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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Can a force applied to a wheel find the fastest way of getting to the other side?

I haven't studied much about this, so if I am mistaken about something please correct me. From what I have seen around the Internet, a force applied to a object takes time to propagate through the ...
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2answers
52 views

Calculating the mass of a wave of water

I am assuming it is possible to calculate the mass of water if the volume is known. My assumption is that doing this for stagnant water, in a container perhaps, is easy. However I want calculate, ...
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“Derivation” of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Ok, so I posted this in the mathematics StackExchange, but got no response. The question I outline below is my textbook's "derivation" of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. The "derivation" my ...
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33 views

group and phase velocity of free particle [duplicate]

If Schrödinger wave equation is for matter waves then for a free particle Group velocity $V_g =2$ Phase velocity $V_p$ But matter waves satisfy the relation $V_g V_p = C^2$ where $V_p>C$ Does this ...
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46 views

Is there just one fundamental frequency?

I read simple definitions of the terms frequency, and fundamental frequency, which defined them thus, Frequency: the number of occurrences of a periodic wave during a second Fundamental Frequency: ...
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1answer
123 views

Amplitude and phase in vector wave field

Is it possible to make some separation of amplitudes and phase for a general vector-wave field? For example, like a paraxial approximation of a complex scalar field of the form $$\Phi(x,y,z) = ...
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2answers
90 views

Which solution to the electromagnetic wave equation is the most accurate model of monochromatic light?

When a photon is modeled as a monochromatic electromagnetic wave its electric and magnetic components are usually taken to be sine waves (for example here ...
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1answer
23 views

Separation of radio frequency [on hold]

In driving due north along straight road driver notices that the radio station she is listening gets louder and quieter as she drives along. Explain this, if she can see two separate radio ...
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1answer
39 views

Reason for the experiment [on hold]

Why is the independent confirmation by separate experiments such as important part of the development of the idea of the existence of electron wave?
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1answer
96 views

Does sound cancel itself out?

If there are two 10 x 2 x 1 foot rectangles in space and they are lined up so if they hit each other there will be no spots that are not hit in the front of the rectangle. Then they are pushed forward ...
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1answer
54 views

Does timbre consist in pitch and volume?

I read that the physical properties of a sound wave correspond to its audible qualities: pitch, volume, and timbre. However, an oscilloscope uses only two-dimensions to accurately depict the physical ...
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1answer
2k views

Science behind the singing wine glass

A wine glass filled with water (approximately half or a quarter), when you use a wet finger and rub the top of the wine glass, the wine glass will produce a sound. I heard that it is because of the ...
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2answers
104 views

Diffraction by a lens

The fraunhoffer treatment of circular apertures yields a diffraction pattern of circles, with the first minimum (dark ring) at an angular radius of $\theta$ where $\sin(\theta)=1.22\lambda/b$, where ...
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90 views

Dispersion-less media

As far as I know, vacuum is the only dispersion free medium for electromagnetic waves. This makes me wonder if there are any other dispersion free media for these waves? (Experimentally established or ...
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1answer
57 views

Why does diffraction depend on wavelength? [on hold]

We've all heard of the diffraction of radio waves over a mountain and the diffraction of water waves through a gap, but why does this effect depend on wavelength? I'm looking for as simple answer as ...
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8answers
3k views

Why no longitudinal electromagnetic waves?

According to wikipedia and other sources, there are no longitudinal electromagnetic waves in free space. I'm wondering why not. Consider an oscillating charged particle as a source of EM waves. Say ...
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0answers
32 views

Is polarization of a wave just a description of its motion in three dimensions?

Since a polarization of the wave is described by complex numbers, we can try to give that mathematical formalism geometrical meaning. With having two different axes, one imaginary and other real, it ...
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1answer
27 views

Modeling Water Surface Impact

I have a project that is to model the wave equation in a pond due to a pebble being thrown in. The project is quite simple as all we really have to model is the wave equation with an initial ...
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2answers
158 views

Spherical Waves-Strength at close distances

If the amplitude dies off as the radius squared, what happens in areas very close to the source? It would have nearly infinite strength. How is this treated?
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2answers
63 views

Why doesn't the magnetic field polarize when polarizing light?

If the magnetic field doesn't polarize does it follow the electric field path of propagation? or does it vanish?
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0answers
20 views

What's the proof that the polarization occur s to the electric field of the light? [duplicate]

What's the proof of the light polarization that it happens to the electric field and not the magnetic field? How did Malus discover that the light is polarized although he didn't see the waves ...
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35 views

Stationary wave on a string

The problem says: A string lies on the x-axis, and is fixed at $ x=-a $ and $ x=a $. At $ t=0 $ we impose a transversal velocity given by $ a^2-x^2 $. Assuming that the velocity of the wave is $ c ...
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2answers
42 views

Do mechanical waves travel in straight lines?

Electromagnetic waves travel in straight lines but do all waves travel in straight lines?
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1answer
153 views

How/Why does voltage reflect?

I'm trying to understand antenna theory again, and I'm again stumped by the concept of VSW (voltage standing waves). I understand standing waves, I remember these from a physics clases, however I do ...
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3answers
78 views

Does interference take place only in waves parallel to each other?

The title says it all but I will add some details. I believe that interference takes place only in waves which are parallel to each other. See the picture to understand what I mean by parallel. We ...
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1answer
62 views

How to “derive” the wave equation without refering to strings?

The wave equation in $3$ dimensions is simply: $$\nabla^2\psi = \dfrac{1}{v^2} \dfrac{\partial^2}{\partial t^2}\psi,$$ and the intuition behind this is that at each point of space with coordinates ...
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2answers
66 views

Why are two voices singing the same note louder than one?

Let's say for example: Two people sing the same note (frequency) and volume (amplitude) together. Why is it that the two persons sound louder than they would ...
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2answers
66 views

Locations of destructive interference for two spherical waves

I have looked at this, but it did not help with locations. Really this just comes down to mathematical manipulation, which for some reason I fail to see. Here is my paraphrased setup: Consider two ...
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General wave equation derived from Maxwell's equation

I need to derive the general wave equation from Maxwell's equation without using the divergence therom (because I haven't read multivariable calc yet!). My physics book gives one but I don't fully ...
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1answer
54 views

How to calculate loss due to Gaussian beam divergence of a laser going through multiple lenses?

To better explain my question, I will need to give a brief description of the configuration used in 2D MEMS switches. So, the next figure shows a configuration of a 2D MEMS switch, a light beam ...
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2answers
35 views

Why a minus in the equation of a paraxial plane wave?

paraxial plane wave = $\exp{(-jkz)}$ for waves propagating to the right I can't figure out why it's not $\exp{(+jkz)}$. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
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3answers
50 views

When polarized light hits a polarizer, what happens to the polarization which is not transmitted?

It is typically said that in polarization of light only those waves can pass through a polaroid which has a plane of vibration parallel to the axis of polaroid. My question is: what happens to the ...
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2answers
279 views

What is the fringe separation in Young's double slit experiment?

In the double slit experiment, a pattern of dark and bright bands appears on the screen. Is the fringe separation the distance between two bright bands? Question: In a double slit experiment ...
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0answers
25 views

Number of wave modes in a cavity

I'm trying to calculate the number of acoustic modes that can exist in a room in a certain range of frequencies. I thought of using the Rayleigh-Jeans formula for the electromagnetic standing wave ...
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1answer
236 views

Deriving the group velocity of a wave produced by some basic cosine waves with unequal amplitudes

Consider some basic cosine waves of the form ${E_i} = {E_0}\cos ({\omega _i}t - {k_i}z)$ with different amplitudes, frequencies and phases. We know a combination of such waves could result in a wave ...
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39 views

Can anyone outline the theory of plane wave Born approximation for direct nuclear reactions in detail?

Can anyone outline the theory of plane wave Born approximation for direct nuclear reactions in detail? Also What are the modification introduced in the distorted wave Born approximation? I was ...
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263 views

First-order wave equation: Why is its presence not common?

The (one-dimensional) wave equation is the second-order linear partial differential equation $$\frac{\partial^2 f}{\partial x^2}=\frac{1}{v^2}\frac{\partial^2 f}{\partial t^2}\tag{second order PDE}$$ ...
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1answer
106 views

Are small speakers inherently limited to higher frequencies?

I am hoping to build a subwoofer using multiple smaller speakers (165mm) instead of a single larger speaker (380mm). My theory is that the displaced air volume is what matters, not the individual ...
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1answer
48 views

Help in understanding the derivation for Fresnel Distance?

An Aperture of size $a$ illuminated by a parallel beam sends diffracted beam (the central maxima) in angular width approximately $λ/a$. Travelling a distance $z$, it aquires the width $zλ/a$ due to ...
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Is the existence of electromagnetic standing waves dependent on the observers reference frame?

If I take two plane EM waves travelling in opposite direction e.g. $E = E_0 \sin(kx-\omega t)$ and $E=E_o \sin (kx + \omega t)$, they sum to give a standing wave with a time-averaged Poynting vector ...
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2answers
53 views

How do the particles in a standing wave vibrate in phase within half a wavelength?

I would like to have a better understanding of phase difference when talking about stationary waves. How exactly are particles in phase within half a wavelength in a stationary wave?
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2answers
275 views

Doppler effect problem with moving mirror

This was the given question: A light beam of intensity $I$ and frequency $f$, directed along the positive $z$-axis, is reflected perpendicularly from a perfect mirror which itself is moving ...
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35 views

Why in 2+1 spacetime dimensions electromagnetic wave (light) cannot be distinguished with acoustic wave (mechanical wave)?

I have heard a saying that in 2+1 spacetime dimensions electromagnetic wave cannot be distinguished with acoustic wave. Or maybe they want to say in 2+1 spacetime dimensions photon and phonon cannot ...
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1answer
65 views

Why is the water on one side of a bridge choppy?

My daily commute take me across the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge on Lake Washington. I have noticed on several occasions that the water on the southern side of the bridge will be quite choppy ...
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1answer
52 views

How could electromagnetic waves propagate through space although they have no electrons?

How could electric fields in these waves propagate through space although in space there's no electrons for the electric field to be formed? is there another type of charged particles that carry the ...
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1answer
38 views

Power of Shockwaves

My question is about shockwaves and their power when they are created/how do they lose their power? Let's say that we have ground 0 with 10 grams of TATP on it. The detonation velocity of TATP is ...
3
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1answer
242 views

Why do we must initially assume that the wavefunction is complex?

The sound waves are real, and they can interfere, so corresponding apparat may be used in quantum mechanics. We also may use the time dependence in a form of orthogonal matrix multiplying the initial ...
3
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1answer
149 views

Relationship between slit size and wavelength in diffraction

Almost in every book on physics we can find a statement like "diffraction gets stronger when the size of the slit is comparable to the wavelength". Let's say we have a wall in a bathtub with a slit in ...
2
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1answer
1k views

How to calculate the intensity of the interference of two waves in a given point?

There are two different point sources which produce spherical waves with the same power, amplitude, ω, wavenumber and phase. I can calculate the intensity of each wave in a point: $$ I_1 = P / (4 ...
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1answer
40 views

What are the the characteristics of a standing wave? [closed]

May someone explain #24 from this picture? B is apparently the correct answer. Can any of the other answers be correct here? Isn't D also correct?