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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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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379 views

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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87 views

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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169 views

Ratio of energy of normal modes of string

Suppose there's a wave on a string represented by fourier series: $$y(x,t) = \sum_{n=0}^{\infty} (-1)^n \frac{1}{2n+1} \sin(nx)\cos(nct)$$ I know the energy is $\propto y^2 n^2$, where $y$ is the ...
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117 views

Is there just one fundamental frequency?

I read simple definitions of the terms frequency, and fundamental frequency, which defined them thus, Frequency: the number of occurrences of a periodic wave during a second Fundamental Frequency: ...
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1answer
82 views

Convective derivative of oscillating fluid with bulk motion?

I have a fluid $u$, which comprises a zeroth order constant motion $u_0$ as well as a first order oscillatory motion $u_1$. The convective derivative is $$\frac{\partial u}{\partial t} ...
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839 views

A difference between Plane Wave and Collimated?

Collimation is clearly in reference to ray($\vec{k}_{xy}$ vector) orientation unlike waterfront continuity( $\phi_{xy}$ phase shift) described by plane-wave. Not to say that one is not directly ...
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247 views

Can sound be propagated without initial mechanical interference?

I have researched up a little on sound, and it seems that sound is a mechanical wave that propagates through the air as energy, and that is how we hear it through our ears. Depending on the medium's ...
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747 views

A foundational question about harmonic motion : 2 pipes with different length and frequencies [closed]

How to solve the following question? A pipe open only at one end has a fundamental frequency of 256Hz. A second pipe, initially identical to the first pipe, is shortened by cutting off a portion ...
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118 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
680 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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1answer
126 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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2k 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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1answer
46 views

Varying the amplitude of a driven wave

I' d like to know whether varying the amplitude of a system at resonance is possible or not and if it is, how? I've calculated the resonance frequency of a material and I'd like to know the ...
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1answer
1k views

Factors affecting the size of a shadow

What factors affects the size of a shadow and how would you derive the diameter of a shadow of a circular object on a flat screen?
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849 views

How to determine the direction of medium's displacement vectors of a standing wave?

Consider the following problem taken from a problem booklet. My questions are: What is displacement vector? And how to determine the direction of displacement vector at a certain point? Where is the ...
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1answer
259 views

Definition of energy

What is the definition of energy $E$ given a dispersion relation $\omega=\omega(k)$ where $k=|\vec k|$ and $\omega$ is not necessarily linearly proportional to $k$? What about momentum $\vec p$? This ...
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1answer
354 views

Why are clouds wavy?

Say you're in an ascending airplane as your 10 year-old son asks you: "Dad, why are these clouds wavy?" Now, say you know a little about gravity waves and the formation of wavy clouds(Maybe I should ...
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1k views

How to prove equations for energy of a wave

In my textbook, it says that the energy (I) of a wave, determined by the power of a wave (P) divided by area (A), is determined by the following formula: $$I = \frac{1}{2}\rho v\omega^2A^2 = 2\pi^2 ...
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2k views

Questions regarding standing waves

I have two questions regarding mechanical waves. 1) We know that standing waves are created when any wave traveling along the medium will reflect back when they reach the end. But in an open organ ...
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649 views

Standing wave and energy flux

Here is a problem I have been asked that I do not know the answer. Consider two ideal wave generators (it can be sound generator or whatever) separated by a distance L and facing each other. At t=0 ...
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1k views

Does a cycle (in Simple Harmonic Motion) have to equal 2π?

So, I search for the definition of cycle and I get this in Wikipedia: A turn is a unit of angle measurement equal to 360° or 2π radians (or ...). A turn is also referred to as a revolution or ...
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1answer
141 views

Waves and information

I'm looking to transfer very simple information using audio waves. One of the approaches I'm looking into is using different frequencies. For example, "command 1" will be transmitted using 500Hz wave, ...
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1answer
164 views

Time evolution of wave spectrum

A useful way of thinking (not only) oceanic waves is to consider them as a superimposition of linear modes: the elevation η of the sea surface is given by: 1: $\eta({\bf x}, t) = ...
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2answers
161 views

EM irradiament and multipoles

Why in the irradiament mulipoles of Lienard-Wiechert's potential we say that electric quadrupole give a contribute of the same order of the magnetic dipole? How can we see it from their equations? And ...
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1answer
56 views

Diffraction wavelength relationship [on hold]

This question appears somewhat similar to other questions asking about why wavelength affects diffraction (a concept which I'm still not 100% sure on...) however my query is different and not answered ...
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21 views

Simple harmonic waves

When a simple harmonic progressive wave is travelling through medium,then each succeeding particle lags in phase before the preceding particle.Can anyone expain how does it lag? Thanks…
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39 views

Double slit with opposite circular polarizers

Let's say I'll send linearly polarized light onto double slit but in front of one slit I'll have quarter wave plate and before the other I'll have 3/4th wave plate (half+quarter? minus quarter?) ...
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1answer
48 views

Why do pulses get reflected by a fixed end?

Consider the case where a pulse hits a fixed end. I want to know the physics behind the following two phenomena 1) Why does the pulse get reflected? 2) Why does the pulse get inverted? I somewhat ...
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19 views

When EM waves travel through a material with refraction index n, is the formula $\lambda = \frac{c}{n \cdot f}$ correct?

When EM waves travel through a material with refraction index n, ist the formula $\lambda = \frac{c}{n \cdot f}$ correct? c is the speed of light in vacuum and f the frequency of the wave. Thank you!
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57 views

Complex resonant frequency not resonant without imaginary part. So can I still just take real part as solution?

I am working with a matrix on a harmonic oscillator problem and the lowest (absolute) frequency $\omega_0$ where the matrix becomes singular is the resonant frequency. Now I obtained this frequency ...
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1answer
32 views

LinAc standing wave

I have a question regarding Linear Accelerators (Linacs): Originally, traveling HF waves were used to accelerate electrons inside a Linac. You can see a sketch in the following picture. The further ...
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1answer
59 views

Why does compton scattering provide evidence for the particle nature of light?

I understand that compton scattering is modeled as a collision between a photon and an electron, but why does this conclusively prove that light can act as a particle? Why couldn't the same ...
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1answer
93 views

How physicists explained straight line propagation of Light thinking of light as wave? [duplicate]

To explain the fact that light travels in a straight line assuming light as a wave physicist said that it has small wavelength. So how does the small wavelength explains the property?
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57 views

Intuition behind Airy waves dispersion relation

Using Airy wave theory, one can derive the dispersion relation of water waves (under some physical assumptions): $$ \omega^2 = gk\tanh{kh} $$ where $k$ is the wave number, $h$ the distance from the ...
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33 views

Physics of waves under an ice road

As wikipedia writes, While easier to drive across in the winter than land, roads over water present a great danger to anyone using them. Speeds are typically limited to 25 km/h (16 mph) to ...
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1answer
30 views

What is sound intensity?

In my medical physics book it says that Intensity is 1/2 a2/pc=a2/2z Where a is the amplitude, p medium of density, c velocity of that wave and offcourse Z is the impedance. When I google it it just ...
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1answer
69 views

dynamics&forces of hydrofoil wave surfing

I'm puzzled by apparent ability of hydrofoil to surf [ocean's] wave, as evidenced by this footage. Let's compare it to ordinary surfboard. Let's focus on "static" condition when the board is position ...
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1answer
31 views

Monochromatic light and interference [duplicate]

What I want to ask is monochromatic light necessary for interference? Doesn't interference occur on just the superposition of two waves(any waves)? And Why don't waves of different wavelengths don't ...
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1answer
27 views

The sound energy when two or more objects collide

When two objects collide in an inelastic collision, some kinetic energy is converted to sound energy and heat. How do I determine how much of the kinetic energy is converted to sound energy? Provided ...
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1answer
90 views

Wave reflection, boundary conditions?

When a wave-pulse is reflected such that initially it was moving in the denser medium, and towards the other side of the interface lay the rarer medium, will there have been a phase change post ...
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1answer
45 views

Boundary behaviour of a mechanical wave

Let us assume we have a taut rope and I introduce a pulse in it by whipping one end. Now if instead of a clamp, I have tied the other end of the rope to a denser rope, a part of the energy is ...
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1answer
91 views

An intuitive explanation regarding propagation of mechanical waves

I was studying mechanical waves today and have questions regarding how a pulse is propagated on a string and its reflection and transmission at a boundary and I hope I can find help here. First, ...
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1answer
34 views

Plane wave normal incidence on dielectric, direction of fields

I'm having an extremely hard time to figure out the direction of the $\vec E_R$ (reflected electric field) and $\vec H_R$ (reflected magnetic field) as well as the transmitted fields. I've been ...
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1answer
171 views

How to interpret the complex index of refraction?

The index of refraction which represents how much light gets refracted when entering a medium is defined as $$n = \frac{c}{v}$$ I have seen it stated in several places, such as here, that we can ...
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1answer
53 views

Determining the phase delay between H and E fields

I want to determine the phase delay between H and E fields in a medium with losses and not electrically charged. In this medium we also have $\sigma_c\approx \varepsilon \omega$. The enunciation of ...
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1answer
19 views

Neglecting some wave functions by assuming that the angle between tension force and horizontal is small in the derivation of wave equation in $1D$

In the derivation of the wave equation in classical mechanics in one dimension in a string. It's assumed that the angle between the tension and the horizontal line is small. This is assumed to allow ...
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1answer
45 views

In a lattice, what, technically, are random (thermal) atomic motions?

I'm familiar with normal modes and their periodic nature. And I know that the term 'independent mode' is used to describe how each individual atom in a lattice can move (degrees of freedom). But, ...
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1answer
90 views

How does one measure the phase of a wave?

Given an electromagnetic wave of unknown characteristics, is it possible to measure its phase? Or does it always have to be inferred from interference with another wave (e.g. beating etc.)?
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1answer
75 views

Conventionally, how many amplitudes does a (harmonic) oscillator pass through in one full cycle? [closed]

I don't know the typical scientific convention. My book says there are 4 amplitude. But no matter where I start the oscillator , the answer is at most 3.