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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Particle displacement at a rarefaction or compression

In a longitudinal wave, why is there zero particle displacement at a compression or rarefaction and maximum displacement at a point pi/2 from it? Shouldn't it be the other way round?
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What determines the speed of waves in water?

While I was walking my dog this morning, I passed over a canal filled with boats, barges, and kayaks all of different masses and moving at different speeds. I noticed that all of these vessels left ...
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62 views

What can make signal triangulation tricky?

Usually, when you're trying to find a source of whatever signal, you move around the source and then calculate the position using triangulation. I'm specifically talking about low frequency signals, ...
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What is the theoretical/intutive meaning of $x(t) = x_0 \cos ( \omega t + f )$?

What is the meaning of $x(t)=x_0 \cos(\omega t+f)$, where $x_0$ is the amplitude, $\omega$ the angular frequency, $t$ time and $f$ the phase constant? I know how to solve the mathematical problems ...
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Is there a second order differential wave equation that only allows a finite set of discrete eigenvalues?

I tried constructing a second order differential wave equation that only allows a finite set of discrete eigenvalues by using the power series expansion such as \begin{align} A_{j+2} = ...
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To find the center of charge in current waveform

I have a circuit for which output current waveform has both positive and negative points. Now I want to get a center of the charge for this waveform (means where my net charge is concentrated ?). Is ...
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33 views

Does an electomagnetic field “modulate” an electric field?

Lets imagine an electromagnetic wave is vertically polarized. If you ignore the magnetic component, the electric field lines would point upwards from the ground or downwards in a cyclical way and of ...
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18 views

Transmission Line above infinite plane connected by impedance line - Is my drawing correct?

Okay, I was doing a question on transmission lines. The setup is a wire placed at distance $d$ above an infinite conducting plane. The impedance of such a line is $Z_0$. Then there is an impedance ...
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1answer
57 views

Wireless electricity through Wi-Fi power signal?

Could there be a method to obtain and send worldwide electricity through WiFi? I mean if we have internet everywhere and only need a WiFi device, can we apply the same to electricity technology? or ...
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What is being deprived when a photon is being watched in double slit experiment?

How are photons being watched in the double slit experiment? What exactly does being observed mean, as it is obviously changes the state of the photon somehow - it must be depriving the photon of ...
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can silence happens when 2 sound waves destroy each other [duplicate]

Hi is there any possibility that you located between 2 sound sources and u hear nothing? as we know 2 wave in opposite direction will destroy each other...
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63 views

Finding speed of light by $c=f\lambda$?

When considering EM radiation as waves it is said that it is electric and magnetic fields that oscillate with time. Therefore $f$ is not frequency of distance but of electromagnetic fields. I have ...
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110 views

Wave Packet in Curved Spacetime

It is known that the classical equation of motion for a scalar field wave packet on a curved spacetime background gives the geodesic trajectory (the e.o.m. is $(\nabla_\mu \nabla^\mu + m^2) \Phi=0$). ...
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Transmission of waves

How do you know if a wave will transmit when it hits a media boundary? Will a portion of the wave always be transmitted when a wave hits a media boundary? My textbook says part of the wave will be ...
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99 views

A strange audio phenomenon, could there be a physical interpretation to it?

http://mathoverflow.net/q/165038/14414 Motivation : Here is a motivation as to why this problem is so important. Let $f(t)$ be an audio signal. We can safely asume it to be bandlimited to 0-20kHz as ...
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53 views

Heat diffusion: evanescent waves?

It has been recently pointed out to me that the solution of the heat equation in a semi-infinite material with an oscillating boundary condition at the surface is not an evanescent wave. The argument ...
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Mechanical waves edge between material and vacuum

I have been thinking about the propagation of EM waves vs. mechanical waves and some of their odd cases. One such case that I haven't been able to puzzle out is what happens when a mechanical wave ...
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72 views

Are there any substances that allow sound to travel better then air? [closed]

The question is the same as the one I put in the title but here it is in more words. I was wondering if there were any substances that allowed sound to travel more efficiently. For example water is ...
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52 views

Do eigenvalues in a cylindrical symmetric problem tell us anything about the Fourier spectrum?

During a lecture we were solving the Helmholtz equation for particular boundary conditions, corresponding to different shapes of an oscillating drum, as in the famous Mark Kac's problem ...
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Doppler effect and light

Approaching the speed of sound in an aircraft is relatively difficult, because the closer you get to Mach 1, the denser the pressure is around you (sound accumulates causing vibrations). Is there a ...
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Why don't two musical instruments sometimes generate destructive interference?

I'm an electrical engineer, and I understand wave propagation, interference patterns, and so on. But I'm missing something basic, so perhaps my understanding isn't as good as I believe. I'll show my ...
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how does different colour wavelength intefere? [duplicate]

Say a red colour with 400nm mixes with blue colour with 700nm, but out of phase by a little. What would be the resultant colour? I would know how to represent the resulting wave mathematically, but ...
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36 views

Signal Induction in a Wire due to Alternating Current

I wanted to make sure I understand induction well enough. Assume we have two wires running parallel to each other. Wire A has a signal of $f(t)$, wire B has a signal of $\hat{f}(t)$. Let's connect a ...
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Standing sound waves phase difference

This is a basic question but I don't fully understand what is going on. When we have a pipe in resonance we get standing waves, where displacement antinodes are at pressure nodes and vise versa. So ...
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315 views

Box normalization

Whenever we study free fields, the solutions of these fields (or particles, whatever feels most comfortable) are always given by plane waves. The dispersion-relation $\omega=\omega(k)$ will of course ...
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Why would a screen(with touch controls) in a vibrating environment be readable if its refresh rate is dynamically matched with vibrations?

So, I was reading about this Dragon V2 and it has got touch controlled screens, but screen might be unreadable for pilots because of engine vibrations and whatnot. I came across this comment on ...
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Why Shock wave propagation is faster

From The Blast Wave A fraction of a second after a nuclear explosion, the heat from the fireball causes a high-pressure wave to develop and move outward producing the blast effect. The front of ...
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Intuitive explanation of the waves superposition

When the two waves collide, why do they pass right through each other? Mathematically it's due to the principle of superposition: the sum of the two solutions of a wave equation is also a solution. ...
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Reflection & Transmission curves of waveguides

I have simulated a grating-coupled waveguide in Comsol Multiphysics, the waveguide consists of 2 dielectric layers and air as the cover of waveguide. I have excited the modes of this structure by a ...
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Sound travel problem

Here's an example of my question to make my explanation a bit easier. Say a decent loudspeaker plays a tune at loud volume 100m away from me and another speaker plays the same tune at lot lower ...
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What makes laminar cascade break?

Near my house there is a mall that have a cascade, which has a pratically constant flow, and doesn't seem to have perturbations (at least near the edge where water falls), between its two levels. ...
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755 views

Alternatives to electromagnetism for communication?

It seems, from my (weak) understanding of the standard model that the only field suitable for long range communication is the one we actually use, electromagnetism. (Gravity waves could be used as ...
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78 views

Question about De Broglie Wavelength

I read that: The smallest wave packet we can build has a size on the order of the de Broglie wavelength $\lambda$ of a free particle moving with the same speed $v$. I haven't been able to find a ...
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54 views

Pulse Reflection

I wanted to ask why a pulse that reaches to a free end will reflect off and return with the same direction of displacement that it had before reflection. I am looking for explanation with forces.
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Direct optical observation of the Arago spot: what would one see?

The Arago/Poisson spot is an excellent example of a constructive interference of diffracted light. In the traditional experimental layout, you observe projected light on the screen. The theory in this ...
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132 views

Electric field generated by a point charge moving at the speed of light

As you see, this is the electric field generated by a point charge moving at constant speed v. I know that when $v$ -> 0, $E$ is just the Coloumb Law. But how do you interpret $E$ when $v$ -> $c$ ? ...
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Where can I learn the meaning of variables in a formula?

I am in a low level physics class that is taught in high school. We were given a couple formulas as seen on the board, but I don't know what the variables stand for (their names), and what units ...
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Wavy stream of liquid

When pouring a liquid into a glass some streams have a wavy shape, like the one in the following photo: (Couldn't find a better picture, sorry.) What causes the stream to be of such a shape?
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Does a light wave that has been cancelled by another light wave continue traveling forward?

I imagine that if a light wave is cancelled out by another light wave, it would still continue to exist as a photon that is traveling at the speed of light--only without a wavelength. Would it behave ...
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493 views

Relationship between amplitude and frequency of a wave

I wanted to ask what is the relationship between amplitude and frequency of a wave. Some say there isn't , some say that there is , but from their answers the relationship is still unclear.
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257 views

What is the difference between a pulse and a wave?

I wanted to ask what is the difference between a pulse and a wave. According to the definitions of them , they are almost the same. In the websites I looked at , the difference between them was ...
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Choice of sign of exponential argument affecting tractability of wave reflection at a boundary

It is possible to show that functions of the form $f_{1}(kx-\omega t)$, $g_{1}(kx+\omega t)$, $f_{2}(\omega t-kx)$ and $g_{2}(\omega t+kx)$ are all solutions of the wave equation ...
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Cavity dynamics from traveling waves to standing waves

This is a question on mathematical physics. The conventional reasoning about the characteristic wave modes in a cavity is to apply the boundary conditions, namely, wave amplitude is equal to 0, and ...
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The wave equation in general relativity, special relativity, and Cartesian coordinates

The relativistic wave equation is $$\square\varphi=\rho$$ where $\varphi$ is the field, $\rho$ is the source, and $\square$ is the D'Alembert operator, defined by ...
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41 views

Infinite plane wave and ray vectors

I want to clear my mind on one basic optics thing: If I have a point source some distance away from a lens, the position of the image formed can be found using traditional geometrical optics ray ...
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87 views

Discretizing the Wave Equation in polar coordinates

I want to discretize the wave equation $$\frac{1}{c^2}\frac{\partial^2\psi\left(\vec{r},t\right)}{\partial t^2}=\triangle\psi\left(\vec{r},t\right)$$ in polar coordinates. I find the following ...
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Snells Law: Does the $k$ vector change on the boundary between mediums?

I was using Waves - Berkley Physics Volume III, and in explaining Snell's Law the author claims that as a wave is on the boundary between glass and air (going from glass to air) that the number of ...
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27 views

Does mechanical resonance of an object changes in different surrounding medium?

When comparing mechanical resonance of an object (for example string) in air and in water, does the resonance frequency changes? My guess is that it does change because the surrounding medium will ...
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113 views

Why can't light waves bend? [duplicate]

Assume that you fixed a speaker to an inclined pipe as well the torch. You can hear sound from the other end of the pipe, but can't see the light from other end of the pipe, why?
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Photons and Absorption

Hello and thanks for reading my question: Imagine we send one photon at an atom, and it happens to be the right frequency such that it gets absorbed fully by an electron in this atom. Obviously that ...