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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Do water movement in the seashore represent waves? [closed]

I have seen water moving front and going back in the seashore.Do they represent waves?Explain.
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What is the physical meaning of group velocity for elastic waves through crystals?

In a chapter about phonons they define group speeds for elastic waves in crystals as the derivative of the dispersion relation: $$v_g = \frac{d{\omega}}{d{k}} $$ I wonder though how they come to ...
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569 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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1answer
105 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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1answer
1k views

Harmonics in an open organ pipe

How to solve the following question? An open organ pipe has two adjacent natural frequencies of 500 and 600 Hz. Assume the speed of sound in the air 340m/s. The length of the organ pipe is? What ...
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2answers
109 views

Mode of vibration comparing Classical and Quantum waves

I'm now studying Quantum Mechanics, and I took a course on Vibration and Waves last year. I have been trying to make an analogy between classical and the quantum waves. Is it true that both the modes ...
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1answer
210 views

Amplitude and phase in vector wave field

Is it possible to make some separation of amplitudes and phase for a general vector-wave field? For example, like a paraxial approximation of a complex scalar field of the form $$\Phi(x,y,z) = ...
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How do EM waves propagate?

I have read about this and what I surmise is that when charged particles such as electrons accelerate they produce time-varying electric fields. These E-fields produce H-fields and the process goes ...
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1answer
116 views

What are natural sources of longwave radiation

I am studying now the Earth radiation balance and I came across the question regarding the sources of the long-wave radiation on earth surface. The only source of theses wavelengths indicated in the ...
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98 views

Boundary conditions for 2D helical waveguide

I'm interested in looking at standing wave solutions for the wave equation on a 2D annulus, with the twist that the annulus is "streched" in to a helix in 3D, but so that the rings themselves are ...
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Why do longitudinal waves travel faster than transverse waves?

I have learned that if a medium can transmit longitudinal waves and transverse waves, then the longitudinal wave will travel faster. Why is this the case?
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1answer
125 views

Is information about the speed of light hidden in its spectrum?

Can the speed of light in the vacuum (c) be inferred from the spectrum of light? If that is not the case is it possible to tell from lights spectrum that it has entered a different medium, e.g. can ...
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Difference between propagating and evanescent waves

Currently I am reading about super lens and came across these two waves, propagating and evanescent. If a negative index material is used as a lens then both propagating and evanescent can be passed ...
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4answers
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Why is distance between two successive nodes equal to $\frac{1}{2} \lambda$ in standing wave

I'm reading my textbook and it says the distance between two successive nodes is equal to $\frac{1}{2} \lambda$ in standing wave. If $\lambda$ here means the wavelength of the standing wave ...
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72 views

Vibrating system at angular frequency in a vibrating system

Can anyone clarify what does mean the angular frequency of a system in case of the vibrating membrane. Angular frequency is measured in radians per second, what does this have with the vertical ...
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0answers
952 views

Simulating the Interference Pattern of Fraunhofer Diffraction by a Single Slit

I'm attempting to simulate the Fraunhofer diffraction pattern due to a single slit. We know that the intensity at an angle $\theta$ is $I(\theta)=I_0 \text{sinc} ^2(\beta)$ where ...
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1answer
432 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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609 views

Deriving the group velocity of a wave produced by some basic cosine waves with unequal amplitudes

Consider some basic cosine waves of the form ${E_i} = {E_0}\cos ({\omega _i}t - {k_i}z)$ with different amplitudes, frequencies and phases. We know a combination of such waves could result in a wave ...
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29 views

Question regarding waves squeezed

in one MOOC I am taking, the professor had a slide stating "when squeezed into a narrow space wave is amplified". I am not sure I understand what he meant by that, and I am trying to think into terms ...
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1answer
129 views

Plane Wave expansion method

I really don't know if this is the right forum to ask the question...but please help me if you can!! I was going through the Plane Wave Expansion Method Derivation...But to be honest I could not find ...
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1answer
317 views

Work Done by Vibrating String - Without Small-Amplitude Assumption

I'm trying to derive the equation for work done by a vibrating string, but I'm running into problems. The easiest way - the method used by the other question by this name - makes the approximation ...
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2answers
162 views

How do waves meet at a single point?

In principle two objects can never meet,because of electromagnetic repulsions for example if I touch something, I am not actually touching it considering the fact that there is a small region left due ...
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4answers
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Difference Between Fraunhofer and Fresnel Diffraction

What is the difference between Fraunhofer diffraction and Fresnel diffraction? I mean diffraction is just bending of light waves or waves in general around a point. So how can there be two types of ...
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Do Electromagnetic Waves really propagate through continuous Induction?

I've often seen it said that in an Electromagnetic Wave the changing Electric Field component creates the Magnetic Field Component and the changing Magnetic Field Component in turn creates an Electric ...
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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
57 views

Why is a $\pi$ phase added on reflection and why do things change with absorption? [duplicate]

Mathematically, how does a $\pi$ phase shift appear upon reflection of light off a optically denser medium? Why is it always $\pi$? If the medium is absorptive it is no longer $\pi$?
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1answer
148 views

Why linear wave equation does not have solitonic solutions?

As many people define solitary waves they are localized pulses that propagate without changing the shape. As far as I know the same pulses exist in ordinary wave equation ! why should we look for ...
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1answer
161 views

Why does a street light cast a wavey shimmer across the water (at night)

See image You will have to zoom in. Why is the reflection a wavey one? Could someone explain how this is occurring, to the layman, (with the style of feynman if possible -heh) :)
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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
573 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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230 views

Waves produced by a mass of water on the calm sea surface

Suppose we have a parallelepiped shaped box full of water on the surface of the sea. Suddenly the box disappears. What is the shape of the waves vs. time caused by the fall of the water contained in ...
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2answers
375 views

What restrictions on time boundary conditions does it have to use Fourier transform to solve wave equation?

The wave equation can be solved using Fourier transform, by assuming a solution of the form of $$\mathbf{E}(x,y,z,t)~=~\mathbf{E}(x,y,z)e^{j\omega t}$$ and then reducing the equation to the Helmholtz ...
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1answer
317 views

Isn't the front edge of a wave, kind of “information” which travels faster than light?

Considering the definition of phase and group velocities, We know group velocity can't exceed C but phase velocity can be infinitely high. Assume a monochromatic electromagnetic wave traveling with a ...
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230 views

“Complex Variables Method” in Diff. Eq. - Justification and physical meaning?

A common method of simplifying calculations that involve differential equations - particularly involving oscillation - is to replace $\cos(\theta)$ with $e^{i \omega t}$, evaluate, and then take the ...
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1answer
115 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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1answer
147 views

More extensions of the wave equation for dispersion

The Phys.SE question Minimal Extension of Wave Equation to Include Dispersion extended the wave equation for only a very simple form of dispersion. However, what about more complex dispersion ...
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2answers
529 views

Relation between the spin of a particle and the polarization of it's wave

Is there any intrinsic relation between the spin of a particle, and the degree of freedom of it's polarization? does it holds for any particle-wave couple? like EM-photon, ...
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1answer
318 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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1answer
141 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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2answers
674 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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2answers
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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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1answer
134 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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0answers
98 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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1answer
144 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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2answers
959 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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1answer
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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1answer
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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
529 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? ...