# Questions tagged [dispersion]

Dispersion refers to the frequency dependence of the properties of a wave.

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### What is Chirped Pulse Amplification, and why is it important enough to warrant a Nobel Prize?

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded recently, with half going to Arthur Ashkin for his work on optical tweezers and half going to Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for developing a technique ...
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### Why does my wooden door disperse light into a rainbow color spectrum?

On a clear morning, light comes through this window (viewed from the inside) It then hits the door on the opposite side (so viewing from the outside the door straight on the other side) There is ...
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### Why do prisms work (why is refraction frequency dependent)?

It is well known that a prism can "split light" by separating different frequencies of light: Many sources state that the reason this happens is that the index of refraction is different for ...
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### Fermat principle: which index of refraction?

I am somewhat puzzled by a common formulation of the Fermat principle (light travel time), because it contains index of refraction related to phase velocity while light travel time through a slab of ...
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### What is the difference between dispersion and diffusion?

What is the difference between dispersion and diffusion? Currently I believe, that diffusion is the mixture of molecules due to Brownian motion. So I read everywhere, that it happens with magnitude of ...
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### Numerical Solution of the Propagation-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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### Interpretation of dispersion relation

In my research, I found that my system has the following dispersion relation: $$\omega^2=k^2+k_0^2\ ,$$ where $k_0^{-1}$ is an intrinsic lengthscale of the system and the units are chosen so that the ...
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### Is dispersion a property of medium or wave

I got a problem in learning Lewin's 'Vibration and Waves'. He first solve the eigenvalue of 5 beats connecting together and with fixed boundary condition. Then the velocity for different modes are ...
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### Understanding dispersion relation

I am trying to understand the physical meaning of the dispersion relation. Is it how inhomogeneous a media is ? Or how much the electromagnetic fields spread in the media? Or ?
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### Treatment of electrons and phonons in condensed matter physics

I was watching the lectures by steve simon(oxford) on solid-state physics. In the course, he derived the dispersion relation for phonons(assuming spring between atoms) and dispersion relation for ...
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### Sound frequencies travel at the same speed?

as the diagram shows sound frequencies travel at the same speed or each frequency has a given speed ?
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### Why is rainbow always circular?

From the article that I read on physics classroom website on rainbow, rainbow is formed with red on the top and violet on the bottom because violet refracts more, and has a smaller angle of deviation ...
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### Why does the phase velocity of a string attached to springs depend on the wave length?

A string can be described by the wave equation $$(\partial_t^2 - \partial_x^2) \, \varphi = 0$$ while a string attached to a spring (i.e. with a harmonic restoring force) at each location is ...
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### Refraction of white light through a glass slab: what does it actually look like?

When a collimated beam of white light enters a rectangular prism, it develops slightly coloured edges due to the dispersive refraction of the glass: each ray in the beam is displaced differently ...
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### Why don't the De Broglie dispersion relation contain a constant term?

Wikipedia says that the dispersion relation for a non-relativistic particle is: $$\omega = \frac{\hbar k^2}{2m}.$$ But when I tried to calculate it myself, I seem to get a constant term in that ...
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### Light dispersion in gravitational theories

GR predicts no Ricci curvature in vacuum (or at least when we can ignore the cosmological constant). Would theories that violate this lead to observable light dispersion in solar system tests of ...
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### Using convolution to simulate acoustic dispersion in shallow water

Background I'm a marine biologist who's trying to wrap my head around shallow water propagation. I'm interested in how acoustic dispersion (as described by Pekeris' waveguide) alters how sounds ...
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### Why linear wave equation does not have solitonic solutions?

As many people define solitary waves they are localized pulses that propagate without changing the shape. As far as I know the same pulses exist in ordinary wave equation ! why should we look for ...
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### More extensions of the wave equation for dispersion

The Phys.SE question Minimal Extension of Wave Equation to Include Dispersion extended the wave equation for only a very simple form of dispersion. However, what about more complex dispersion ...
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### Why we do not use $v=f \lambda$ for the waves associated with particles?

As the waves travel with velocity $$v= f \lambda,$$ where $v$ is velocity, $f$ is frequency and $\lambda$ is wavelength. Here we can see that velocity of wave is directly proportional to wavelength. ...
Phase velocity is defined as $v_p=\frac{\omega}{k}$ and is described in various textbooks as being the speed at which the phase of a wave propagates. If you have a wave train that is modulated by an ...