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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Numerical Solution of the Convection Dispersion equation

I have asked this question on Computational Science and also on Mathoverflow, but no satisfactory answers so far. I thought maybe the physics community could shed some insight on the issue. I am ...
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3answers
50 views

What do light wave oscillations look like?

High school physics student here, so please bear with me for a moment. I know that light waves oscillate, but I don't know how. In textbooks and diagrams they're portrayed as wavy lines traveling ...
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concerning the effects of temperature and density on the speed of sound [duplicate]

here is my relatively broad question: how does the temperature and density of a medium effect the speed at which sound travels through it? Now I shall elaborate: it is my understanding that there ...
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2answers
10k 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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1answer
21 views

Two supersonic planes. Do they hear each others sonic boom?

Plane A is traveling at Mach 2 and is over taken by plane B traveling at Mach 3. Does plane A hear the sonic boom from plan B? If so when? Does plane B hear the sonic boom from the slower Plane A? ...
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3answers
76 views

Can a standing wave form on a string with both end open

I am fascinated with an idea of an standing wave forming on a string with both end open. If we assume two identical waves coming in of an infinitely long string then for a short period of time, they ...
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1answer
470 views

Open Ended/ Close Ended instruments?

Close ended instruments have twice the wavelength, because the wave must travel twice the distance to repeat itself. Why must a wave reach a lower density medium (air in this case) to repeat? When ...
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1answer
46 views

Is an infinite Doppler effect plausible?

When I was young (which I still am) I was amazed by the sound jet fighters make when they break the sound barrier - a sound similar to an explosion which caused my school to shake. Later I learned on ...
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2answers
203 views

Light wave crossing media and the relationship between speed, wavelength, and frequency

There are many threads on this topic (like this one) but one aspect about the equation $ v = \lambda\nu $ still confuses me. I have read that frequency does not change when light crosses into ...
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1answer
105 views

Path Difference Due to Angled Incident Light

If light incident on a diffraction grating makes an angle $\alpha$ with respect to the normal to the grating, show how $$m \lambda = d\sin\theta$$ becomes $$m\lambda = d[\sin(\theta - \alpha) + ...
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1answer
53 views

Few doubts regarding waves acting on strings

First let's take a look at the image below XY and YZ are two different strings. Strings XY and YZ are connected each other at Y. Now what I do is, I create a wave pulse by shaking the composite ...
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1answer
79 views

polarization of a transverse wave travelling in ionosphere with polarization direction perpendicular to earths magnetic field

Assume a transverse electromagnetic wave entering ionosphere such that its Electric field of wave is perpendicular to earths magnetic field. Now, i read that as it will enter plasma, the wave will ...
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1answer
164 views

Why frequency and tension doesn't change in the two medium?

I am reading a book about wave mechanics. There are two different cord (one light and one heavy) connected together, one person waving the lighter one, the wave transverse to the right from the ...
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38 views

How to model radio wave attenuation by seawater?

From the very limited literature I can find regarding radio waves in saline-water solutions (as in seawater), I have been able to find very few corroborating models of radio wave propagation through ...
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1answer
158 views

What exactly is the “coherence” between waves?

I know, by definition, that coherence means that a pair of waves have constant phase difference. What does this mean? Does it mean they always have a 360 degrees, or 0 degrees phase difference? Or ...
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0answers
27 views

Electron wave function seen in Quantum Cascade Laser?

http://sciencequestionswithsurprisinganswers.org/images/qcllevels.gif How did they observe and take a picture of the electron wave function without collapsing it? Does this prove that the wave ...
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1answer
32 views

Interference of Beams with Different Polarizations

I have read in many places that orthogonally polarized light beams do not interfere. However, I also know that orthogonal vectors, such as force, do affect each other and give a resulting force. So, ...
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2answers
155 views

How do waves have momentum?

A question on a practice test I'm taking is as follows: By shaking one end of a stretched string, a single pulse is generated. The traveling pulse carries: A. mass B. energy C. momentum D. ...
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2answers
34 views

what is the effect of a sound wave at the opposite side of its direction?

We know that a sound source produces a sound wave and a high pressure area is followed by a low pressure area, while they travel with 300m/s. My question is, if the sound source travels with 50m/s in ...
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1answer
49 views

Mechanical waves with slower speed than sound

Sound is mechanical waves of high and low air pressure transmitting with 300m/s. Are there high and low air pressure waves transmitting with lower speeds? How are they produced?
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22 views

Which is has the highest (greatest) sound intensity - Sine, Square or Sawtooth waveform?

From this, http://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/42904/square-wave-sine-wave-is-more-audible I now understand that a Square soundwave will be perceived louder than that of a Sine sound wave ...
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5answers
805 views

Why does medium not affect the frequency of sound?

I read in various places that frequency does not change with medium. Instead, wavelength changes in different mediums due to a change in speed. I understand why speed changes with medium, but I'm not ...
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3answers
78 views

Relationship between the frequency and amplitude of wave

I wonder is there any relationship between frequency and amplitude of wave. Generally, most of the people say that frequency and amplitude are independent to each other. But in this case, where it is ...
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3answers
511 views

What is the wave in an electron? [duplicate]

For Photons, their 'waves' are oscillating electromagnetic fields. From what I've heard, electrons are also some kind of wave. So what 'field' is exactly oscillating for electrons, which makes them a ...
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1answer
166 views

How does a longer wavelength penetrate deeper with Rayleigh waves?

I'm struggling slightly to understand this idea. I've slowly been building up an explanation, so at this stage it might be just some confirmation I'm looking for, but also some guidance if I'm off ...
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96 views

Worthington jets explanation: fluid phenomenon

I don't understand the reason behind the formation of Worthington jets I've been reading a bit about Worthington jets Video 1, this phenomenon is caused when something is thrown to the water as we ...
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1answer
57 views

What does a light wave look like (3d model)

What does a light wave look like? The only models I can seem to find online are 2D waves, they just look like sin() graphs. I have seen the models of the two components of "light waves" (electric ...
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1answer
3k views

How can shock waves travel faster than sound?

A shock wave can be caused by the disturbance of air by an airplane. When it propagates, shouldn't the mechanism be the same as that of a longitudinal sound wave? Why can a shock travel faster than ...
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1answer
99 views

Is the wobbly rope depiction of a radio wave inherently wrong? And how do vectors of parallel waves align with each other?

I don't have a scientific education, yet I'm scientifically curious. Among other things, I'm struggling to understand the nature of electromagnetic waves. What I have recently realized is that the ...
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1answer
27 views

Is there a limit to how thin EM radiation can be spread out?

Sorry if this is completely off base but from my understanding, electromagnetic radiation, such as light, becomes less intense the further away it gets from the source. I assume the reduction of ...
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0answers
55 views

Why do some types of waves disperse?

We know that some mediums/waves are non-dispersive such as air for sound waves, and waves on a string. But, why do some waves, for example deep water waves, disperse? I am trying to understand the ...
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0answers
22 views

phonon dispersion with random masses

In order to see how phonons should be affected by disorder, I've been playing around with a model involving a 1D chain of masses linked by springs, where the spring strengths are all the same but the ...
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1answer
58 views

Light travels in a medium

According to Snell's law : $${n_1 \over n_2} = {v_2 \over v_1}$$ $v_2 = v_1 n_1 / n_2$ Assuming that $n_1$ is vacuum , we will find the following equation: $$v = c / n$$ (We may find the same ...
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Need mathematical explanation for different musical notes sound different on different instruments

I am not expert in music. There are number of musical instruments. One (especially a person who knows about music) can blindly recognize which instrument is being played just by listening to it. I ...
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3answers
179 views

Are there any ways to alter frequency of wave?

I want to know how can we change frequency of wave, both sound and light, and what is the nature of "changing frequency" Such as, any material could absorb and re-emit wave in another wavelength. Or ...
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1answer
50 views

Energy and the modes of standing waves

If you induce a higher mode in a standing wave, does the wave then carry more energy? If so, does that differ for a mechanical or EM wave? (Perhaps I should elaborate on why I am asking this ...
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1answer
38 views

$\sqrt{\frac{\omega ^2}{c^2}-k_z^2}$ in cylindrical harmonics

The radial component of the solution of the wave equation in cylindrical coordinates is $$J_\nu \bigg(\rho\sqrt{\frac{\omega ^2}{c^2}-k_z^2}\,\,\bigg).$$ But I always thought that $\frac \omega c$ ...
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2answers
58 views

Huygen's principle and why can't we see atoms with light

First of all, I'd like to discuss Huygen's principle. In order to explain waves diffraction, it says that every point in a wave front behaves as a source, so the next wave front is the sum of all ...
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14 views

Poisson Spot vs. Shadows

In textbooks, whenever I read about the Poisson spot, it involves a disk, and having light waves diffract around it and interfere constructively in the center. At the same time, when I read about ...
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2answers
22 views

What determines the point of energy spillover to higher modes of a standing wave resonator?

One of the better known physics demonstrations for standing wave resonance is the singing rod . By holding the rod exactly in the middle the demonstrator constrains the first mode of excitation - the ...
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2answers
442 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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1answer
40 views

The role of amplitude, frequency, and intensity in mechanical vs. EM waves

As far as I know (correct me if I’m wrong), for a mechanical wave (e.g. sound), the frequency determines the pitch, the amplitude determines the loudness, and the amplitude is proportional to the ...
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4answers
767 views

Electromagnetic wave reflection vs. light reflection

Related: x-ray interaction with atmosphere I know that electromagnetic waves of particular frequencies reflect from the ionosphere. And the light (which from one perspective is an electromagnetic ...
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32 views

Transfer function of a space varying wave equation

$$\frac{\partial ^2 \psi}{\partial x^2}-\mu \epsilon \frac{\partial ^2 \psi}{\partial t^2}-\mu \sigma \frac{\partial \psi}{\partial t}=0$$ Is the wave electromagnetic wave equation in lossy, source ...
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14 views

Pefectly electrically conducting Neumann boundary conditions

I have a rather subtle question regarding necessary boundary conditions. To solve Maxwell's source-free equations as an initial boundary value problem in a volume $\Omega$ bounded by a perfectly ...
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1answer
66 views

Why we get a force when a bus or car is going beside us? Is there any mathematical relation?

Suppose you are standing beside a road. A bus is running on the road, when it is crossing you, you feel a push of wind. Why its happen? Is there any mathematical relation?
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2answers
101 views

Why intensity of light(wave) is proportional to the square of its amplitude?

I am confused, Classical wave theory says that Intensity of the light(wave) is the proportional to square of the amplitude. How intensity is proportional to the square of the amplitude?
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“X-rays”, “gamma rays”, “sun rays”… But electromagnetic waves are NOT rays and DO NOT consist of rays?

In a separate question I'm struggling to figure out the nature of EM waves. But it's a vast topic and I'm trying to narrow it down to small specific questions. It turns out that all electromagnetic ...
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5answers
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How do EM waves propagate?

I have read about this and what I surmise is that when charged particles such as electrons accelerate they produce time-varying electric fields. These E-fields produce H-fields and the process goes ...
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1answer
122 views

Diffraction and $k$-space

Regarding diffraction I am a little bit lost reading about reciprocal space and the space of $k$'s. As I understand it the Fourier relationship between a wavepacket $\Psi(\vec r,t)$ and the complex ...