I have learned that standing waves are formed by two waves overlapping with each other where the two waves are the same in wavelength, frequency, and amplitude. I have a doubt in how the phase of those two waves affects the standing wave.

  • $\begingroup$ Please elaborate on your doubts regarding the phase. The relative phase will affect the position of the standing wave. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 9, 2016 at 8:56

1 Answer 1


For a travelling wave there is a phase difference between adjacent points in the medium.

When two travelling waves superpose the resultant displacement of the medium is the vector sum of the displacements due to the individual travelling waves.

At some points the two travelling waves arrive exactly in phase with one another and that is a position of maximum amplitude - an antinode.
At other points the travelling waves arrive exactly out of phase with one another and that results in a position of minimum (or zero) amplitude - a node.

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Those points of minimum $N$ and maximum amplitude $AN$ do not move.
In between the amplitude of the resulting standing wave varies between the maximum at an antinode and the minimum at a node.
All particles between adjacent nodes move in phase with one another but are exactly out of phase with those particle in the adjacent node to node portion.


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