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Chapter 1:
Waves
Form 5
1
Physics
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The study of matter
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Objectives:
(what you will learn)

1) understanding Waves

2) reflection of waves

3) refraction of waves

4) diffraction of waves
5) interference of waves
6) analysing sound waves

7) analysing electromagnetic waves
Physics: Chapter 1
2
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Understanding Waves:
Physics
3
1. A wave is a traveling disturbance from a
vibrating or oscillating source.
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2. A wave carries energy along with it in the
direction of its propagation.
3. A wave is a mean of energy transfer
through vibration.
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Transverse Wave
Waves
4
Particles in the medium vibrate in a direction
perpendicular to the direction of wave
propagation.

Perpendicular
= 90
o
to the
line of direction.

Examples:
wave in a rope
water waves
light waves
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Particles in the medium vibrate in a direction
parallel (0
o
to line of direction) to the
direction of wave propagation.

Examples:
wave in a slinky spring
sound wave

Waves
Longitudinal Wave
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Wavefront
A surface on the wave where all particles vibrate
in phase (coming together to the same level).
Oscillations
Vibration or oscillation of particles in a medium is
like oscillation of simple pendulum or loaded spring.
Waves
Surface Waves
This is both transverse waves & longitudinal
waves mixed in one medium.
Examples:
earthquake or seismic wave
shear wave in a slinky spring
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Waves
Complete Oscillation
Complete cycle;
e.g. motion from A to B & back to A.
Amplitude, a
Maximum displacement from equilibrium position
that is halfway between crest (high) & trough (low).
Period, T
Time taken for a complete oscillation.
Frequency, f
Number of complete oscillation in one second;
f = 1/T
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Waves
Speed of wave, v
Distance traveled by wave per second, v = fλ
Free Oscillation
Occurs when a system oscillates without any
external force acting on it.
Natural Frequency, f
n
Frequency of a free oscillation.
Simple pendulum
l = length, g = gravity
Loaded vertical spring
m = mass, k = constant
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Waves
Damped Oscillation
An oscillation whose amplitude decreases due to
energy loss from the system (as heat to air
resistance).
Forced Oscillation
An oscillation produced when a system is forced
into oscillation by an external periodic force.
Resonance
Occurs when a system which is forced into
oscillation oscillates with large amplitude; the
condition being that the frequencies of both systems
are equal to each other.
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Reflection of Waves
Angle of reflection = angle of incidence
Reflected wave has same speed, frequency, &
wavelength as the incident wave.
λ
λ
i r
v
v
Angle of reflection, r = Angle of incidence, i
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Refraction of Waves
Refraction of wave
The change in velocity of wave when it travels from
one medium to another.

Water & light waves are refracted towards Normal
when moving into shallower or denser region
(frequency unchanged, speed & wavelength
decrease), and away from
Normal the other way round.

But sound waves behave
in the opposite way.

(Try relate it to the
resistances of medium)
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Diffraction of Waves
Diffraction is the spreading of waves after passing
a narrow slit or an obstacle.

Waves are diffracted more if:
a. the slit is narrower
b. the wavelength is longer
Light has very short
wavelengths, diffraction
occurs only for slits with width
of 10
-4
m or less.
Sound has long wavelengths, diffraction of sound
waves enable sound to go around corners.
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Interference of Waves
Principle of superposition of waves
Displacement y, produced by 2 waves at a point is
the vector sum of displacements y
1
& y
2
produced
by each of the waves.
y = y
1
+ y
2
Interference = effect produced by superposition of
waves from 2 coherent sources.

Coherent sources = if they oscillate in phase, or
antiphase, or with same phase difference & they
have the same frequency.
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Interference of Waves
antinode:
constructive superposition from 2 crests or troughs

node:
destructive superposition from crest & trough
x
a
D
Separation between 2
consecutive antinodal
or nodal lines at
distance D from
the 2 sources:
antinodal line
nodal line
λD
a
x =
Young’s double-slit experiment
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Sound Waves
Sound waves are produced by vibrating sources.
They are longitudinal waves requiring a medium
for propagation. It cannot travel in vacuum.
Applications of reflection of sound wave:
a. sonar or high frequency sound waves used to
determine depth of ocean
b. Ultrasonography uses ultrasound waves to
examine condition of fetus, the reflected waves
used to form an image on a monitor.
c. Ultrasound is also used to detect tumour in the
body
d. Reflection of ultrasound from rocks used in
geological survey.
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Electromagnetic Waves
Common properties:
a. Need no medium, can travel in vacuum.
b. Travels at constant speed of light,
c = 3 x 10
8
m s
-1
in vacuum.
c. Transverse waves.
d. Wave properties like reflection, refraction,
diffraction & interference.
Name Sources Applications
Radio waves, microwaves Inductor-capacitor circuit Radio, radar
Infra-red Hot objects, Sun Heating, remote control, night vision
Visible light Sun, lamps Photography, fibre optics
Ultraviolet Very hot bodies, Sun, tubes Fluorescent lamp, sterilizer, sun bed
X-rays X-ray tube X-ray photography, radiotherapy,
detection of cracks
Gamma rays Radioactive nuclei Radiotherapy, sterilizer
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Summary
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What you have learned:
1. Understanding Waves
2. Reflection of waves
Thank You
3. Refraction of waves
4. Diffraction of waves
5. Interference of waves
6. Sound & electromagnetic waves