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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Ripples of flowing water on a smooth road surface [duplicate]

Yesterday some friends and I were walking in the rain. We noticed that, on a smooth tarmac road surface, the sheet of water flowing down the road was forming ripples as it went. Why was it doing ...
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427 views

If wave speed is dependent on medium only, then how to reconcile $v\propto f$?

I have read and learnt in many places that velocity of a wave depends only on the medium through which it travels. It is clear from this that the velocity of a wave doesn't depend on the frequency of ...
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Light Lab Misunderstanding. Please help

For a Physics lab, this question was asked "As you learned, the wavelength and the separation of the sources affect the number of nodal lines produced. Using your results from steps 2 and 3, determine ...
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399 views

How does a longer wavelength penetrate deeper with Rayleigh waves?

I'm struggling slightly to understand this idea. I've slowly been building up an explanation, so at this stage it might be just some confirmation I'm looking for, but also some guidance if I'm off ...
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Circular standing waves musings [closed]

I'm wondering if there is a mathematical model under which particles can be described as spherical waves with he properties that they can move and repel and attract other such "particle-waves" under ...
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1answer
31 views

Electron orbitals and the circular membrane vibrations

I just stumbled across the fascinating analogy between electron orbitals and the fundamental waves of a circular membrane in Wikipedia. Now the weird and arbitrary looking orbitals don't look so ...
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63 views

Watertank waves

Say we have a rectangular tank of water and we push it lengthwise. Suppose the surface stays planar. What would be the trajectory of the centre of mass?
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Walter Lewin's physics lecture 8.03 Waves and Oscillation [closed]

Does any of you have the files (lecture notes, assignments, exams) of Walter Lewin's course on Waves and Oscillations? I used to learn from them and it helped so much. Thanks before
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Can “particle” waves break as ocean waves do?

I have heard about electrons surfing on wake fields which got me thinking. Are there analogs to reefs for these waves and can these waves break as ocean waves do when they hit a reef?
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How do electromagnetic waves travel in a vacuum?

This is perhaps a total newbie question, and I will try to formulate it the best I can, so here it goes. How does an electromagnetic wave travel through for example, the vacumm of space? I usually ...
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Explanation of the waves on the water planet in the movie Interstellar?

We will ignore some of the more obvious issues with the movie and assume all other things are consistent to have fun with some of these questions. Simple [hopefully] Pre-questions: 1) If the water ...
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147 views

about to create a standing wave

I think partial of this question being asked before but I have some other doubts.As shown in this post how to add two plane waves if they are propagating in different direction?, reading the third ...
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374 views

Frequency of Sound Waves

Is the frequency of the echo (resulted from the reflected sound wave) equal to the frequency of the original sound wave?
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The amplitude of oscillations in sound waves

How can the amplitude of molecules displacement be measured in a sound wave? How can the amplitude of the pressure fluctuation be measured in a sound wave? What are the difference between these two ...
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Electromagnetic Waves Speed

What is the relationship between the speed on the electromagnetic wave and the density of the medium in which the electromagnetic wave travel through?
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Between Constructive and Deconstructive Interference

Is there something other than constructive interference, such as a shift in 1/4 λ or 3/4 λ or even 7/5 λ? Because it would not end in a hill or a valley. It would be someplace between. Would it ...
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82 views

The interference pattern of a wave along a line [closed]

Why the answer is B, but not C? Is it true that the pattern cannot go beyond $A_0$ and $-A_0$ at the same instant?
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Why should a solution to the wave equation be finite?

Given the wave differential equation $$\frac{\partial^2 y}{\partial t^2} = k\frac{\partial^2 y}{\partial x^2}$$ Any function that satisfies the wave differential equation represents a wave ...
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What is a wave? What is a particle?

I am reading a David Bohm book on quantum theory. He says the idea that light is both a particle and a wave is incompatible: (1) we know light has particle-like properties through the photoelectric ...
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376 views

How would a sound mirror work?

Context: We all know that by galvanizing a plate with a silver coating, this plate will have a very high reflection coefficient and act as a mirror for EM radiation (not for all $\lambda$ ranges of ...
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What is an electromagnetic pulse?

Is an electromagnetic pulse a plain electromagnetic wave with one peak?
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Can a phase array evoke a standing wave at a focal point that has a much higher frequency that the constituent emitted frequencies?

This is a phased array: How can you focus sound? It can focus many waves of weak radio wave or light into a single focal point that's very strong. Now imagine that we delay half of the emitters by ...
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Is it possible to have both a conduction current and a displacement current at the same time?

According to Ampere's law, is it possible to have both a conduction current and a displacement current at the same time? In the classical derivation of the displacement current using a parallel plate ...
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296 views

Superposition of electromagnetic waves and energy localization

Sorry for the long question. I didn't know how to make it shorter. I'm trying to understand how energy is spatially localized in an electromagnetic wave. My premises are: Electromagnetic energy is ...
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1answer
461 views

Coherence length requirement for interference

One property of light sources that is usually stated, which is of particular importance when trying to create interference fringes, is the coherence length (or coherence time). The equation for the ...
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Why are electromagnetic waves not able to pass through a hole with a diameter smaller than the wavelength? [duplicate]

I am doing research on Faraday cages for school, and I want to know how it works. Faraday cages can have holes in them, and if the diameter is smaller than the wavelength of waves you want to block, ...
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1answer
324 views

Why are there dead zones near an antenna using the sky-wave propagation system?

I have heard in my class that there are dead zones near the antennas which use the sky-wave propagation system. I have also been told that cell phones are unable to receive signal near the antennas. ...
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298 views

Will the frequency of the reflected wave of a moving source be shifted by Doppler effect?

I want to know if there is a moving source that emits wave to a reflecting object like a wall for example, then, will the frequency of the reflected wave be shifted because of the Doppler effect. As ...
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242 views

Problem with sound intensity equation in displacement amplitude form

The sound or wave intensity is defined by energy transfer rate with time (power) per unit of area: $$ I = \frac{P}{A} \tag{1} $$ so this equation makes sense since the denominator is the area of the ...
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Is wave superposition always equivalent to wave interference?

I'm confused when using these 2 words "wave superposition" and "wave interference" since their definition is very similar. So, are these 2 term the same?
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193 views

How does diffraction cause maxima and minima on a viewing screen

I have a problem in understanding the diffraction phenomenon. At first, it is described in simple way If a wave encounters a barrier that has an opening of dimensions similar to the wavelength, ...
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Why is it so easy to create audible sound?

Context Why is it so easy to create audible sounds in life with basically anything? Putting your cup of coffee on a table comes with a sound Turning a page of your book comes with a sound Even ...
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Relation between wavelength and system size

We always say that when a given light wave interacts with atoms bound in a molecule, only waves with wavelength close to the inter-atomic-spacing are able to probe the system. In other context ...
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529 views

Light wave crossing media and the relationship between speed, wavelength, and frequency

There are many threads on this topic (like this one) but one aspect about the equation $ v = \lambda\nu $ still confuses me. I have read that frequency does not change when light crosses into ...
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1answer
74 views

Is there no way to create an arbitrary wave on a string fixed at two ends?

My question concern standing waves on a string with 2 fixed end. As there is one wave created, it will be reflected when it reaches one end and create another identical wave with opposite direction ...
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Does wave interference happen only to same frequency waves?

As the title says, from books and results from internet, I find that examples of wave interference always have the same frequency, only different in phase constant. So, I'd like to know if wave ...
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105 views

The wave function of transverse one is different from longitude one for convenience?

I use the book Fundamental of Physics Hallidays&Resnick 10th Edition Jearl Walker to study in my physics class while I got myself University Physics with Modern Physics Sears, Zemansky 13th ...
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Solution of one dimensional wave equation by variable separation method

When solving the One dimensional wave equation by variable separable method, we equate left-hand side and right-hand side to a constant which is negative in nature. Why has the constant be only ...
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1answer
70 views

What unit of distance to use when calculating power loss?

80% of Earth's atmosphere is within 10 miles of Earth's surface. I know that power attenuates inversely as the square of the distance within the atmosphere so it occurs to me that a 50,000 watt signal ...
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Can polarized light be unpolarized again?

I was just wondering if there could be a process that could unpolarize polarazied light. Is that possible?
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Does rain jam radio signal?

I have experienced several times that heavy rain seems to jam the signal a radio of a bus receives. The only explanation I have is that the rain drops also become weak emitters, if a radio wave hits ...
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99 views

Diffraction grating from first principles

I have realised that a lot of books and online resources fail to give a detailed treatment of the derivation of the diffraction grating interference pattern. Normally only the result is stated. I was ...
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142 views

Coupled oscillators and Normal Modes

Consider we have a system consisting of 2 arbitrary masses and 3 arbitrary springs connecting them horizontally and between fixed walls, and we want to obtain the motion of each mass after we input ...
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141 views

Why does the bass range of phase mismatched speakers show more interference than the treble range?

If stereo speakers are connected to the amplifier "out of phase," one speaker is moving outwards when the other is moving inwards.This results in a weakness in bass notes, which can be corrected by ...
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How do we know that the Fourier transform of space is momentum?

How do we know that the Fourier transform of real space $x$ is the momentum $p$ space or for energy and time, receptively? What's the mathematical process and physical logic?
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What affects the period and the frequency of a longitudinal vibration?

In a lab experiment, our objective is to observe the characteristics of longitudinal waves/vibrations. If we changed the mass and amplitude, I feel that they either affect the period and frequency of ...
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2answers
654 views

What's the physical interpretation of an arbitrary normal mode for masses and springs?

Consider the following system consisting of 3 masses and 4 springs : I have learned that this system posseses three normal modes, corresponding to its three natural frequencies, say ...
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Why doesn't linear wave theory produce phase velocities that agree with each other?

I'm not sure I understand the dispersion relationship for water waves. According to Wikipedia, the wavelength of ocean wave at arbitrary depth is given by: \begin{equation} ...
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Does there exist a hyperbolic relationship between frequency $\omega$ and wavenumber $k$?

As the title states, is it possible to derive a hyperbolic relationship in the form of $\frac{x^2}{a^2} - \frac{y^2}{b^2} = 1$ between frequency $\omega$ and wavenumber $k$ I have tried to start this ...
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Space orientation of light waves

Recently I've started to be really intrigued with the electromagnetic spectrum and bumped into this problem: According to the wave theory of light (or any electromagnetic wave, really), the magnetic ...