Waves are disturbances that propagate throush 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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amplification of magnetic field

can we by any means amplify magnetic signal as we can with electric signal. As both electric and magnetic field can be represented in the form of a wave the analogy seems to be natural. I want the ...
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What happens when a slow wave reaches lower hybrid resonance?

Lower hybrid resonance occurs when $n_{\perp}^2$ goes to infinity, and it occurs only for the slow wave solution, not the fast wave. Since $n_{\perp}$ is proportional to $k_{\perp}$, and $k = \frac{2 ...
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How damaging is light?

On Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman, when talking about the Trinity test, the author states: the only thing that could really hurt your eyes (bright light can never hurt your eyes) is ultraviolet ...
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Interaction of ocean waves and currents

I was on a small island recently near high tide. As the tide started to go out, a tidal pond emptied into the ocean through a narrow channel with a strong outgoing current. There was also wind on ...
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Determine the particle velocity of a pressure wave

I am using constant density wave propagators to model seismic waves in the subsurface. What I want with these acoustic waves is to estimate the energy of them at a certain grid point at a given time. ...
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50 views

Doppler effect- will frequency continually decrease?

My problems: I know that when a person is moving away, the perceived frequency will be lower than the frequency of the source. However, in the question, if the person is moving away, the ...
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1answer
36 views

Energy estimation of an acoustic wave

I have an issue with 2D acoustic wave field modelling. In order to estimate the energy propagation direction of an acoustic wave I use Poynting vectors $S$ which can be described by $$ \vec{S} = - ...
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How do we get a wave pulse and wave packet/train?

Ok, If a disturbance is localized to a small part of the space for a certain time we get a wave pulse and if the source is active for time greater than to complete a single pulse we get a wave ...
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How does a fixed amount of transmitted radio energy supply an unknown number of destinations?

I did some maths and physics up to the age of 18, and hold an amateur radio licence. This thing has puzzled me for a while - does reception of an electromagnetic wave imply an interaction with the ...
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252 views

Can a wave propagate in any substance? Aren't there any prerequisites?

We see waves propagate in air, water, through the cristal of a metal and along a rope. Isn't a wave a wonder of Nature, or is it just a simple phenomenon? Are homogeneity and isotropy necessary ...
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54 views

Longitudinal waves in a large (infinite) solid block

Specifically, I am trying to roughly determine the sound produced by a ball when it hits the floor and bounces. If the ball exerts a pressure onto the floor, then certainly this pressure will go on to ...
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Why did we see intereference from a single point source?

In class we were doing an experiment where an agitator was used to create spherical waves on a ripple tank. I noticed that when using only a single paddle (so a single point source) that you could see ...
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69 views

Distance between Newton's Rings fringes is does not seem linear

On the outer edges of Newton Ring patterns, the fringes are really close together, and much more uneven. Also, the spacing does not seem to decrease linearly at all as you move from the center. Why is ...
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53 views

The inverse square law of sound through solids?

We all know about the inverse square law of sound. In short the power of the wave will get evenly spread on an ever increasing spherical expansion and this will dissipate the power of the wave at a ...
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121 views

Does a square wave “smooth out” in the air?

I understand that playing a square wave from speakers cannot produce a PERFECTLY sharp division between compression and rarefaction. But it's sharp enough to sound distinctly different from a sine ...
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Why can't light penetrate solid objects?

Light is combination of perpendicular electric and magnetic fields, since electric fields penetrate a conductor, why can't light travel in them? I think my argument does sound stupid, but I can't ...
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Since cables carry electricity moving at the speed of light, why aren't computer networks much faster?

Why can't cables used for computer networking transfer data really fast, say at the speed of light? I ask this because electricity travels at the speed of light. Take Ethernet cables for example, I ...
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34 views

Relationship between frequency and amplitude of mechanical waves

Can two mechanical waves carry same energy whose frequencies are different?(assuming same medium but having different amplitudes
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489 views

Why is Huygens' principle only valid in an odd number of spatial dimensions?

Apparently Huygens' principle is only valid in an odd number of spatial dimensions: http://mathoverflow.net/a/5396/21349 Huygen's principle in curved spacetimes Why is this? [EDIT] This is ...
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Huygen's principle in curved spacetimes

Does Huygen's principle hold in even dimensional (2m+1,1) curved spacetimes, or are there certain necessary conditions for it to hold? In other words, if I have Cauchy data for a field satisfying the ...
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33 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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28 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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1answer
81 views

Shallow water wave question from Acheson's book

I am learning Fluid mechanics by reading Acheson's book entitled "Elementary Fluid Dynamics". Below is from problem 3.1. Consider the Euler equation for an ideal fluid in the irrotational case. We ...
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Question on envelope-carrier description of traveling wave

I'm doing a research internship in attosecond physics right now, and one of the really important things in the field is the description of a propagating laser pulse as the combination of a slowly (or ...
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1answer
44 views

Woodwind instruments overtones [duplicate]

When playing woodwind instruments, e.g., flute, if one blows harder, the sound will be one octave higher. Even harder gives even higher overtones. Does anyone know why?
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Where does wave frequency come from

I am trying to wrap my head around where do oscillations in electromagnetic waves come from. As an example if I would take a string of guitar and ring it, it would produce a certain sound based on the ...
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1answer
54 views

Single slit diffraction pattern in 2D

I was looking at previous exams and I saw a question with single slit diffraction. Please look at picture on the website: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=4807732#post4807732 So, this ...
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Double slit experiment with slit material acting as a detector

Suppose the classic experimental setup of the double slit experiment. What is the probability that an electron does not pass through the slits? That is, for every single electron that comes from ...
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It seems that the harmonic (integer multiple) overtones of a sound usually all have the same phase. Is this true, and if so why?

And if you were to give each of them different phases, would the sound start to sound "off", or would it sound the same? All the same frequencies would be present, which makes me think it might sound ...
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1answer
34 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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Sea surfer position displacement

Waves are means by which the energy propagates through a medium (e.g., sea water). This is not associated with a net movement of water in the direction of wave propagation. If this is the case, then ...
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Intuitively proof that intensity of a wave is proportional to the square of its amplitude [duplicate]

Firstly I would like to know if this is valid for every kind of wave, or are there any conditions/exceptions where this is not valid. But the main question is, is it possible to prove this fact for a ...
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1answer
113 views

Why does a minor vertical vibration cause my coffee to spill?

When I walk my kid sometimes I put a cut of coffee in a cupholder attached to the stroller. When I push the stroller over a brick pavement it seems to vibrate vertically. That is enough for the coffee ...
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59 views

Sound Wave out of phase

I connected my speakers to my sound system switching the +ve and -ve one of the speakers I can notice them beating out of phase but how come I don't hear any difference and at what position will it ...
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66 views

Unpolarized Light

Suppose I had a ray of unpolarized light, and I was sitting inside the beam and looking at the electric fields oscillating, then , if I am looking at a point how would the oscillations look like? I ...
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1answer
59 views

Total internal reflection and waveguides

I'm looking at a model of a planar dielectric waveguide along the lines of this picture: For the wave inside the $n_1$ dielectric slab to totally internally reflect $\theta_M$ needs to be smaller ...
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Resonant Frequency & Opera Singers [closed]

Would it be possible under math of strings to note the frequency of each string vibrations? And in doing so, in hand with using the technique opera singers use to shatter glass with their voice, would ...
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72 views

Interpretation of dispersion relation

In my research, I found that my system has the following dissipation relation: $$\omega^2=k^2+k_0^2\ , $$ where $k_0^{-1}$ is an intrinsic lengthscale of the system and the units are chosen so that ...
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Standing sound wave in a wind instrument

So I've had this question bugging me ever since I saw sound at physics class: How is it possible to match the resonance frequency of a column of air in an organ pipe and form a standing sound wave by ...
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Why does wavelength affect diffraction?

I have seen many questions of this type but I could nowhere find the answer to "why". I know this is a phenomenon which has been seen and discovered and we know it happens and how it happens. But my ...
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0answers
36 views

How is the imaginary part of angular frequency omega related to the imaginary part of the refractive index?

I'm trying to find the attenuation constant (leak rate) $\alpha$ from the imaginary part of the refractive index of a lossy material. I have the eigen frequency $\omega$ for my structure which has an ...
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2answers
37 views

Superimposed state vs. zero amplitude state

Two equal amplitude wave pulses approaching each other through some medium such as a string may form a region of zero amplitude when they overlap completely. At this point, the location of overlap is ...
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1answer
34 views

What length should be the gap to block UV waves from the Sun?

The origin of the question is practical, but the theoretical part is interesting too. Let's rest a little bit on the roof on a sunny summer day. We don't want to get burned, so we usually place some ...
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134 views

Compression vs Rarefaction in Sound Waves

I am currently looking into solutions for Sound Classification, and I came across Ludvigsen's methodology (if anyone wishes to refer to it). The problem is that a sample graph of amplitudes in one of ...
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1answer
108 views

Plane wave complex notation

As far as I know, the function: $$ \vec{E}(\vec{r},t)=\vec{E_0}\cdot e^{i(\vec{k}\cdot \vec{r}-\omega t)} \hspace{2cm}(1) $$ is a mathematical solution of the wave equation: $$ \nabla^2 ...
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31 views

Nuclear explosion wavelength data

I am looking for data source (or chart) of spectral data that is being emitted on detonation of nuclear or thermonuclear explosion. Reason I am looking is to see if this data has specific signature ...
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1answer
202 views

Relationship between the continuity equation and the wave equation

What exactly is the relationship between the continuity equation and the wave equation? Suppose $J^\mu$ is a contravariant vector that satisfies the continuity equation $\partial_\mu J^\mu=0$. Let ...
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1answer
43 views

Would half of electromagnetic wave be absorbed on first sensor?

If I would set up electromagnetic emitter that would emit one wave, but while it would be emitting it I would spin emitter 180 degrees at such speed that one half of wave would be emitted in that time ...
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1answer
79 views

How can such a wave exist at the surface of the sun?

Recently, I came across the following picture from NASA's SOHO observatory: It seems evident that this is a transverse wave (mind the ring which is bright and dark). But how can this be the case ...
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Why do waves occur?

I've seen a couple derivations of wave equations, but I was never convinced that waves would actually exist. Consider a spring with a compression pulse in a part of it (that is, assume it has an ...