You are on page 1of 42

A.

LaRosa

LectureNotes

PH213GENERALPHYSICS
________________________________________________________________________

CHAPTER16:WAVES1
1.Thewaveequation
OutlineofMechanicalwaves

Longitudinalandtransversewaves
Wavesinastring,soundwaves

Thewaveequation

Descriptionofwavesusingfunctionsoftwovariables
Travellingwaves
2y 1 2y
Thewaveequation 2 2 2 0
x
v t

Wavesinastring

Reflectionandtransmissionofwavesataninterface

Y=Y(x,t) A

kx-t+

Notice the whole expression inside the


parenthesis is referred to as the phase

is the spatial
periodicity

T is the
temporal
periodicity

Example
A sinusoidal wave of frequency 500 Hz has a speed of 350 m/s.
a) How far apart are two points x1 and x2 that, at a given time to,
differ in phase by /3 rad?
b) What is the phase difference between two displacements Y1 and
Y2 at a certain point (at a certain xo point) at times 1 .0 ms apart?
(Notice, you are not being asked for the values of Y1 nor Y2;
just their relative phase difference.)
Solution

v=f
f = 500 Hz and v = 350 m/s implies,
= 350/500 = 0.7 m
Y = A Cos (k x - t +
a) Things happen at t = t0
Phase1 = k x1 - t0 +
Phase2 = k x2 - t0 +
Phase1 - Phase2 = [k x1 - t0 + ] - [ k x2 - t0 +
= [k( x1 - x2

/3 rad = [k( x1 - x2 implies

x1 - x2 = (/3 )/k = (/3 ) /2 =


= 0.7/6 = 11.7 cm
b) Things happen at x = x0
Phase1 = k x0 - t1 +
Phase2 = k x0 - t2 +

Phase1 - Phase2 = [ k x0 - t1 + ] - [k x0 - t2 +
= [ ( t2 - t1
= [ f ( t2 - t1

( t2 - t1 1 ms implies,
Phase1 - Phase2 = [ 500 Hz ( 10-3s

Mechanical Waves

Example

The Wave Equation

Waves on a Stretched String

Cos = 1 (1/2) 2 +
For small : Cos ~ 1
3
Sin = (1/3!) +
For small : Sin =
3
Tan = (1/3!)2 + For small : Tan =
For the case of the string:
Horizontal force Fx = T Cos - T Cos
Vertical force
Fy = T Sin - T Sin

For the case of small and smallcos = 1, cos = 1


sin = , sin =
tan = , tan =
Horizontal force Fx = T - T = 0
Vertical force
Fy = T Sin - T Sin
But, conveniently for the steps to follow below, we
expressed the expression above in terms of the
tangent function

= T tan - T tan

The tan can be interpreted as the slope of the y vs x curve. This is


illustrated in the figure below.

Notice, at a given fixed time t:

y(x,t)

y
= tan
x x

Geometrical
interpretation

x)

Or,

which is

2y 1 2y
2 2 0
2
x
v t
the wave equation

It admits solutions of the form

y(x,t) = f (x-vt) + g(x+vt)


where f and g are arbitrary functions

where v

Energy content in a wave travelling along a string

Case: y = A Sin(kx-t)
/k = v
(T/)1/2 = v

Propagation of energy along a string

Example

At x=0
At x=xo

The little guy A


shakes his hands UP
and DOWN with a
(temporal) frequency
f.
So, at x=0 the motion
is described by
Y = Cos (0-t)
= Cos t

The little guy A sees


that a particular
segment of the string
located at x=xo
(point P) goes UP
and DOWN with
frequency f.
y = Cos (k xo -t)

= 2f

f =v

Reflection and Transmission of Waves at a Interface

Reflected
Incident

incident

reflected

At the left of x=0


the total
displacement is
At the right of x=0
the total
displacement is

Transmitted

Left
side

Right
side