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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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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103 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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212 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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47 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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168 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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88 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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55 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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130 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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369 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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103 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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64 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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96 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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121 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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92 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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88 views

Quantum Excitations

In the context of quantum mechanics, is the Schrödinger equation actually describing some sort of an actual wave in some field like light in EM field ? So all particles are actually waves in their ...
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67 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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275 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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96 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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95 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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108 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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561 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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366 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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647 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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268 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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3k 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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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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93 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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119 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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2k 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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1k 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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125 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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270 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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112 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 ...
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89 views

Waves travelling with water flow

Suppose I use a tool to create a circular wave in the river. If there are two fish swimming 1m from the source (2m from one another), they will both feel the wave at the same time. What will happen ...
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550 views

Open Ended/ Close Ended instruments?

Close ended instruments have twice the wavelength, because the wave must travel twice the distance to repeat itself. Why must a wave reach a lower density medium (air in this case) to repeat? When ...
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954 views

How Light or Water Intensity is equal to square modulus of wave function of Light or Water Waves $I=|\psi|^2 \,$?

I've seen the Wave Function as a psi $\Psi$ $\psi$. And always heard that the wave function is the Complex Number as Imaginary and real number. But I've never seen it I've never seen components of ...
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445 views

Relationship between gauss and decibels

In my ongoing effort to understand the world around me, I want to wrap my head around the relationships between two units of measure. Specifically gauss and decibels. The quandary comes from my ...
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408 views

Is there orbital angular momentum for all particles?

Light as an electromagnetic wave can be polarized in different ways, e.g. linear or circular. As far as I understand it currently this can be compared to the spin direction of a propagation electron ...
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602 views

Wave equation from hooke law - simple question

In the paragraph http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_equation#From_Hooke.27s_law it is said, regarding the u(x) function, that Here u(x) measures the distance from the equilibrium of the mass ...
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Relation between wavenumber and propagation constant

What is the exact difference between wavenumber and propagation constant in an electromagnetic wave propagating in a medium such as a transmission line, cause i am a bit confused. Does it have to do ...
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397 views

Testing my understanding of QM - The Double Slit Experiment without the slit

First off, sorry to throw in another question from someone who hasn't studied the maths. I'd like to see if I have a correct (if very basic and non-mathematical) understanding of the wave and ...
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777 views

Radar Frequency Bandwidth

I've come across an interesting question in the course of doing some exam review in a quantum mechanics book and thought I'd share it here. "What must be the frequency bandwidth of the detecting and ...
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378 views

What does transport equation represent in terms of physical quantities?

In my math course we're taught to solve PDE (partial derivative equations) like transport equation: $$ c\frac{\partial u}{\partial x} +\frac{\partial u}{\partial t}~=~0. $$ If $u(x,t)$ is the ...
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162 views

How colored light can be explained if light is considered as emission of photon?

If light is considered as wave, then different colored light can be explained as waves of different wavelength/frequency. How colored light can be explained if light is considered as emission of ...
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Energy and power in a travelling sinusoidal wave

This stuff is driving me crazy. Here: http://galileo.phys.virginia.edu/classes/152.mf1i.spring02/AnalyzingWaves.htm I found that the average kinetic energy per unit length is: $$ \frac{1}{4}\mu ...
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How to arrange a 3d cymatics experiment?

Various researchers have filmed levitating polystyrene using sound waves. If i were to take 3 speakers and attempt to visualize the standing wave fields formed by the three speakers, how would i do ...
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22 views

Why a wave, travelling in a lighter medium, inverts upon reflection from an interface of a denser medium? [duplicate]

As exactly the title says: Why a wave, traveling in a lighter medium, inverts upon reflection from an interface of a denser medium ? What are the things that go on at the interface ?
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24 views

Gaussian profile-plane wave

Simple question: How does the following wave look like? $$ U(x,y,z,t) = U_0e^{-\frac{x^2+y^2}{2\sigma^2}}e^{ikz}e^{-i\omega t} $$ Is it a plane wave? How does this propagate in space? What is the ...
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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 ...