms each has amplitude of 1, then the total power is 2. Suppose these two waveforms add up some where constructively, then the amplitude become 2, and the total power ...
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1answer
146 views

Wave packets Group Velocity

For the the group velocity of a wave packet, the group velocity is the partial derivative of omega with respect to the wavenumber, what does this mean? I thought that for some given wave packet both ...
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1answer
474 views

General solution to the Helmholtz wave equation with complex-valued frequency in cylinderical coordinates

The Helmholtz equation is expressed as $$\nabla^2 \psi + \lambda \psi = 0$$. This equation occurs, for eg., after taking the Fourier transform (with respect to the time coordinate) of the wave ...
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1answer
192 views

Reflection, transmission, absorption…how to calculate them?

I was wondering whether there is an equation that enables me to calculate the reflection, transmission, absorption and polarization, when the electric field everywhere is given? Consider this: You ...
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1answer
60 views

What are the properties of the Electromagnetic wave $E=E_0e^{-i\omega t}$

My question is, whether this definition $E=E_0e^{-i\omega t}$ includes that it is a plane wave, since I am confused by the fact that we do not have any dependence on the position. So about what kind ...
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1answer
157 views

Uncertainty and wave-trains

My textbook and the following extract from feynman's lectures present the same idea regarding wavetrains and uncertainty in their wavelengths. Why is it that a wavetrain confined to some space has an ...
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2answers
324 views

Relative velocity of sound

Relative velocity of sound. As I know that speed of sound in medium is property of medium. And independent of source motion but depend on motion of audience or observer and motion of medium. But it ...
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0answers
41 views

I've been reading that it's possible to create a “mostly magnetic” wave, and I have a few questions

Would it be possible with the "mostly magnetic wave" to have it behave in such a way that it would be undetectable by radio triangulation? I read about the monument at the CIA headquarters that was ...
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2answers
269 views

What is the meaning of “CW” in LASER?

I am reading a user's manual, and the word appears here. At first, I think "CW" means "center wave". But later, I find that the meaning of "CW" is "continuous wave". It makes me confused. ...
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4answers
743 views

Can a wave be two dimensional?

I am having a hard time picturing waves, the image that comes to mind is a bobbing device submerged in still water which generates pulses in all directions (similarly in air). Then how can a wave be ...