0
$\begingroup$

Okay so by the definition of a wave i.e The osciallatory disturbance in a medium which propogates energy is called as wave..the stationary wave contradicts both the crieteria as it doesnt propogate nor does it transmit any energy.

Now one may say that a stationary wave is made by two progressive waves with same phase, frequency and amplitude superimposing in opposite direction..and we know that compsition of two waves is also a new wave..by that conclusion the stationary wave must be a wave..but it contradicts the definition of a wave

So what do we call the Stationary Wave as? this was asked to me by a physics proffessor and i am pondering since.

wave

$\endgroup$
6
  • $\begingroup$ Are you referring to the standing waves, or is this stationary wave a different “thing"? $\endgroup$
    – ZaellixA
    Oct 5, 2023 at 7:36
  • $\begingroup$ In my view, a wave is something that satisfies a wave equation. $\endgroup$ Oct 5, 2023 at 7:55
  • $\begingroup$ yup i am referring to a standing wave $\endgroup$
    – Pheonix
    Oct 5, 2023 at 8:07
  • $\begingroup$ Where does your definition of a wave come from? I don't think it's universal, e.g. Wikipedia uses a different definition. $\endgroup$ Oct 5, 2023 at 9:08
  • $\begingroup$ >and related fields, a wave is a propagating dynamic disturbance (change from equilibrium) is the definition cited on the wikipedia, my definition comes from a highschool physics textbook which is just a bottled down version of the definition $\endgroup$
    – Pheonix
    Oct 5, 2023 at 12:31

1 Answer 1

0
$\begingroup$

The fact that it propagates with a velocity of zero and transfers energy at a zero rate does not preclude it being called a standing/stationary wave noting it does have energy stored in it.

What I will try and show you is that your definition of a wave is somewhat limited and needs refinement.

At this level you should perhaps use the idea that a stationary wave can be thought of a the superposition of two waves each of which satisfy the wave equation which in one dimension is, $\dfrac{\partial^2y(x,t)}{\partial t^2} =v^2\dfrac{\partial^2y(x,t)}{\partial x^2}$?

Doing that then introduces numerous other entities which you may not consider a wave, for example, $y(x,t) = x-v t$ between $x$ and $x+v$ and zero otherwise.
A wave which looks a saw tooth.

Two wave profiles are shown one at time $t=0$ and another at time $t$.

enter image description here

Here is a disturbance which has energy associated with it and the energy is moving in the positive x-direction.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ considering the fact that the definiton which i refer to as is a definiton cited in a highschool physics textbook..it might be the reason why the definition felt incomplete. $\endgroup$
    – Pheonix
    Oct 5, 2023 at 12:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.