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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Relationship between the continuity equation and the wave equation

What exactly is the relationship between the continuity equation and the wave equation? Suppose $J^\mu$ is a contravariant vector that satisfies the continuity equation $\partial_\mu J^\mu=0$. Let ...
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46 views

Would half of electromagnetic wave be absorbed on first sensor?

If I would set up electromagnetic emitter that would emit one wave, but while it would be emitting it I would spin emitter 180 degrees at such speed that one half of wave would be emitted in that time ...
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92 views

How can such a wave exist at the surface of the sun?

Recently, I came across the following picture from NASA's SOHO observatory: It seems evident that this is a transverse wave (mind the ring which is bright and dark). But how can this be the case ...
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272 views

Why do waves occur?

I've seen a couple derivations of wave equations, but I was never convinced that waves would actually exist. Consider a spring with a compression pulse in a part of it (that is, assume it has an ...
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1answer
47 views

Time dependency of the phase of a single photon

I am wondering if a wave packet of a single photon in the time domaine $$ \psi(t)=|\psi(t)|\; \text e^{\text i \varphi(t)} $$ can have a different $t$ dependence in phase than the simple phase ...
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229 views

Questions related to resonance/standing-waves and sound

I understand resonance for a simple harmonic oscillator but not for more complex systems like standing waves. How can I be in resonance with the normal mode in an organ pipe? I understand that the ...
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48 views

Compute impulse response of a cavity for sound waves

Given a (closed or not) surface and a point emitting a spherical sound wave, how can I calculate the wave amplitude in any point of space, considering reflections on this surface ? The idea is to ...
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1answer
48 views

(air pressure and displacement) Isn't this image wrong?

Isn't this figure wrong? P(x,t) = -B(dy/dx) . If the derivative of air displacement has a maximum, then this is where the pressure is minimum, not maximum as this figure suggests. Could someone ...
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4answers
41k views

Can I compute the mass of a coin based on the sound of its fall?

Other day, I bumped my bookshelf and a coin fell down. This gave me an idea. Is it possible to compute the mass of a coin, based on the sound emitted when it falls? I think that there should be a ...
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2answers
549 views

Standing wave velocity

My question is simple: How is it that a standing wave has velocity? I mean, it's not travelling... A lot of equations depend on this concept, for example: $f_n = \frac{nv}{2L}$ Here we're ...
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1answer
79 views

How to measure area under the waveform (electric current)?

I have a current waveform from my circuit which goes up and down the x-axis. x-axis represents time and my y axis represents current. How should I calculate total area under the curve? Should I take ...
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1answer
129 views

What really is a wave and how it is treated mathematically?

First of all, I know there's a much alike question here but this is not duplicate since I couldn't find there the answer I'm seeking. My problem is the following: I know that intuitively we have a ...
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190 views

Particle displacement at a rarefaction or compression

In a longitudinal wave, why is there zero particle displacement at a compression or rarefaction and maximum displacement at a point pi/2 from it? Shouldn't it be the other way round?
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685 views

What determines the speed of waves in water?

While I was walking my dog this morning, I passed over a canal filled with boats, barges, and kayaks all of different masses and moving at different speeds. I noticed that all of these vessels left ...
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1answer
100 views

What can make signal triangulation tricky?

Usually, when you're trying to find a source of whatever signal, you move around the source and then calculate the position using triangulation. I'm specifically talking about low frequency signals, ...
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2answers
152 views

What is the theoretical/intutive meaning of $x(t) = x_0 \cos ( \omega t + f )$?

What is the meaning of $x(t)=x_0 \cos(\omega t+f)$, where $x_0$ is the amplitude, $\omega$ the angular frequency, $t$ time and $f$ the phase constant? I know how to solve the mathematical problems ...
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44 views

Is there a second order differential wave equation that only allows a finite set of discrete eigenvalues?

I tried constructing a second order differential wave equation that only allows a finite set of discrete eigenvalues by using the power series expansion such as \begin{align} A_{j+2} = ...
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0answers
48 views

To find the center of charge in current waveform

I have a circuit for which output current waveform has both positive and negative points. Now I want to get a center of the charge for this waveform (means where my net charge is concentrated ?). Is ...
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1answer
35 views

Does an electomagnetic field “modulate” an electric field?

Lets imagine an electromagnetic wave is vertically polarized. If you ignore the magnetic component, the electric field lines would point upwards from the ground or downwards in a cyclical way and of ...
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1answer
165 views

Wireless electricity through Wi-Fi power signal?

Could there be a method to obtain and send worldwide electricity through WiFi? I mean if we have internet everywhere and only need a WiFi device, can we apply the same to electricity technology? or ...
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50 views

What is being deprived when a photon is being watched in double slit experiment?

How are photons being watched in the double slit experiment? What exactly does being observed mean, as it is obviously changes the state of the photon somehow - it must be depriving the photon of ...
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212 views

can silence happens when 2 sound waves destroy each other [duplicate]

Hi is there any possibility that you located between 2 sound sources and u hear nothing? as we know 2 wave in opposite direction will destroy each other...
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1answer
204 views

Finding speed of light by $c=f\lambda$?

When considering EM radiation as waves it is said that it is electric and magnetic fields that oscillate with time. Therefore $f$ is not frequency of distance but of electromagnetic fields. I have ...
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1answer
252 views

Wave packet in curved spacetime

It is known that the classical equation of motion for a scalar field wave packet on a curved spacetime background gives the geodesic trajectory (the e.o.m. is $(\nabla_\mu \nabla^\mu + m^2) \Phi=0$). ...
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126 views

Transmission of waves

How do you know if a wave will transmit when it hits a media boundary? Will a portion of the wave always be transmitted when a wave hits a media boundary? My textbook says part of the wave will be ...
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2answers
138 views

A strange audio phenomenon, could there be a physical interpretation to it?

http://mathoverflow.net/q/165038/14414 Motivation : Here is a motivation as to why this problem is so important. Let $f(t)$ be an audio signal. We can safely asume it to be bandlimited to 0-20kHz as ...
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130 views

Heat diffusion: evanescent waves?

It has been recently pointed out to me that the solution of the heat equation in a semi-infinite material with an oscillating boundary condition at the surface is not an evanescent wave. The argument ...
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43 views

Mechanical waves edge between material and vacuum

I have been thinking about the propagation of EM waves vs. mechanical waves and some of their odd cases. One such case that I haven't been able to puzzle out is what happens when a mechanical wave ...
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165 views

Are there any substances that allow sound to travel better then air? [closed]

The question is the same as the one I put in the title but here it is in more words. I was wondering if there were any substances that allowed sound to travel more efficiently. For example water is ...
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1answer
68 views

Do eigenvalues in a cylindrical symmetric problem tell us anything about the Fourier spectrum?

During a lecture we were solving the Helmholtz equation for particular boundary conditions, corresponding to different shapes of an oscillating drum, as in the famous Mark Kac's problem ...
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139 views

Doppler effect and light

Approaching the speed of sound in an aircraft is relatively difficult, because the closer you get to Mach 1, the denser the pressure is around you (sound accumulates causing vibrations). Is there a ...
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5k views

Why don't two musical instruments sometimes generate destructive interference?

I'm an electrical engineer, and I understand wave propagation, interference patterns, and so on. But I'm missing something basic, so perhaps my understanding isn't as good as I believe. I'll show my ...
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0answers
55 views

how does different colour wavelength intefere? [duplicate]

Say a red colour with 400nm mixes with blue colour with 700nm, but out of phase by a little. What would be the resultant colour? I would know how to represent the resulting wave mathematically, but ...
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1answer
57 views

Signal Induction in a Wire due to Alternating Current

I wanted to make sure I understand induction well enough. Assume we have two wires running parallel to each other. Wire A has a signal of $f(t)$, wire B has a signal of $\hat{f}(t)$. Let's connect a ...
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83 views

Standing sound waves phase difference

This is a basic question but I don't fully understand what is going on. When we have a pipe in resonance we get standing waves, where displacement antinodes are at pressure nodes and vise versa. So ...
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683 views

Box normalization

Whenever we study free fields, the solutions of these fields (or particles, whatever feels most comfortable) are always given by plane waves. The dispersion-relation $\omega=\omega(k)$ will of course ...
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1answer
42 views

Why would a screen(with touch controls) in a vibrating environment be readable if its refresh rate is dynamically matched with vibrations?

So, I was reading about this Dragon V2 and it has got touch controlled screens, but screen might be unreadable for pilots because of engine vibrations and whatnot. I came across this comment on ...
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555 views

Why Shock wave propagation is faster

From The Blast Wave A fraction of a second after a nuclear explosion, the heat from the fireball causes a high-pressure wave to develop and move outward producing the blast effect. The front of ...
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Intuitive explanation of the waves superposition

When the two waves collide, why do they pass right through each other? Mathematically it's due to the principle of superposition: the sum of the two solutions of a wave equation is also a solution. ...
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261 views

Reflection & Transmission curves of waveguides

I have simulated a grating-coupled waveguide in Comsol Multiphysics, the waveguide consists of 2 dielectric layers and air as the cover of waveguide. I have excited the modes of this structure by a ...
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2answers
106 views

Sound travel problem

Here's an example of my question to make my explanation a bit easier. Say a decent loudspeaker plays a tune at loud volume 100m away from me and another speaker plays the same tune at lot lower ...
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What makes laminar cascade break?

Near my house there is a mall that have a cascade, which has a pratically constant flow, and doesn't seem to have perturbations (at least near the edge where water falls), between its two levels. ...
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873 views

Alternatives to electromagnetism for communication?

It seems, from my (weak) understanding of the standard model that the only field suitable for long range communication is the one we actually use, electromagnetism. (Gravity waves could be used as ...
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1answer
120 views

Question about De Broglie Wavelength

I read that: The smallest wave packet we can build has a size on the order of the de Broglie wavelength $\lambda$ of a free particle moving with the same speed $v$. I haven't been able to find a ...
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1answer
92 views

Pulse Reflection

I wanted to ask why a pulse that reaches to a free end will reflect off and return with the same direction of displacement that it had before reflection. I am looking for explanation with forces.
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1answer
278 views

Electric field generated by a point charge moving at the speed of light

As you see, this is the electric field generated by a point charge moving at constant speed v. I know that when $v$ -> 0, $E$ is just the Coloumb Law. But how do you interpret $E$ when $v$ -> $c$ ? ...
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2answers
91 views

Where can I learn the meaning of variables in a formula?

I am in a low level physics class that is taught in high school. We were given a couple formulas as seen on the board, but I don't know what the variables stand for (their names), and what units ...
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124 views

Wavy stream of liquid

When pouring a liquid into a glass some streams have a wavy shape, like the one in the following photo: (Couldn't find a better picture, sorry.) What causes the stream to be of such a shape?
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Does a light wave that has been cancelled by another light wave continue traveling forward?

I imagine that if a light wave is cancelled out by another light wave, it would still continue to exist as a photon that is traveling at the speed of light--only without a wavelength. Would it behave ...
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Relationship between amplitude and frequency of a wave

What is the relationship between amplitude and frequency of a wave? Some say there isn't any relationship, some say that there is, but from their answers the relationship is still unclear.