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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Reflected and refracted light have same frequency as that of the incident light frequency. Why?

My text book says- When a monochromatic light is incident on a surface separating two media, the refracted and reflected light both have the same frequency as the incident frequency. Can anyone ...
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21 views

Resolving multipath interference when modelling radio wave propagation

I am creating a raytracer to model the propagation of radio waves from a simple router. I am assuming that the rays have a frequency of 2.4GHz and a velocity of the speed of light. The router has an ...
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3answers
92 views

What is meant by phase, phase difference, in (and out of) phase in wave terminology?

What is meant by phase, phase difference, in (and out of) phase in wave terminology? How do you get the relation $$y=A\sin(\omega t + \phi)?$$ Since the graph of sin function is identical to that of a ...
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2answers
59 views

The Frequency of a Trill

My music teacher recently pointed out to me that, when performing a trill (alternating between two notes very quickly) the finger for the higher note should be placed slightly lower on the string than ...
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1answer
50 views

Why can't we define a unique wavelength for a short wave train? [duplicate]

Here we encounter a strange thing about waves; a very simple thing . . .namely, we cannot define a unique wavelength for a short wave train. Such a wave train does not have a definite wavelength; ...
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1answer
141 views

Are reflection and transmission coefficents real or complex?

Is it common practice to give reflection and transmission coefficients as the ratio of the respective waves with respect to the incident wave when written in complex form or real form? I have seen ...
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1answer
35 views

Can ultrasonic signal be guided through a tube?

I have an industrial application using an ultrasonic sensor to detect whether transparent film is present in a plastic ring. Ring minimum diameter is > 30mm. Sensing distance is 90mm. Sensor ...
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2answers
104 views

Why does light travel as waves? [duplicate]

Why does light travel as waves instead of say just a straight line? What are the forces that make a light photon travel in a wavelike pattern?
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21 views

standing wave formation in a string of varying density

What will be the condition of standing wave formation in a string fixed at both end if density of string is uniformly increasing ?
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56 views

ratio between conduction current and displacement current

First, recall that Maxwell displacement current for a plane wave is $$ \vec j_D = \epsilon \partial_t \vec E = \epsilon \partial_t (\vec E_o cos(\vec k \cdot \vec r - \omega t)) = \epsilon \omega ...
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28 views

Does superposition principle apply to the velocity of each particle in a wave?

Superposition principle can be applied to find the net displacement of a particle when two waves interfere. But can it be applied in case of velocity? If so, then what happens to the velocity of the ...
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19 views

Can a patterned microwave beam with alternating frequencies be created?

Is there a way to create a patterned microwave beam with alternating frequencies such that, in the far field, from top to bottom of beam, there is repeated pattern of Wavelength one, Wavelength two, ...
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5answers
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Why are electromagnetic waves called waves even though they don't travel through a medium?

If waves are defined as the oscillation of a medium, why are electromagnetic waves called waves as they do not need a medium to travel through?
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33 views

Natural frequencies

It's defined as the frequency that an object vibrates at when there is no driving force. What's a driving force? IS the natural frequency the frequency at which the atoms inside vibrate? People ...
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3answers
102 views

Definition of a normal mode?

What is the formal definition of a normal mode for a string? And how does this relate to the definition from e.g. wiki that seem to be applied to discrete systmes of particles only? Also on a string ...
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2answers
62 views

Why do we lose signal in elevators? [duplicate]

Whenever I am talking on my phone and walk into the elevator the call drops as soon as the doors close, and also the WiFi signal completely stops. Why does this happen? Note: I am asking this ...
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3answers
47 views

Sound waves during day and night

A man stands on the ground at a fixed distance from a siren which emits sound of fixed amplitude . The man hears the sound to be louder on a clear day than on a clear night. Why?
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1answer
28 views

Why do dispersive waves get wider?

Consider the two waves $$y_1=Acos(\omega_1 t+k_1 x), \tag{1}$$ $$y_2=Acos(\omega_2 t+k_2 x), \tag{2}$$ where $\omega_i=k_iv(k_i)$ for $i=1,2$ so we have a dispersive medium. Then if we take their ...
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26 views

Is difference in wave number always small?

Over the last few days I have been looking at a derivation of group velocity. The derivation is the one shown in this question Deriving group velocity. I have seen this derivation in many places, and ...
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2answers
90 views

Why do objects have resonance at natural frequency?

What actually is a natural frequency for an object and what makes it vibrate with increased amplitude when coupled with an external oscillator that matches the natural frequency?
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54 views

Derivation of group velocity?

In the standard simplified derivation of group velocity (which can be found here) we use two waves $$y_1=A\sin(K_1x-\omega_1 t)$$ $$y_2=A\sin(K_2x-\omega_2 t)$$ In the proof we then get ...
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0answers
92 views

What happens to the velocity distribution during constructive interference?

Two pulses(one inverted & having velocity in the opposite direction) moving towards each other with same wavelength & amplitude after undergoing destructive interference do reapper. Why? ...
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1answer
231 views

Why can't transverse waves travel through a liquid?

Can someone explain why a longitude wave can pass through the liquid, but a transverse wave can't. And can someone recommend some good animation of these processes.
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1answer
36 views

Why doesn't the speed of the wind have an effect on the apparent frequency?

A boy is standing in front of stationary train. The train blows a horn of $400Hz$ frequency . If the wind is blowing from train to boy at speed at $30m/s$, the apparent frequency of sound heard by the ...
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72 views

Mathematical defintion of a standing wave? [closed]

I know that a standing wave is the superposition of two waves of equal amplitude and wavelength, moving in opposite directions. But I am looking for a more mathematical defintion of such a wave. The ...
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4answers
103 views

Energy of a wave and Planck formula

Especially from this post I understand that the energy of a wave is directly proportional to the amplitude of that wave squared. Therefore, we can determine the total energy of a wave by summing the ...
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1answer
65 views

Why is it mandatory to make the string taut/stretched for sending pulse/wave?

In order to send a pulse and to propagate it, the string must be under tension.$^\text{1}$ Why is the tension necessary? Why should the string be stretched/taut for the transmission of the pulse? ...
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31 views

Fresnel equations of S and T waves and Isofrequecy Curves: Feeling confused

First of all sorry for my (probably) bad english. I've been studying propagation of light in anisotropic media from the Born and Wolf and from Landau "electrodynamics in continuous media" and I'm ...
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27 views

Will a longitudinal wave propagate “forever” in a tube?

I understand that the wave will lose energy due to "friction" between the, lets say, water molecules, but in my mind at least the biggest loss of energy in a wave is normally the dispersion of it. ...
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1answer
92 views

What sort of waves are produced by tuning forks?is it transverse, longitudinal or both?

We often know tuning forks are used to to produce wave in various experiments that we do in lab. but the matter of concern is what sort of waves are produced by it? is it transverse, longitudinal or ...
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1answer
60 views

Mechanism of propagation of pulse in a string

If you give one end of a stretched string a single up-and-down jerk, a wave in the form of a single pulse travels along the string. This pulse & its motion can occur because the string is under ...
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19 views

Equivalency of Q Factor Definitions

The Q factor is defined (seemingly) as $$Q=2\pi\frac{\mathrm{energy \, \, stored}}{\mathrm{energy \, \,dissipated \, \, per \, \, cycle}}$$ however on Wikipedia is says that the Q factor can be ...
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46 views

In Young's double slit experiment how can we determine the shape of fringes formed?

Does the shape of fringe change if the type of source is changed (point source or extended source) or if the relative position of slits is changed (both lie on a line either horizontal or vertical to ...
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25 views

Non-linearity of a guitar pickup

I basically understand induction and why a pickup generates a signal. (From: http://www.brighthubengineering.com/consumer-appliances-electronics/64277-the-physics-behind-the-electric-guitar/) What ...
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Can light emit light?

How and why does the Huygens principle really work? I mean, does it always work? The Huygens principle: Every point on a wave-front may be considered a source of secondary spherical wavelets ...
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Field Vectors and satisfying Maxwell's equations

If I have an electric field that its direction is parallel to the direction of the wave propagation, it will not satisfy Gauss's law for vacuum. However we can say it satisfies Gauss's law for ...
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1answer
21 views

Why do circular “snowrafts” form on a lake during a blizzard?

I was just out walking along Lake Michigan during a snowstorm and I noticed that the snow was clumping into these interesting circular "snowrafts". They all seem to be about 6 to 10 feet across with a ...
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1answer
71 views

Diffraction grating problem [closed]

We have 8 slits, each separated from its neighbour by $ 0.05$mm. We use light of wavelength $576$nm. The problem is to calculate at what angle the first minimum occurs. The answer is given: ...
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75 views

What is a full cycle in damped oscillation?

Maybe it seems a dumb question, but I can't understand what the cycle in a damped oscillation is? Let's take an example: In harmonic motion, one cycle is the smallest distinguishable part of wave ...
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1answer
85 views

Why is beat described as a “relatively slow amplitude-modulation of oscillation”?

Excerpts from A.P.French's Vibrations & Waves: . . . It may be seen that the combined displacement can be fitted within an envelope defined by the pair of equations$$ x = 2\mathit{A} ...
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136 views

Natural Frequency of an object and the phenomenon of resonance!

I have read about the term natural frequency in quite a lot of places. But I haven't found an explanation as to what is vibrating. It was pretty awkward when I couldn't clearly answer my little sister ...
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187 views

Huygens' Principle and Ocean Waves

Ocean waves can travel in any direction, but waves breaking on the sea-shore are usually approximately parallel to the line of the beach. How can Huygens' principle explain this phenomenon? Does it ...
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1answer
70 views

Longitudinal Waves - how velocity varies with density

The formula for finding the velocity of a longitudinal wave, such as a sound wave, is: $$v = \sqrt{\frac{E}{\rho}}$$ Where $v$ represents the velocity, $E$ represents the elasticity of the medium, and ...
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97 views

Confusion in understanding the concept of beats

. . .it is the combined vibration or disturbance basically having the average of the combining frequencies, but with an amplitude that varies periodically with time-one cycle of this variation ...
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51 views

In order for the occurence of beat, why is it compulsory that $|{\omega_2 - \omega_1}| \ll \omega_1 + \omega_2$?

As A.P.French in Vibrations and Waves writes, The beating effect is most easily analyzed if we consider the addition of two SHM's of equal amplitude: $$ \mathbf{x_1} = \mathrm{A} \cos{\omega_1 .t} ...
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71 views

Relation between sound waves and air molecules

The following was written in my book When sound waves travel in air, air molecules do not move. When wind blows,air molecules move. This produces variation in velocity of sound waves. The first ...
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13 views

how to measure the wave emitted from some particles after input sine wave into the particle

which waves can be input into the particle? is it sine wave? is the wave emitted from the particle after input wave into the particle different? if want to measure the output wave, how to use math ...
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48 views

How much energy and momentum is carried by a mechanical wave?

Let's assume there is a wave spreading across in a substance. Described by some partial differential equation. How can I calculate the momentum and energy carried by this wave? Or maybe the energy and ...
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1answer
124 views

What is the advantage of using exponential function over trigonometric function in analyzing waves?

A.P.French in his book Vibrations and Waves writes: . . . Why should the exponential function be such an important contribution to the analysis of vibrations? The prime reason is the special ...
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Physical intuition for the solutions of the wave equation

I have been studying the wave equation in $\mathbb{R}^n$ for the cases $n=1,2$ and $3$. In the three cases, working all over $\mathbb{R}^n$. That is: $u_{tt}(x,t)=c^2 u(x,t)$ for $x \in ...