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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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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65 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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33 views

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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2answers
76 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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1answer
54 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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44 views

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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7answers
4k views

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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36 views

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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1answer
40 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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1answer
40 views

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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358 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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1answer
38 views

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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1answer
125 views

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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105 views

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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97 views

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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2answers
65 views

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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2answers
93 views

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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3answers
761 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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1answer
79 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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1answer
58 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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30 views

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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1answer
144 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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2answers
73 views

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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1answer
69 views

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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2answers
58 views

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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1answer
955 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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1answer
347 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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1answer
52 views

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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41 views

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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2answers
219 views

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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1answer
50 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 ...
4
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1answer
91 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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2answers
38 views

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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1answer
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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2answers
120 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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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
66 views

Finding the speed of a standing wave from a graph?

I am supposed to find the wave speed of a standing wave from a graph of frequency vs linear density, and I'm not exactly sure how. Any help would be great, thanks.
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1answer
108 views

Why doesn't amplitude affect the speed of sound?

I understand why amplitude doesn't affect the speed of the sound AFTER the 'leading compression'. The extra force provided on one stage of the cycle is countered on the other stage. But shouldn't the ...
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1answer
38 views

String vibration

In many textbooks an illustration of a vibrating string at a fundamental mode shown (and wikipedia) shown like this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Standing_waves_on_a_string.gif). However if you ...
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1answer
159 views

What is sympathetic resonance?

When two tuning forks stand near one another and one is excited, the other rings as well. When high notes are struck on a piano, lower notes are also heard. If I understand correctly, this is called ...
2
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1answer
62 views

Light Waves and Light Photons gedanken Experiment

Suppose you have a source of light that emits light with a wavelength of 2 meters, and you set the device to be turned on and switched off alternately. You also set it so that each interval the device ...
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74 views

Instantaneous displacement of a traveling sine wave with an undisturbed starting condition

The equation for the instantaneous displacement of a traveling wave at time $t$, and at any position $x$ along the wave is: $$y(x,t) = A_{max}\sin(kx +\omega t + \phi)$$ But this is only valid ...
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1answer
49 views

Ratio of energy of normal modes of string

Suppose there's a wave on a string represented by fourier series: $$y(x,t) = \sum_{n=0}^{\infty} (-1)^n \frac{1}{2n+1} \sin(nx)\cos(nct)$$ I know the energy is $\propto y^2 n^2$, where $y$ is the ...
2
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0answers
28 views

Normal modes of two wires fastened together

The problem is to find the normal frequencies of the system formed by two fastened wires of length L, and different mass per unit length. I already wrote the boundary conditions, but I need to know ...
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2answers
98 views

Is light electromagnetic waves or quantumn particle waves? [duplicate]

Is light electromagnetic waves or quantum physical particle waves. Or are they the same? Note: My question is specifically how electromagnetism plays into the quantum physics and the double slit ...
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6answers
463 views

How do traveling waves pass through a standing wave node, if the node doesn't move?

I'm having trouble with the explanation that a standing wave in a string is the superposition of traveling waves. The nodes in the diagram above are points where the particles of the string's ...
2
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2answers
56 views

Static wave's equation

In my book equation for two advanced wave which created this static wave are $$y_1=asin{\frac{2\pi}{\lambda}(vt+x)} $$ $$y_2=asin{\frac{2\pi}{\lambda}(vt-x)} $$ and equation for static wave is ...
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0answers
30 views

Is light and sound waves interconvertible? [duplicate]

Light is produced when an air bubble underwater is collapsed with sound wave. Why does it happen so?
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1answer
57 views

Interference - the shortest way from the point of constructive one to the point of destructive one

So this is a problem from Polish maturity exam. The image shows 2 speakers (G1, G2) and point B. The wavelength of sound coming from both speakers is 0.155 m, and the wave coming from both speakers ...
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1answer
97 views

Baker and Copson “The Mathematical Theory of Huygens Principle” 1987 page 17

In Baker and Copson "The Mathematical Theory of Huygens Principle" page 17, how is this equation derived (after the first paragraph): $ R_0 r sin(\theta) d\theta = R dR $ I don't even know where ...