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Physics Important Definitions and Formulae(Light + Waves)

# Physics Important Definitions and Formulae(Light + Waves)

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Published by Daniel Png
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Published by: Daniel Png on May 03, 2010
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07/21/2010

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Physics important definitions and formulae
Waves
A
wave
is a phenomenon in which
energy
is transferred through
vibrations
.
Transverse waves
are waves which travel in a direction
perpendicular
to the direction of the vibrations.
Longitudinal
waves are waves which travel in a direction
parallel
tothe direction of vibrations.
The line that joins all the peaks of a wave or all identical points on awave is called a
wavefront
.Wave terms
1.
The highest points are called
crests
or peaks while the lowest points are called
throughs
.
2.
The
amplitude
, a, is the maximum displacement from the rest position.
3.
The
wavelength
, ,is the distance between any two identical points on successive waves.
4.
The
frequency
, f, is the number of complete waves generated per second. The unit of frequency is hertz (Hz).
5.
The
period
, T, is the time taken to generate one completewave.
6.
The
speed
, v, of the wave is the distance moved by a wave inone second.

Important formulae:V=f T=1/f

LightReflection
The
angle of incidence
, i, is the angle between the incident rayand the normal.
The
angle of reflection
, r, is the angle between the reflected rayand the normal.
Laws of Reflection
1.The incident ray, the reflected ray and the normal at the point of incidence all lie on the same plane.
2.The angle of incidence, i, is equal to the angle of reflection, r.Characteristics of an image formed by a plane mirror:1.The image is virtual.2.The image is upright.3.The image formed has the same size as the object.
4.
The image is as far behind the mirror as the object is in front of themirror. The object and image are perpendicular to the mirror.5.The image is laterally inverted.
A
virtual image
cannot be formed on a screen, nor do thelight rays pass through it.Uses of reflection: periscope, mirror in meter

Refraction
The change in direction (or bending) of light when it passesfrom one medium to another is called
refraction
.
The
angle of incidence
, i, is the angle between the incident rayand the normal.
The angle of refraction, r, is the angle between the refracted rayand the normal.
Laws of Refraction
1.The incident ray, the refracted ray and the normal at the point of incidence all lie on the same plane.2.For two given media, the ratio sin i/sin r is a constant,where I is the angle of incidence and r is the angle of refraction.
The refractive index, n, of a medium may also be defined as theratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of light in thatmedium.
Total internal refraction
The
critical angle
is defined as the angle of incidence in theoptically denser medium for which the angle of refraction in theoptically less dense medium is 90
0
.
Conditions for total internal refraction:
1.The light ray must travel from an optically denser mediumtowards an optically less dense medium.2.The angle of incidence must be greater than the criticalangle.
Applications for total internal refraction: periscope, binoculars, Single Lens Reflex Camera,
Fibre Optics(“light pipes”)
-Uses total internal reflection to transmit light from one place to another.
-
particularly useful when one wishes to view an image produced at inaccessible locationse.g. a doctor uses an endoscope which works on this principle, to examine the internal organsof his patients.Fibre optics is seeing higher usage in telecommunications, as:-optical fibres can carry a much higher volume of telephone calls, computer data or television pictures than electrical wires.-much thinner and lighter -being made of glass, optical fibre cables are much cheaper than metals such as copper.-they allow high quality transmission of information over long distances, with negligible signalloss.
Thin Lenses

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