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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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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133 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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646 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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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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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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132 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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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
140 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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888 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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1k 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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291 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
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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
507 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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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
640 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
359 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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389 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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507 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
58 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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191 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
535 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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215 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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196 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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415 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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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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325 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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981 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 ...
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644 views

Blocking an IR camera [closed]

What kind of material would be best to block an IR camera? Would Silicon work? (e.g the Silicon typically used in iPhone cases) Rather than covering the object/subject, I'm interested in fully ...
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0answers
115 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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2answers
114 views

Do all impacts create a wave-like disturbance in the medium through which they travel?

There is a scene in the first Matrix movie, where a helicopter strikes a skyscraper. The most interesting part is the 'slow-motion' bit where, as the helicopter strikes the building, a wave first ...
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442 views

Diffraction and waves

Sorry about my poorly worded question as i'm not to good at explaining but bare with me so here i go. Does sound come as straight lines like ||||| and become diffracted into curves when it passes ...
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2answers
226 views

Spherical Waves-Strength at close distances

If the amplitude dies off as the radius squared, what happens in areas very close to the source? It would have nearly infinite strength. How is this treated?
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why does the phase change when wave reflects from rigid boundary [duplicate]

when the wave is reflected from open end there is no phase change but when it reflects from the rigid surface its phase changes. in open surface its phase change is 0 and in rigid surface its phase ...
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FFT distortion, harmonics (singing wine glass)

I'm doing a school assignment on Singing Wine glasses (you rub the rim of the wine glass with a wet finger and it produces a pure tone). I have recorded $30\,\text{ms}$ of the "singing" at a sampling ...
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448 views

Nonlinear waves superposition

Non-linear waves do not superimpose to each other, but why? What characteristics give this property?
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1answer
303 views

Is sound relative?

Is sound relative? For example, if I and my friend are having a ride at 1000 mph and I shout towards him (speed of sound 700 mph). What would happen? Will the speed of the sound relative to the ...
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110 views

Ocean waves, and surfing

If waves only move up and down, why is it that in the ocean you can move forward along a wave? I suppose it's a bit different then a normal wave because you have the action of the crest falling down, ...
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Cross-section of a wave packet

In text books, wave packets are one-dimensional drawings. But we live in a three-dimensional world. Suppose a wave packet from a HI-cloud (frequency 1420 MHz) is approaching the earth, distance about ...
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Frequency calculator

I have a bunch of readings of a wave consisting of volts and time. I need to calculate the frequency of the biggest wave, but i'm not sure exactly how. From what I've researched I'm thinking I need to ...
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how to add two plane waves if they are propagating in different direction?

In the undergraduate course about the wave, there stated for two harmonic waves propagating in opposite direction, then the resulting wave will be a standing wave. In math, it is like $$y_1 = ...
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178 views

physical difference between A and B

We all know that when we say A it sounds different than when we say B. I was wondering what exactly can be the difference between saying A and B in terms of physics. I first thought that it may due ...
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202 views

about laser wavelength and wave form

I watched a short introduction video online. There are few concepts which are a bit confusing. 1) The video said the laser is single mode (monochromatic), the wavelength is 780nm, so what is that ...
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is it possible to load a transversal wave with a longitudinal wave

like in communication engineering for sending information what we do, we take a high frequency carrier and modulate it with the message signal so can we do the same thing like take a high ...
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202 views

Can we see light as it 'interferes' with itself and produces the characteristic double-slit pattern?

This TED talk suggests that we can now watch as a beam of light propagates through a bottle filled with water. My question is: can we use this new technology to perhaps 'see' the photon as it makes ...
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Understanding formula for wave displacement

I have a brief question regarding the formula for wave displacement that I've just encountered. My textbook says: For a simple plane wave, we have, for a simple harmonic with displacement $u$: $$u ...
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1answer
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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82 views

antiferromagnetic spin wave

I have a hamiltonian that is derived from a spin wave energy dispersion calculation for a nearest neighbor interacting cubic antiferromagnet. After a Holstein-Primakoff transformation and making a ...
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Electromagnetic wave propagation through two lossless dielectrics

In Elements of Electromagnetics (Sadiku, 3rd edition, Section 10.8), the author says to consider two lossless dielectric materials joined at an interface $z=0$. Here two lossless dielectric materials ...
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Why are particles in harmonic motion in normal modes?

Why do we assume that in normal modes, particles oscillate in form cos (wt) ? How do we know that the general motion of particles can be expressed as a superposition of normal modes? In both French ...