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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Why is beat described as a “relatively slow amplitude-modulation of oscillation”?

Excerpts from A.P.French's Vibrations & Waves: . . . It may be seen that the combined displacement can be fitted within an envelope defined by the pair of equations$$ x = 2\mathit{A} ...
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35 views

Pressure wave in a cup of tea casued by a bubble burst

Assume there is a cup of tea with bubbles formed on its surface by the inner wall of the cup. If one of the bubbles bursts, it causes a wavefront travelling on the surface of the tea. Is this wave ...
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77 views

How to draw waves in X and Y position like this oscilloscope example?

I would like to know how to "draw sound" so i could achieve shapes like the ones in this video: http://www.modularsynth.ru/en/2014/01/24/ed120_chaotica/ I have programming background ( as in: i ...
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30 views

Electron orbitals and the circular membrane vibrations

I just stumbled across the fascinating analogy between electron orbitals and the fundamental waves of a circular membrane in Wikipedia. Now the weird and arbitrary looking orbitals don't look so ...
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48 views

Does Red shift affect electron waves? [duplicate]

According to the De-Broglie Wave Hypothesis an electron can be considered to be a wave. Red Shift occurs due to the expansion of space(Cosmological red shift), which must expand even on the scale of ...
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59 views

What happens in extrema cases of red shift?

Red shift is the increase in the wavelength of an electromagnetic wave as it travels through space. If the wave travels for a time long enough can its wavelength increase so much that it becomes ...
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83 views

Abstract concept of wave propagating on a string

I'm a real beginner in physics with a really basic doubt about waves. Suppose i have a string ( perfect elastic material ) whose left-end i can manipulate ( i can change its heigth ) and whose ...
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39 views

Water wave packet variance

Consider the following quantity, $$I = \int x^2|\eta(x)|^2 \ dx,$$. For $\eta(x)$ a solution to some linear equation, we have $\eta(x) = \int a(k) e^{ikx} \ dk$ where, for $\eta$ to be real, we ...
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90 views

How does a non-diffracting beam form from a converging ring of illumination?

I am trying to intuitively understand the basics of the supplementary text of a recent publication from Eric Betzig's group on lattice light sheet microscopy (1). I am confused by the explanation of ...
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109 views

What exactly is the “coherence” between waves?

I know, by definition, that coherence means that a pair of waves have constant phase difference. What does this mean? Does it mean they always have a 360 degrees, or 0 degrees phase difference? Or ...
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30 views

Intensity of Sound Wave

Is the intensity of a sound wave same at all the points through which the wave travels? The formula for intensity is $ I = \frac{{p_0}^2 }{2 \rho v}$. But this does not make sense to me. Shouldn't the ...
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169 views

Spherical wave amplitude near to source

Let us assume, I generate spherical waves from a point source, of the form $f(t)=\sin(t)$. At $r$ distance, it will be $\sin(t)/r$. Let us take $r = 0.1$ for example. Then, at this distance, the ...
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169 views

How does underwater sound sound?

I have been thinking about underwater sounds (i.e. sounds produced and recorded underwater), what exactly the water does, and how to emulate this effect. Imagine a sound played underwater (e.g. from ...
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89 views

Is the photon first a wave, then a particle? [duplicate]

When the 'photon' is emitted, it would reason that the result of the energy fluctuation that creates 'it' rather is created as an energy wave, which when measured by us or a surface, it 'becomes' as a ...
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122 views

Displacement of an object due to opposite and equal forces acting at different times?

This question is about mechanical waves in solids, the speed at which forces propagate through solids, and the displacement that might occur due to unequal starting times of equally sized forces. ...
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40 views

How you call the constant $\alpha$ within the heat equation in general and in terms of electromagnetism?

The heat equation or diffusion equation does contain a constant $\alpha$. $$\frac{\partial u}{\partial t} - \alpha \nabla^2 u=0$$ How is it called? I'm interested in a general name which can be ...
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122 views

Why does absorption cause seismic pulses to increase in length over distance?

The specific question I'm trying to answer is "How does the progressive loss of higher frequencies in a propagating seismic pulse lead to an increase in pulse length?" I understand how the higher ...
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69 views

Trouble understanding phase matching equation

consider a 2nd order non linear optical material, i.e. a material in which it holds that $ P = \epsilon_0 E + 2dE^2$. In the Born approximation, the non linear contribution to the polarization density ...
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40 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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107 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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237 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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7k views

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.
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79 views

Infinite plane wave and ray vectors

I want to clear my mind on one basic optics thing: If I have a point source some distance away from a lens, the position of the image formed can be found using traditional geometrical optics ray ...
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49 views

Snells Law: Does the $k$ vector change on the boundary between mediums?

I was using Waves - Berkley Physics Volume III, and in explaining Snell's Law the author claims that as a wave is on the boundary between glass and air (going from glass to air) that the number of ...
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84 views

Can the motion of a cracking whip be described as the interference of two waves?

I was watching a whip crack in slow motion and I noticed that the motion of the whip could be described using two different circular descriptions. 1) the user circles the whip around over his head, ...
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65 views

Does sound gets faster when air bubble is supend in water?

Does sound gets faster when air bubble is suspend in water? c = sqrt(K/P) c = speed K = bulk module P = density When air bubbles is homogenized into water the density is lower, so should sound ...
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81 views

Modeling Water Surface Impact

I have a project that is to model the wave equation in a pond due to a pebble being thrown in. The project is quite simple as all we really have to model is the wave equation with an initial ...
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75 views

Standing sound wave tube

If there was a standing sound wave tube and a flammable gas was introduced then ignited, would the combustion be more forceful and more efficient since its following a standing wave, than just a gas ...
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317 views

Dispersion relation for TE and TM waves in general anisotropic medium

I want to calculate the dispersion relation (the relation between $\bf k$ and permittivity and permeability tensors and $\omega$) for a TE and a TM wave with wave vector $\mathbf k=k_x\mathbf {\hat ...
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66 views

Other frequencies in a cavity

This is a fairly basic question but is something that I've never properly understood. If you have a cavity with perfectly reflecting walls, I understand that there are obviously frequencies which ...
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206 views

SIngle slit diffraction and location of dark spots

In single slit diffraction, why (according to the equation for $\theta$) do successive dark spots exist at whole number intervals ($n=1,2,3, \ldots$) and not half? The correct path difference for ...
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88 views

Shaking water inside bowl causes waves but why does the water stabilize?

Suppose you shake water inside a container, then at first the waves goes up and down strongly but they gradually dissipate. What makes them dissipate?
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82 views

Initialize a traveling wave in a 1D gas?

I am trying to initialize a traveling wave for a 1d simulation as one can see from the attached figure. Such that it will be traveling to the right. However, I cannot initialize the right velocity ...
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104 views

Polarization of light

So for my experimental optics class, I had to create a device that would emit horizontally polarized light such that its intensity is independent of an incoming linearly polarized beam of arbitrary ...
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408 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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269 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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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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518 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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211 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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2k views

What is the speed of push/waves?

When we push something it moves due to the disturbance in it's molecular arrangement causing waves. How do I calculate the speed of push/waves? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dnv-Pm4ehFs The push ...
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1k views

Refraction of light and frequency dependence

Why do higher frequency waves refract more, both ocean waves and light waves? Also why is energy stored in the frequency as opposed to the wavelength.
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89 views

How large of a solar sail would be needed to travel to mars in under a year?

I'm attempting to approach this using the identity $$F/A = I/c$$ I can solve for Area easily enough $$A = F(c/I)$$ and I know the distance $d$ is $$d=1/2(at^2)$$ But I'm having difficulty trying to ...
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144 views

Why frequency and tension doesn't change in the two medium?

I am reading a book about wave mechanics. There are two different cord (one light and one heavy) connected together, one person waving the lighter one, the wave transverse to the right from the ...
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875 views

Power radiated by the sun at different locations

I am wondering can someone help to solve second part which extends first part; The power radiated by the sun is ${3.9*10^{26}}_{watt}$. The earth orbits the sun in a nearly circular orbit of radius ...
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111 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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1k 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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4answers
749 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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122 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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249 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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92 views

How to compare differences in waves?

I have a series of waves that I would like to compare to one another. The measurements are two-dimensional with time on the x-axis and an intensity measurement on the y-axis. I'd like some way of ...