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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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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658 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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369 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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391 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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516 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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194 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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542 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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222 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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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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199 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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430 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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340 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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4answers
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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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679 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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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
115 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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453 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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229 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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952 views

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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4answers
465 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
310 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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1answer
112 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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108 views

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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157 views

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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180 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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204 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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57 views

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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208 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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83 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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188 views

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 ...
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72 views

Relationship between tones made by a piano

If a piano were to be tuned perfectly with the equal temperament system, what would be the relationship between standing waves from one note to the next? How would the frequency and wavelength of ...
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1answer
76 views

Energy in a wind instrument?

My physics teacher said that he saw a guy playing a very large wind instrument on TV, and the guy apparently calculated that the total energy present in the instrument when he was playing was almost ...
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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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128 views

3D interference visualisation software

We are searching for a software program that simply helps us to visualize in 3D the interference of planar waves of multiple sources (frequencies) and as sepctrum on a wall. Something like a well ...
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130 views

What's the physical interpretation of constants in Laplace equation and diffusion equation?

What's the physical interpretation of constants in wave equation and diffusion equation? $$u_{tt}=c^2u_{xx},$$ $$u_{t}=ku_{xx}.$$ Please introduce some reference about mathematical modeling of ...
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958 views

How is a one position shift of an interferometer fringe pattern defined?

When Michelson and Morley conducted their 1887 interferometer experiment, they were expecting a fringe pattern shift of 0.4 (see the chart at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelson-Morley_experiment). ...
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Bass and Treble-Car Steroes

In a car which phenomenon, diffraction or the resonant frequency of the car, lends itself more to the ability of bass to go farther? Related Answer: Why do bass tones travel through walls?
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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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3answers
198 views

Are waves on water an example of gauge invariance?

So: Is the close similarity of small waves crossing water of varying depths ("depth potentials") an example of an approximate gauge invariance? If so, do other "only the surface dynamics matter" ...
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3answers
234 views

Dispersion-less media

As far as I know, vacuum is the only dispersion free medium for electromagnetic waves. This makes me wonder if there are any other dispersion free media for these waves? (Experimentally established or ...
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1answer
580 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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1answer
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A Doppler Effect problem with a moving medium

I tried solving the following question and started having multiple doubts: Two cars A and B are moving towards each other with some speed $25$ m/s. Wind is blowing with speed $5$ m/s in the ...
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A Musical Pathway

Using a small number of sound emitters, could you create a room where certain nodes emitted particular tones, but no meaningful sound was heard anywhere else. So, for example, by walking down a ...