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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Close electric field lines in wave guides

In a wave guide, graphics of propagation of Transversal Magnetic modes show closed field lines for the electric field. For example, for a rectangular guide: $E_x (x,y,z) = \frac {-j\beta m \pi}{a ...
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369 views

Confusion concerning the use of wavenumber in exercise about Fabry-Perot etalon

In the exercise we are given that the spectrum of a light source consists of two spectral lines, which both have wavelengths around $500 \text{ nm}$ and the separation between them - given in ...
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511 views

Transparent boundary condition [closed]

I am interested in the finite-difference beam propagation method and its applications. I try to solve the Helmholtz equation. At first, i would like to solve numerically it for the easiest case, ...
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5answers
1k views

Radio waves within an atom

What effect does the quantum world have on radio waves? For example, if I could shrink myself down and stand on the nucleus (or even smaller sub atomic particles making up the nucleus) with a device ...
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500 views

What are examples of Solutions of Newton's Laws that have analogs to Solutions of the Wave Equation?

The idea is to give examples of processes that deal with properties of a particle that have clear wave analogues.
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4k views

Amplitude at distance from source

So, there is a sound at $S$, whose intensity $I$ obeys the inverse square law ($I \sim \frac{1}{x^2}$). At point $P$, at a distance $r$ from $S$, the air molecules oscillate with an amplitude of ...
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31 views

Why does the classical Doppler formula make a distinction between movement of the source and movement of the receiver?

I've tried rewriting the Doppler formula to include only the relative velocity between the source and the receiver of sound waves. However, when I compare the results with the results of the formula ...
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62 views

What happens to Newton's Third Law during the reflection of a pulse from a free end?

Well, it is known that a pulse gets inverted when it gets reflected from a fixed support while the polarity of the pulse remains same when the incident pulse gets reflected from a free end. However, ...
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41 views

Distinguishing transverse and longitudinal from wave equation

Can we distinguish if a general wave or disturbance $f$ (not necessarily electromagnetic) which satisfies the wave equation \begin{equation} \frac{1}{v^2}\frac{\partial^2 f}{\partial t^2} = ...
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43 views

Amplitude at successive wavefronts?

Consider spherical waves emanating from a point source initially the amplitude is A, as wave travels forming wavefronts will the amplitude of each point in all the secondary wavelets be the same and ...
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29 views

How to tell whether a wave is coherent or not? [closed]

I know that coherency means constant phase difference,but how to figure it from equation? Are all sinusoidal waves coherent?
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58 views

What the term 'phase' in a wave actually means? [closed]

I actually want to clear my conception about the phase. I have used it while dealing with wave equations. But could not get the actual significance of it. I have learned that, 'phase is a quantity by ...
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20 views

Do longitudinal waves travel more quickly in denser gases?

I understand that sound waves are longitudinal, and they travel faster in water than in air. However, would this imply that longitudinal waves travel more quickly in denser gases?
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107 views

What is the physical nature of electromagnetic waves?

I've been trying to work out what the physical nature of electromagnetic waves is, since I reasoned that given electromagnetic waves have wavelengths that are given in distance units, rather than ...
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33 views

Waves hitting opening in wall (inteference)

Say you have two openings close to each other in a wall. Why does the length of the openings have to be equal to or less than the wavelength of the waves in order to create an interference pattern?
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29 views

Waves, matter displacement [closed]

When a wave travels through matter, the matter's particles return to their equilibrium position once the wave is passed, is that statement correct?
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32 views

How efficient is the forward transfer of energy in gravity (surface) waves?

Ocean waves (properly categorized as gravity waves since gravity provides the restoring force within the medium they travel) propagate the major part of the energy derived from winds along the ...
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2answers
303 views

Why does a continuous water stream form ripples when colliding with a surface? [duplicate]

I was in the shower one day washing my hair, and noticed that the water falling off my hair formed perfect streams that ceased to break into droplets for quiet some distance (probably about 5-6 cm). ...
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2answers
104 views

Is sonic boom louder than the sounds that a object traveling at the speed of sound makes, if so why?

Here are the wave-front models for both: I am in an introductory physics course. Just learned about this. I am not entirely sure if sonic boom is louder. But from what I saw, it's loudness is ...
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319 views

Is the wobbly rope depiction of a radio wave inherently wrong? And how do vectors of parallel waves align with each other?

I don't have a scientific education, yet I'm scientifically curious. Among other things, I'm struggling to understand the nature of electromagnetic waves. What I have recently realized is that the ...
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259 views

Maximum Penetration Depth for Ultrasound

How do you define the maximum penetration depth of an ultrasound? I'm assuming it means the depth at which the wave has attenuated to a certain small percentage of the original intensity of the ...
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81 views

What criterion did Abbe use?

For a microscope (correct me if I am wrong) the Rayleigh Criterion gives us: $$ R=\frac{1.22 \lambda}{NA_{condenser}+NA_{objective}}$$ But with the Abbe diffraction limit: $$ ...
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74 views

Group velocity and calculating wavelength [closed]

A stone tossed into a body of water creates a disturbance at the point of impact that lasts for Dt = 4.0s. Measurements indicates that the wave speed is v = 25 cm/s. (a) Over what distance on ...
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56 views

Wave hitting a boundary with a mass on it?

If we have a transverse wave that is infinite in the $-x$ direction and terminate by a mass $m$, that is allowed to move in the $y$ direction at $x=0$ as shown in the diagram below: I think we can ...
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2k views

Huygens' Principle During Reflection: comparing wavelets from before reflection with wavelets from during reflection

I was recently reviewing geometric optics, during which I read about Huygens' Principle and how it could be used to prove the Law of Reflection from the "light is a wave" viewpoint. I'll quote what I ...
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96 views

Diffraction grating from first principles

I have realised that a lot of books and online resources fail to give a detailed treatment of the derivation of the diffraction grating interference pattern. Normally only the result is stated. I was ...
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2k views

Smallest Wavelength of light possible? [duplicate]

I was thinking about blue-shifting of light and I couldn't help my self but think about the limits of blue shifting mechanism and since we know energy of a photon is directly proportional to the ...
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43 views

Ray tracing a three-way intersection

I've been studying ray tracing in media with linear velocity-depth functions. One of the key concepts I've come across is the ray parameter, and in particular the idea that the ray parameter is ...
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145 views

polarization of a transverse wave travelling in ionosphere with polarization direction perpendicular to earths magnetic field

Assume a transverse electromagnetic wave entering ionosphere such that its Electric field of wave is perpendicular to earths magnetic field. Now, i read that as it will enter plasma, the wave will ...
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113 views

Fluctuation Dissipation Theorem [closed]

I take this course at university called Waves and Optics, and a few lectures ago our teacher talked about the Fluctuation Dissipation theorem but I didn't really understand it. The math behind it is a ...
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175 views

Calculate signal strength received by an Ultrasonic Transducer [closed]

Below is an image showing transducer A transmitting a signal with an amplitude of 3000mV, I am trying to calculate the amplitude of the signal received by transducer B in mV, I understand that there ...
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481 views

How to calculate the dispersion relation for a wave equation with non-constant speed of wave propagation?

Specifically, it is a one-dimensional wave equation for waves on a string with a non-constant cross-section, i. e. $$S(x)=S_1+S_2 \cos{2x}; \qquad c(x)=\sqrt{F/\rho\, S(x)}.$$ Separating the variables ...
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150 views

Shallow water wave question from Acheson's book

I am learning Fluid mechanics by reading Acheson's book entitled "Elementary Fluid Dynamics". Below is from problem 3.1. Consider the Euler equation for an ideal fluid in the irrotational case. We ...
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1k views

What is sympathetic resonance?

When two tuning forks stand near one another and one is excited, the other rings as well. When high notes are struck on a piano, lower notes are also heard. If I understand correctly, this is called ...
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42 views

Normal modes of two wires fastened together

The problem is to find the normal frequencies of the system formed by two fastened wires of length L, and different mass per unit length. I already wrote the boundary conditions, but I need to know ...
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89 views

Is polarization of a wave just a description of its motion in three dimensions?

Since a polarization of the wave is described by complex numbers, we can try to give that mathematical formalism geometrical meaning. With having two different axes, one imaginary and other real, it ...
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68 views

What is the longest distance over which echolocation is effective?

Some animals, most notably bats, use echolocation in order to navigate and detect the location and size of objects and prey. This usually takes place over short distances. What are the theoretical ...
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2answers
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Why is sound intensity proportional to the square of sound pressure not to sound pressure alone?

I am trying to understand the physical principles behind the sound intensity and sound pressure. As far as i know, sound intensity is proportionate to the squared sound pressure. Can someone explain ...
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205 views

Constructive and destructive interference in De Broglie matter waves

I'm a little confused about matter waves and especially interference. $\lambda = h/p$ The denominator is momentum and is thus reliant on mass. If we assume that the property holds for particles ...
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1answer
412 views

Index of Refraction in Metal: Approximating Complex Perturbation

If you consider waves in a metal, you can write the index of refraction for the metal as, $$ n^2 = 1 - \frac{\omega_p^2}{\omega^2} $$ I am interested in what will happen if the index is perturbed by ...
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101 views

What could be the distribution of an explosion energy of a mining-grade and seismic exploration explosives?

Seismic exploration involves the excitation of seismic waves using the industrially made explosive charges. What could be the distribution of explosion energy of such a charges? My guess is that it ...
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992 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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0answers
106 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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934 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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153 views

Classical wave equation from fermions

Every time there is a classical wave equation, the underlying system is bosonic. For example, em waves are made from photons, sound from phonons (technically quasi-particles), etc. What would be the ...
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58 views

Is there an equation that tells you more about the amplitude of an object which is in resonance?

I'm a high school senior and I have to write a paper about resonance and differential equations. I've been searching the Internet for a long time, but I haven't found an equation that is properly ...
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224 views

Fourier Transform of ribbon's beam Electric Field

I have a monochromatic ribbon beam with $E(x)e^{i(kz-\omega t)}$ being the electric field's amplitude. I want to show that the lowest order approximation in terms of plane waves is ...
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173 views

Physical difference between two different attenuation coefficient functions

The attenuation of a wave through a medium can be modeled by the Beer-Lambert Law using an attenuation coefficient. If $I$ is the intensity, and $I_r$ is a reference intensity, then what is the ...
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282 views

What is the name for the whistling “musical” sounds that change stepwise in pitch when a hollow tube is spun like a lasso?

You have likely heard those sounds, science museums sometimes sell Flexible plastic tubes you can whirl like a lasso. The air rushing by the end of the tube causes these sounds, which are admitted in ...
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104 views

Can we compute the magnitude of the stress caused by sound waves on a wall?

As a follow up to this question, Could we really compute the magnitude of the stress caused by sound waves on a wall? If so, How do we do that?