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- describe the energy transformations required in one of the following:
 mobile telephone
(sound ----> electrical ----> EMR ----> electrical ----> EMR ----> electrical
 Mobile phones have a built in microphone that changes sound
waves into electrical signals, which are digitised (converted into a
code of 1s and 0s) and transmitted as radio waves to a base
 Base station consists of a system of antennae on top of a tower or
tall building. Each base station accepts and can transmit radio
signals from three adjacent hexagonal-shaped areas called cells.
Arrangement of base station aerials

 Each base station is connected to switching centre by cable
network that carries the signal as electrical impulses, which have
been produced by radio-wave energy interacting with the aerial
 Each switching centre is connected to other switching centres and
base stations
 There are three main possible paths for the signal to take:
1. Telephone call between a mobile and a distant fixed telephone:
The signal may be converted into light and travel along an
optical fibre network to a distant switching centre close to its
destination. From the switching centre, it is moved into the
copper-wire network as an electrical impulse and is decoded in a
receiving telephone.
2. Telephone call between a mobile and a nearby fixed telephone
The signal is converted into an electrical impulse in a copper
wire. It may remain as an electrical impulse in the copper-wire
network until it reaches a switching centre close to its
3. Telephone call between two mobiles
The signal is transferred to a switching centre close to base
station servicing the cell near where the receiving mobile
telephone is located. The signal from the switching station is fed
to the base station as an electrical signal and broadcast as radio
waves to the mobile phone. Once at the mobile the radio signal
is converted into electrical impulses. The electrical impulse
signal is then converted by the speaker in the phone into sound.

fax / modem
radio and television
- describe waves as a transfer of energy disturbance that may occur in one,
two or three dimensions, depending on the nature of the wave and the
One dimension: transverse or longitudinal waves in a slinky;
transverse wave travelling along a rope


Two dimensions: transverse wave travelling from a point source of
disturbance in still water with a circular wavefront
Three dimensions: sound waves travelling from a point source with a
spherical wavefront; light waves travelling from a point
source with a spherical wavefront

- identify that mechanical waves require a medium for propagation while
electromagnetic waves do not
Mechanical waves: waves that require a medium for propagation
e.g. sound waves
 transfer energy through a medium by the motion
of particles of the medium itself
 particles move as oscillations or vibrations around
a fixed point; there is no bulk transfer of particles,
they remain in exactly the same place as before
they were disturbed
 mechanical waves can be classified as either
transver or longitudinal
Electromagnetic waves: waves that propagate as perpendicular
electric and magnetic fields; EM waves do not require
a medium for propagation
e.g. radio waves, light waves
 not subject to the same energy losses due to
friction between particles
 potentially have much greater travel ranges

- define and apply the following terms to the wave model: medium,
displacement, amplitude, period, compression, rarefaction, crest, trough,
transverse wave, longitudinal waves, frequency, wavelength, velocity
- describe the relationship between particle motion and the direction of
energy propagation in transverse and longitudinal waves

Crest: highest point of a wave
Trough: lowest point of a wave
Amplitude: maximum displacement from rest position
Wavelength: distance between two adjacent crests or troughs; assigned a
symbol λ
Frequency: number of waves that pass a fixed point per second;
assigned a symbol f and measured in hertz (Hz)

e. It is the product of the wave’s frequency and wavelength. i. It is a zone of lower pressure .THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS Period: time taken for a single wave to pass a fixed point. assigned a symbol T Period and frequency are related through a reciprocal relationship: 1 1 f= or T= T f Transverse waves  Particles of the medium vibrate in a plane that is perpendicular to the direction of propagation of the wave Longitudinal waves  Particles of the medium vibrate in the same direction as the direction of propagation of the wave  Compression is a zone where the particles of the medium are pushed closer together. It is a zone of higher pressure  Rarefaction is a zone where the particles of the medium are spread further apart. direction of particle movement and the direction of propagation . v = fλ  perform a first-hand investigation to observe and gather information about the transmission of waves in:  slinky springs  water surfaces  ropes or use appropriate computer simulations  present diagrammatic information about transverse and longitudinal waves. frequency and wavelength for a wave: v = fλ The velocity of wave is how fast the wave transfers energy away from its source of disturbance. quantify the relationship between velocity.

by plotting the amplitude of the input waveform against time and displaying the wave shape on a screen by means of a cathode-ray tube . FEATURES OF A WAVE MODEL CAN BE USED TO ACCOUNT FOR THE PROPERTIES OF SOUND . the faster the rate of vibration of the object . relate compressions and rarefactions of sound waves to the crests and troughs of transverse waves used to represent them Crests of a transverse wave occur at the centre of the compression where the pressure is at a maximum. Cathode-Ray Oscilloscope (CRO)  The CRO is a device that allows us to view sound waves on a screen. Troughs of a transverse wave occur at the centre of the rarefaction where the pressure is at a minimum.THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS  perform a first-hand investigation to gather information about the frequency and amplitude of waves using an oscilloscope or electronic data- logging equipment  present and analyse information from displacement-time graphs for transverse wave motion  plan.  The frequency of the sound is dependent on the frequency of the original vibration  The higher the pitch of the sound.identify that sound waves are vibrations or oscillations of particles in a medium Sound waves are vibrations in a medium that result in pressure variations within that medium. choose equipment or and perform a first-hand investigation to gather information to identify the relationship between the frequency and wavelength of a sound wave travelling at a constant velocity  solve problems and analyse information by applying the mathematical model of v = fλ to a range of situations 2.

05 seconds to bounce back. 340ms-1 in air. the resultant sound wave will have a greater amplitude than either of the original waves The term beats refer to the change in volume of a sound that occurs when two sounds of slightly different frequencies occur together  perform a first-hand investigation and gather information to analyse sound waves from a variety of sources using the Cathode Ray Oscilloscope (CRO) or an alternate computer technology  perform a first-hand investigation.  The pressure differential changes the voltage to a higher or lower value. the more vibrations per second and the higher the pitch. sound waves take 0. The higher the frequency.  The size of the electrical voltage induced at the microphone is a function of the pressure of the air striking the microphone diaphragm. Explain qualitatively that pitch is related to frequency and volume to amplitude of sound waves The pitch of a sound is directly related to the frequency. gather. . The higher the amplitude. the louder the sound.1 seconds  Since sound travels approx. solve problems and analyse information involving superposition of sound waves . .05 seconds to reach the reflecting surface and 0. which register on the screen as a trace of a waveform . both the receiver and sound source must be at least 17m from the surface reflecting sound. the amplitude of the resulting sound wave will be less than either of the original waves  If two –in-phase sound waves interfere. process and present information using CRO or computer to demonstrate the principle of superposition for two waves travelling in the same medium  present graphical information. A this distance. then the amplitudes of the waves add together This principle involves adding individual displacements at various points in a systematic way  If two out-of-phase sound waves interfere. explain an echo as a reflection of sound wave Echo: is a repeated sound created by the reflection of sound waves from a surface  Hearing an echo requires there to be a time difference of minimum 0. Superposition: is the adding of two or more waves Superposition principle – if two or more waves of the same type pass through the same medium at the same time. describe the principle of superposition and compare the resulting waves to the original waves in sound Interference is when waves meet and interact as they pass through each other to reinforce or cancel at different points.THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS  The sound-wave energy is converted into an electrical signal at the microphone. The volume of sound is directly related to the amplitude.

describe electromagnetic waves in terms of their speed in space and their lack of requirement of a medium for propagation Electromagnetic spectrum: is a continuum of electromagnetic waves with artificial divisions based on the frequency and wavelengths of the waves  EM waves do not require a medium for propagation.e. and can be reflected. RECENT TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPEMNTS HAVE ALLOWED GREATER USE OF THE ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM .THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS If the amplitude of the crest of one wave is precisely equal to the amplitude of the trough of another wave.  All EM energy passes through the vacuum of space at the common speed of light. refracted and carry information as codes . i. 3 x 108m s-1  EM waves are self-propagating which enables them to travel immense distances away from the source of the radiation  EM waves travel at the speed of light. The waves are produced by oscillating. and the second wave is out of phase by 180 degrees from the first. perpendicular electric and magnetic fields. then annulment/complete loss of amplitude in the resulting sound wave is produced 3.

E and F). X-rays and gamma rays Ionosphere: a layer of gas surrounding the Earth.THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS  EM waves are capable of creating an electrical response in the medium that they impact  EM waves have frequencies related directly to the vibrational frequency of their source particle  EM waves can be reflected by certain materials. identify methods for the detection of various wavebands in the electromagnetic spectrum WAVEBAN RANGE OF METHOD OF DETECTION D WAVELENGTH Radio 1000m . based on the type of electromagnetic radiation absorbed in each layer. identify the electromagnetic wavebands filtered out by the atmosphere. refracted or bent when passing from a medium of one density to a medium of a different density . especially UV. 145 – 300 km above the Earth’s surface. D region:  Extends approx. The ionosphere can be divided into three layers (D. 50-80 km above the Earth’s surface  Hard x-ray radiation with short wavelengths and high frequencies is absorbed E region  Extends approx. generally the upper layers reflect radio waves below some critical frequency while the lower layers act as an absorber of radio waves. 80 -105 km above the Earth’s surface  Soft x-rays (longer wavelengths) are absorbed F-region  Extends approx. 50km – 500km above Earth).~50cm . Length of wire (antenna) used to waves receive radio wave and induce . although can reach a height up to 600 km at night  Extreme ultraviolet radiation with short wavelengths such as UVc is absorbed . which is partly ionised (approx.

and the wavelength must shorter Infrared ~100μm . Scintillator . Eyes in animals .2 Using the inverse square law.10 Theinverse squarelaw states that the intensity of Source electromagnetic radiation is inversely proportional to thesquareof the d distance fromthesourceof the radiation.~100μm . If the receiver is twice the distance from the wave signal and the square of the distance from the source and is 1 or source. --1.e. then: Investigating the inverse square law • at two metres the light intensity would be: ---1-2 16000 lux  4000 lx 2 • at three metres the light intensity would be: ---1-2 16000 lux  1778 lx 3 1 . Photographic film . Photostimulable Phosphor (PSP) plate (used in medical x-ray imaging) . That is. CCDs in digital cameras . (similar to radio waves) Shorter s aerials/antennae. CCDs in UV detectors. Geiger-Muller tube Gamma < ~0. • Moonlight lights up an area with an intensity of about 1 lx. Gamma ray camera using photomultiplier tubes to record light from scintillator . • Rooms are lit to about 500 lx by an incandescent light for a comfortable light level.720nm . Geiger-Muller tube rays . explain of thethat the received relationship signal. if you were one metre from a light source where the light intensity was 16000 lx. Scintillation screen or plate . 22 4 If the distance from the source of the radiation is increased by a factor of 3. THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS and electrical signal in antenna by causing electrons in the wire to oscillate (as the electrons are subjected to the electric-field of the radio wave) Microwave ~50cm . Photographic film Light 720nm .10nm . Photographic film UV 400nm .of the original intensity. Photographic film . the intensity is reduced to a factor of ----. i.01nm . as the oscillations are faster.10.01nm . When the distance is 2d doubled. theintensity decreases to one fourth of theoriginal value.0. 3. Light intensity (illuminance) is measured in units called lux (lx) using a light meter. 2 3 9 d 1 I = –9 1 I = –4 I =1 Figure 3. inversely proportional. Thisisillustrated the intensity Iin∝figure 3. Charged-Couple Device (CCDs) in infrared detectors .of the original intensity. To visualise the unit ‘lux’. photographic film X-rays 10nm . and so on. of the inverse square law: 1 IThe ∝ inverse 2 square law d square1lawasapplied to electromagnetic wavesand distance from The inverse their source is I  ----2 .380nm . Heat-sensing cells in animals . 1 isdecreased to ---1-2 or 1--. 3d The easiest type of electromagnetic radiation to observe is light. the intensity of the signal varies inversely with The relationship d between the strength/intensity of the electromagnetic the square of the distance. between The relationship the intensity between intensity of electromagnetic drop off and radiation distance and distance from source fromofathe is an example source is anlaw inverse square example . consider the following: • On an average day sunlight ranges from 32000 to 100000 lx.

although the technology of fibre optics is now in favour for sending large quantities of information Modulation is achieved through superposition of a signal wave onto a carrier wave Amplitude modulation of Radio waves  Most commonly used in broadcasting AM radio  Signal is added to an AM carrier-wave radio signal by changing the strength of the signal in way that corresponds to the information carried by the broadcast  The AM signal remains constant in frequency bandwidth but the amplitude of the wave varies  The variation in the amplitude of the wave is decoded by a radio receiver to produce the signal which is amplified by internal circuitry and converted to the sound signal heard Advantages:  AM radio requires a much smaller bandwidth of frequencies for transmission. the range of frequencies required to transmit a signal. called static. are AM in nature. while FM radio signals require a large bandwidth. Thus. i. the number of transmissions possible in the AM band is larger Disadvantages  Most of the natural and artificial sources of radio noise.e. outline how the modulation of amplitude or frequency of visible light. microwaves and/or radio waves can be used to transmit information Modulation: the process of changing the amplitude or frequency of a wave to add a signal and transmit information Radio waves or microwaves are most commonly used.THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS . and hence the quality of sound/signal is not as good as FM Frequency modulation of Radio waves  FM radio transmission involves the adding of a signal wave to the carrier wave to vary the frequency of the wave  A limiting circuit in the radio receiver removes any amplitude variation that occur during transmission of the radio signal and keeps the amplitude of the received wave near constant  The signal is converted back into sound by a discriminator circuit .

g.g. 200m without the use of fibre-optic cable  Longer distance transmission is less reliable as there is greater possibility of interference. Disadvantages  FM radio signals require a large bandwidth of the limited electromagnetic spectrum.  Enables communications to form part of the safety infrastructure  Ensures communications systems can develop to a standardized plan  Allows for new technologies to be developed that may require spectrum bandwidth e. Different technologies require different bandwidth separation. The communications industry is competitive and bandwidth is the subject of intense competition. discuss problems produced by the limited range of the electromagnetic spectrum available for communication purposes The part of the electromagnetic spectrum that can current be used in communication technologies is limited. e. long distance communication is accomplished along fibre-optic cables with shorter wave electromagnetic radiation. the LaserDot® transmitter and receiver  The signal is amplitude modulated as the frequency of light from a particular laser is of a fixed range and too small for effective frequency modulation  Sound or data signals can be transferred reliably by a laser device across approx.  This is due to the FM radio signal not being dependent on the strength (amplitude) of the signal received. as 20 years ago no-one anticipated the volume of mobile phone ‘traffic’ that we see today .g. television stations do not broadcast on frequencies closer than 5 MHz.THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS Advantages  FM broadcasts are now more commonly used than AM broadcasts for transmitting music. Hence. and FM radio stations require a 200 KHz separation. The limited bandwidth:  Avoids the problem of interference.  Provides equity for users. e. Amplitude modulation of Visible light  Laser light of fixed frequency range will allow transmission of AM signals from a laser transmitter to a receiver e.g.  It is much more difficult (however possible) to change the frequencies only slightly by interference and superposition. This restricted range of frequencies has caused governments to limit the bandwidth over which certain communication devices can operate. Hence. mobile phones now use part of the spectrum that was previously left without communication travel. infra-red radiation and light. but instead is reliant on the frequency changes to provide the radio signal. the music received is closer to that broadcast. as the effects of ‘noise’ or static are reduced in FM radio broadcasts by the limiting circuit in the receiver. in order to eliminate the change of interference to the signal . therefore the number of transmission possible in the FM band is much smaller than thein AM band.

 plan. the change in wavelength of the radio wave as a result of being reflected off the moving object: o Wavelengths will be lengthened as a result of the collision and reflection if the object is moving away from the source of the radio wave o Wavelengths will be shortened if the object is moving towards the source of the radio wave The relative change in the wavelength is proportional to the speed of the object.  A computer receives the alternating-current information about where the radio-wave echo is coming from by determining whether the wavelength has been altered and the time taken for each pulse to return.  The radar can measure the speed of the object by looking at the Doppler shift. either towards or away from the radar antenna. which strike an object to create an echo that is detected by the radar antenna  The received radio waves generate an alternating electric current in the aerial. On the other hand. This enables governments to ensure that users have certainty that they can broadcast or communicate over a certain bandwidth and confidently invest in developing technology that is able to use that bandwidth for communication. to detect the enemy and to guide weapons  Weather forecasting.  Electrons moving in an alternating current create pulses. Applications of the radar include:  The tracking of aeroplane traffic into and out of busy airports  Police purposes in detecting the speed of passing motorists  Tracking satellites and space debris  Military uses.e. which sends out evenly spaced pulses of radio-wave energy of a precisely known wavelength. such as those for opening doors  analyse information to identify the electromagnetic spectrum range utilised in modern communication technologies Radio waves  Wavelengths ranging from 10cm to 1000m . i. long-distance communication using infra-red radiation and light via optical fibres is not restricted by the range of spectrum available as they are utilised within enclosed systems where penetration and attenuation (decrease in the strength of the signal or light) are the issues that restrict the spectrum range used. to track storms and cyclones  Automatic devices. choose equipment or resources for and perform a first-hand investigation and gather information to model the inverse square law for light intensity and distance from the source  analyse information to identify the waves involved in the transfer of energy that occurs during the use of one of the following mobile phone television  radar Radar is an application of radio waves.THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS Al government restrict the bandwidth available for different users and license that bandwidth.  This information is then used to create a visible-light track of the moving object on the radar operators’ visual display.

or UHF category based on their frequency  Used to transmit television.01 – 10nm  Detected with photographic film . which can then be detected and interpreted to give information. such as the temperature of the object that emitted them  Microwave links are used to transmit mobile phone signals on frequencies of around 900 MHz. Visible light  Wavelength of 400 – 700nm  Fibre optic telecommunications  Remote sensing of vegetation patterns from satellite and areoplane surveys  Identification of different objects by their visible colour Ultraviolet radiation  Wavelength 10nm – 400nm  Small dose is beneficial to humans as it encourages the production of vitamin D. which is essential for strong bonds. Larger doses can lead to cell and tissue damage. garage doors) and remote-control wireless connections to computers use infra-red radiation to transfer the signal from the control device to the consumer item  Broadcasting data over relatively short distances from computer to computer. FM.g. Liquid plastic components are designed to contain photo-initiator chemicals that start the polymerization reaction in plastics. planes and from the atmosphere. The water in food absorbs the energy of the microwaves and becomes warmer  Microwaves can be emitted from objects such as cars. possibly causing skin cancer or eye cataracts that severely affect vision  Used to cure plastics. radar and some mobile telephone signals Microwaves  Wavelengths between 1mm – 30cm  Microwave oven emits waves tuned to frequency of 2450 MHz. Transmission can be across distances of up 100 km.THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS  Assigned to the AM. without the need for wiring  Infra-red lasers send information down optical fibres in telecommunications industry  Medical treatment for soft tissue injury  Detecting heat leaks from houses  Airplanes that carry infra-red detectors can identify forest-fire hotspots even when hidden by a curtain of smoke. however there must be a direct ‘line of sight’ from the microwave transmitter to the receiver dish Infrared radiation  Wavelengths around 700nm – 1mm  Infra-red radiation levels can be measured using electronic detectors  Electronic remote controls (television. repairing cracks in windshields  Making astronomical observations  Sterilising hospital equipment and hairdresser’s combs  Sterilising water in water purification systems through high-output UV lamps X-rays  Wavelength 0. which is useful where maintaining transparency is important. FM and AM radio. VHF. e.

MANY COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES USE APPLICATION SOF REFLECTION AND REFRACTION OF MAGNETIC WAVES .THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS  Used in the standard medical examination of hard or dense parts of the body without the need for surgery  X-ray devices use din engineering to inspect welds for cracks  Used in X-ray crystallography to see the structure of crystalline materials  Manufacture of electronic microchips and in the efficient production of many biomolecular materials Gamma rays Wavelengths less than 0.01 nm Detected with Geiger-counter Treatment of some cancers in radiation therapy Astronomical investigations of high-energy event sin space 4.

rays that Whenhits thethe wavesdoes surface are represent thenormal to thereflecting reflected a different from a flatofsurface.1 THE LAW OF REFLECTION Observer A lie on one flat sheet of paper. When reflection the the reflec- in relation 4. reflected from a flat surface. wave in relation to a line perpendicular to the reflectingAngle surface of ray surfa ce at the point w here the ray Reflection froman reach the surface are considered to be parallel. of reflection to the angle the reflected wave will make with Observer B from a plane surface ra on waves y hits it. or eachfromofirregular the parallel or incident bumpy surfaces. When the surface is the surface is regular. mirro is dispersed means they can all be drawn as though they planeisat 90 to theplaneof th CHAPTER 4 REFLECTION AND REFRACTION OF ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES 47 surfaces or from irregular or bumpy surfaces. Reflecting surface Satellite dish  Satellite dishes receive weak radio signals from satellites in space or CHAPTER 4 REFLECTION AND REFRACTION OF ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES 47 detect naturally emitted radio frequencies from astronomical objects  The radio signals are received by the dish as parallel rays that hit the dish surface  A large. A ray can be likened to an infinitely reflection Angle of all rays raysstrikethesurface. For observers. of Angle of To study reflection. flat. i r reflected light is greater than that of the themirro incidence reflection TheThe ray model includes r surfac e. perpendicula the r to thelight reflectingReflected rays that incident. reflects them and focuses the signals to a receiver aerial at the focus of the satellite dish  This increases the strength of the signals received.3 The incident ray. is equal to the a ray anglemodel theisreflected useful. arrow heads representing the travel direc. surface (see figure thein4. same light reflected from anrays irregular Torches and driving lights each incident ray.5).the light rays that Figure 4. The normal is the line that is Angle of Irregular surface Re sented fle ctio n. themirror surface. reflection.2. Lawtheofreflected Reflection. the and remain parallel. rays will not be as intense as the inc incident ray. For each individual observers. the reflected rays will not be as intense as the incident Normal Normal Mirror angleshown of reflection. mirror-like normal. ident paralle For lobservers. For each individual observers. This is shown reflecting surface. An anobsirregular erver sees that resulting in the ability to produce a spot or flood beam. Hence. the electromagnetic waves are Mirror figures 4. the incoming parallel incident rays a irregular surface. the reflected back Figure parallel 4. all lie in the surface (see figure 4. The Normal angle of incident ray. irror (in Anglecidethe nt ray of intensity ) isreof Angle flecteof the d fro m To study reflection. a ray model is useful. all liein thesame THE4. Figure 4. surface. obeys A and theB. surfaces orLaw from of Reflection: the angle Whenof incidence waves are is equal toofthe anglecan ofbe summar- irregular or bumpy surfaces.3 all lie means they can all be drawn as though they theplaneisat 90 totheplaneof the 4. theLaw of Reflection is surface (see figure 4. the light rays Figure 4. The dotted lines . the waves Observer A liereflected on one flat sheet from a offlatpaper.3 The in cid e nt ray the surface arenot thin beam of electromagnetic radiation. the To each incident ray. Normal In both cases. likened to an This is shown infinitely mrays irror (incident ray) isreflected frorays m in figure 4. In both cases is from reflection obeys the Law of Reflection. When the surface is (normal) reflection ray hitsAngle it. the incoming parallel incident rays are all reflectors theincident raysstrikethesurface.  Torches and driving lights often have parabolic. This means that each ray is reflected with microwaves have assistednsurfac inals orm einformation at thepoint of reflectiotransfer to thesurfacearenot n for a reflected different angle light is ofgreater reflection than and that theofrays theare no longer parallel. .2 WORLD COMMUNICATES in one plane. A and B. the Law of Reflection is rays because the reflection is diffuse (see figure 4. 4. the These properties have direct analogies in other types of waves.2 and 4. no longer cases. which are then reflected back towards the person’s eye where the light waves are focused to form an image . That from smooth. Theangle of the intensity of light ismaximised. theLaw of Reflection is If a surface rays becauseisthe some distance is reflection away from(see diffuse a light source. mirror-like the surfa irregular surface. Thedotted lines irregular.5). r incidence reflection The raymodel includes the assumption that he normal to the reflecting a different angle of incidence.1 THE LAW OF REFLECTION to the The Law ised normal Reflection as: the angle of incidence equals the ray Incident tion is from a bumpy or irregular surface. This means that each ray is reflected with The Law of Reflection electromagnetic waves can be summar- travel in straightIncident he point of reflection for a different angle of reflection and the rays are no longer parallel. lines. su thin beam of electromagnetic radiation. incomin perpendicular to the reflecting These properties have direct analogies in other types of waves. the reflection is regular. parabolic reflecting dish collects the weak-intensity signals.5to The each incother. For any chosen incident ray. figure 4.4 Reflection froObserver man B Electromagnetic waves reach the surface are considered can be reflected to from smooth.2waves ray parallel Figure erayapreflect incident Th prays roachin are from tall grayhe figure a flat 4. Figure 4. An observer sees that theintensity of light is maximised.Mirrorresurface totheplan in whic Observer A flecting surfac e. quals the angle of the normal at the point of incidence in thereflected ray.3.3. each of the parallel incident rays that hits the surface does so at Hence.2. reflection of light. surface Incident Re rays Normal parallel. Irregular surface Using the Law If a surface is some of Reflection distance away from a light source. a bumpy or irregular surface.5). A onecan ray flatbe sheet of paper. waves reflect from Observer B figures bumpy/irregular surface. the reflected will not be as intense as the incident incident ray. Thedotted lines surfaces irregular. the weffect ave in relation to a line perpendicular to the reflecting su Using . all liein the same reflection.3. Notethat at thepoints where reach When the surface are considered to be parallel. angle incidence. That plane.4 Reflection froman obeyed. Normal To two parallel. the incoming When 4. it is diffuse. tensity of light is maximised.5 Theincident parallel means they can all be drawn as though they theplaneisat 90Plane arrow heads representing the travel direc. such as incident.3 all lie in one plane.3 all lie in Electromagnetic waves can be reflectedthe one plane. Reflecting surface  When the beam is adjusted to ‘spot’ the filament is at the focus. To two ised lines.4). The angle of The incident ray. incidence te that at the points where When the surface is regular. For m is regular observers. same light andreflected remain paralle from l. the angle theof incidence equals electromagnetic the are waves ray nt ray.2 Th e ray app ro ac Reflected hin g the lie on tion. the raysit is are diffuse.3 The incident ray. Angle of Mirror surface Planera Incident Reflected sented arrowinheads diagrammatic representing formthe as shown in travel direc. Electromagnetic waves can be reflected from smooth. obeyed. flat. An observer sees that thin beam of electromagnetic radiation. A ray can be likened to an infinitely properties of electromagnetic radiation called refraction and reflec ident ray) isreflected from Figure 4. flat. plane.describe ways in which applications theincident raysstrik ofethe surface. Reflecting surface The incident ray. reflected each back of the parallel radio waves parallel incident to each and rays that hits the surface does so at other. Thistheis shown reflection is regular. When the r intion figure 4.5 Thethe focus incident parallel of rays arerefle CHAPTER 4ctREFLECTION ed fromtheplan urface Incident e sREFRACTION AND Reflected the reflector mirror raysOF ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVESrays and remain parallel. incidence or If a surface is some distance away from a Incident light source. figure 4. Many ofathe technologies in figure 4. the reflected ray and normal to thereflecting surfaceand water waves and sound. PRELIMINARY PHYSICS figures and 4.describethe Law and ofapply Reflectionthe law surfaofcereflection at the point where and the explain water (norm waves al) andis equalsound. describe one application of reflection for each of the following:  plane surfaces Plane mirror  A person’s body acts as a source of light waves that travel towards the mirror. ForIrregular dividual reflection each insurface observers.4). In bothparallel.of The electromagnetic Law of Reflection radiationstatescalled that therefraction angle of and thereflection. is diffuse (see figure 4.4). Many of the technologies used in communication rely directly on Therayapproachingthe all rays lie tion. the reflection reflected back parallel to each other.2 and 4. That plane. the Thisreflection means is that regular. the reflected ray and normal to thereflecting surfaceand incidence equals the angle of When theUsing anormal the at theLaw pointof Reflection of incidence in it thereflected ray.When be parallel. For any chosen inciden shown in diagrams as straight lines with Figure 4. the intensity of the  Some torches have norm the als toability the surface aretonoadjust t the filament reflected rays are light reflectedthan from is greater fro themtthat he plan ofethe focus. eachWhen ray isthe reflec- reflected surfaceat thepoint of reflection for tion is from aangle a different bumpy ofor irregularand reflection surface. For any chosen incident ray. A and B. surface. Note that at thepoints where rays because the reflection concave-mirror When the surface is regular. it is diffuse. concave. the intensity o represent thenormal to thereflecting a different angle of incidence. surface. the irregular. When reflecting surfac e.all rays lie rays arereflected fromthe plane surface Incident Figure 4. e is reflected Usuallyfromthe law is repre- a flat-surface plane it will obey the Law oRf reflection obeys the Law of Reflection. the theassumption reflected ray thatand normal to thereflecting surfa same light reflected from an irregular incidence equals theangle of electromagnetic waves travel in straight the normal at the point of incidence in thereflected ray. the Normal angleaof When wavreflection. wave will make i with the urface. the tion. in diagrams Usually the law islines as straight repre-with Reflecte y. When wave is reflectedused fromina communication flat-surface plane rely it wdirectly ill obeyon thethe L The normal is the line that is properties Reflection. in The diagrammatic Law of Reflectionform as states shown that in the angle of the incoming. when the beam is set to ‘flood’ the filament is beyond or before Figure 4.

e. hence the range of short-wavelength radio waves increases at night as they bounce off a higher ionosphere . explain that refraction is related to the velocities of wave in different media and outline how this may result in the bending of a wavefront Refraction: the phenomenon where waves that are incident on any angle except the normal. as they provide a wider field of view  radio waves being reflecting by the ionosphere  Radio waves generated on Earth are bounced by the ionosphere towards the Earth’s surface. its curvature is not very large. where they are bounced back again towards the ionosphere  Due to the high altitude of the ionosphere.THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS  The apparent position of an image of an object in a plane mirror can be located using rays and the Law of Reflection in a geometric construction:  concave surfaces Car headlights  Convex mirrors/lens concentrate the initially parallel light rays to a point known as the focus and are therefore called converging mirrors Focus: the point where all rays from a converging lens or mirror are concentrated  Light bulb is placed at the focus  Rays incident on the reflector and reflect straight out in front of the car  convex surfaces Car rear-view mirrors  Convex mirrors/lens cause the parallel incident rays on their surface to be reflected as though they diverge from a focus behind the mirror. hence the waves are essentially bouncing off a plane surface and so obey the Law of Reflection  In this way short wavelength radio waves can travel around the globe by constantly reflecting off the ionosphere and the Earth’s surface from a single transmitter  The altitude of the ionosphere rises at night when incoming solar radiation decreases.g. bend as they pass from one medium to another of different densities  The velocity of a wave changes as it moves across an interface from one medium to another  The frequency of the wave does not change . hence they are known as diverging mirrors. sharp bends or in shopping centres where shoplifting is an issue.  Convex mirrors are commonly used in security and safety situations.

61 Determining refractive index 8 Denser flint glass 1. another As with material of fixed composition Interactivity: water waves at an interface.92 10 1. A vacuum by definition has an absolute refractive index of 1.. This is because: v1 sin i λ1 n2 = = = v2 sinr λ2 n1 . which is given the This is expressed in the Snell’s Law relationship: -----1  ----------. the absolute vvac . where its speed is faster. hence you can use the approx- to the refractive e B o o k p lu s v sin i imation that the refractive index of air is 1. This means that all refractive v = 3 x 108 m s–1 indices are measured with respect to a vacuum. the ray bends towards the normal  When a wave moves from one medium to another. This is very . 1. the degree of bending that occurs at the interface between the Vacuum i nvac = 1. wavelength and v2 sin r n1 angles of incidence and refraction: 2 v1 sin i λ1 58 THE WORLD COMMUNICATES = = v2 si n r λ2  The absolute refractive indices can be used directly to determine a number of factors.1 Refractive indices of selected materials such as space.999 10 1.1 lists the absolute refractive indices for some common materials. The absolute refractive index of any transparent material is a measure. is: n1  of --------changes v1 . Because the refractive Absolute refractive indices for some common materials index is derived by dividing a speed V E L O C IT Y O F L IG H T IN A B S O L U T E R E F R A C T IV E by a speed.33 8 Crown glass 1. Thisshows thebecause comes about relationship v1 sin -i between ----. define closeSnell’s Lawindex for a vacuum.00028.31 The absolute refractive Refractive of electromagnetic index: a comparative radiation in a vacuum measure and in the material.0 for most purposes and com- pare 1the refractive = index of other substances to that of air.56 4. inof the velocities of index of a substance is determined by this case it is referring to the velocity of electromagnetic radiation rela. identify conditions necessary for total internal reflection with reference to the critical angle .97 10 1. the ray bends away from the normal Incident ray Normal If a ray passes from a vacuum to another material of fixed composition and density. so it is the wavelength of the wave that changes. the frequency of the waves does not change as Refraction and and density. the unit has no SU B STA N C E M E D IU M (m s 1 ) IN D E X O F M E D IU M dimensions.relative to their velocity in comparing thespeed of the electromagnetic tive to the velocity of electromagnetic radiation in a vacuum. or ratio.46 8 Diamond 1.define refractive refractive index of someindex in nterms material. in a particular in the substance to the speed of thesame electromagnetic wave in a vacuum material Table 4. That is. 8 Vacuum 3 10 1.26 10 1.4 Flint glass 1.74 of glass 8 Perspex 2 10 1. THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS  When a wave moves from one medium to another. Assume nairrefractive The absolute = 1. That is. symbol n and is known as the v2 absolute sin r 2 refractive index. of how much an electromagnetic wave slows down at the interface Medium 1 between a vacuum and that material (see figure 4.0.52 8 Denser crown glass 1.72 10 1.31). 2 sinr Snell’s Law Snell’s Law applies equally to waves slowing down and speeding up as eles-0037 they move If a across ray thepasses interfacefrom betweenaone vacuum medium and toanother.00028 8 Water 2.24 10 2.0000 for the electromagnetic spectrum. assume nair  1. ---------- n  -----1  -----2 .42 Notice that the absolute refractive index for air is 1. where its speed is lower. radiation electromagnetic wave in that a vacuum and their velocity Table 4.0000 vacuum and the material is a constant. that occurs at the interface Snell’s Law int-0056 between the vacuum and material v sin i is a constant.000000 8 Air 2.  TheAll refractive refractive index is indices are measured useful for determining what will with happenrespect to to a vacuum electromagnetic waves that pass across an interface between transparent materials. ----1. speed. the degree of bending they speed up or slowdown. This constant is given the symbol n and is known as the absolute refractive index.0indices can be used directly to determine a number Snell’s Law of factors. in the velocity of wave in passing r Refracted rayfrom one medium to another Note that a refractive index is a comparative measure of the velocities Figure 4.86 10 8 1. In other eLesson: Refraction and v words.

hence the equation simplifies to: sini n2 = 1 n1 n2 sin ic = n1 where ic is the critical angle note: n2 < n1 for light to bend away from the normal. . the interface of the two media acts as mirror and total internal reflection of light rays occurs. Critical angle: the angle of incidence that yields an angle of refraction to be 90 degrees. When the incidence ray exceeds the critical angle. the angle of refraction is 90 degrees. Sin 90 degrees is equal to 1. the refracted ray cannot escape the high-refractive-index material and is forced to travel along the interface of the two mediums. The rays then obey the Law of Reflection at the interface and the ray is trapped internally within the denser material. Calculating the critical angle The critical angle of refraction at a boundary between two media can be calculating using Snell’s Law: v1 sin i λ1 n2 = = = v2 sinr λ2 n1 in particular sin i n2 = sinr n1 At the critical angle.THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS Total internal reflection: the total reflection of a light ray reaching an interface with a less dense medium when the angle of incidence exceeds the critical angle.

by making the diameter of the core around 10μm Advantages of optical fibres:  Allow for the transmission of light to or from locations where straight line transmission of the light would not be possible  Optical fibres are flexible which allow electromagnetic radiation. by using optical fibres in instrument known as endoscopes  perform first-hand investigations and gather information to observe the path of light rays and construct diagrams indicating both the direction of travel of the light rays and a wave front  present information using ray diagrams to show the path of waves reflected from:  plane surfaces . outline how total internal reflection is used in optical fibres The practical application of total internal reflection of electromagnetic waves has led to optical fibres becoming a major data carrier in telecommunications. it is totally internally reflected at the interface between the higher refractive-index core and the lower refractive-index cladding  The EM radiation is not able to escape through the surface of the optical fibre and instead the light is trapped internally. previously inaccessible without invasive surgery. operating doctors view sites such as the intestines. high-refractive-index. the path-length travelled by the narrow beam of light is reduced. called the cladding. following the Law of Reflection  To allow for the transfer of this trapped light to be faster and more efficient.region called a core  Outer region. and in particular.  Optical fibres are mad from thin. cylindrical strands of ultra-high-purity glass  Contain a central. and at the speed of light  Medicine. visible and infra-red radiation to be reflected easily and precisely around corners without the need for any physical reflective device such as a silvered mirror. is made from a lower refractive index glass  After EM radiation enters the optical fibre. and continually moves forward through the optical fibre.THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS . Optical fibres are used in:  Communication for carrying signals precisely.

5). Reflecting surface CHAPTER 4 REFLECTION AND REFRACTION OF ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES 47  the ionosphere  perform an investigation and gather information to graph the angle of incidence and refraction for light encountering a medium change showing the relationship between these angles . all lie in raysthesam e strike a concave surface in a direction that is 4. When the surface is ar. Figure 4. For observers. When the waves are ed from a flat surface. the electromagnetic waves are in diagrams as straight lines with Plane in which heads representing the travel direc. the reflection is regular. In both cases.  The focus is at a distance equal to half the centre-of-curvature g the Law of Reflection radius of the mirror omagnetic waves can be reflected from smooth. flat. a ray model is useful. each of the parallel incident rays that hits the surface does so at rent angle of incidence. ight reflected from an irregular  Convex mirrors cannot produce a real image.3 all lie in one plane. to a single point called the focus. looking into the mirror can see the virtual image it produces.2. This point is the focal one flat sheet of paper.2 and 4. Law of Reflection can be summar. point of the mirror. i r y model includes the assumption that magnetic waves travel in straight Hence. the light rays that the surface are considered to be parallel. Angle of reflection udy reflection. When the reflec- from a bumpy or irregular surface.Mirror surface all rays lie ray can be likened to an infinitely eam of electromagnetic radiation.4). it is diffuse. This is shown re 4. To two  convex surface ers. Figure 4. the on obeys the Law of Reflection. That plane. Usually the law is repre.parallel For any chosen incident ray. mirror-like es or from irregular or bumpy surfaces. wave in relation to a line WORLD COMMUNICATES perpendicular to the reflecting surface PRELIMINARY PHYSICS al) is equal to the angle the reflected wave will make with the .as though they the intensity of originate the at a point behind the mirror. or THE nt. cause the reflection is diffuse (see figure theincident n the surface is regular. the incoming parallel mirror rays (parallel are all to the principal axis) are reflected and diverge ed back parallel to each other. any incident rays hitting  4. and hence ed light is greater than that of the the focus Normal is behind the reflecting surface. The Law of Reflection states that the angle of the incoming. with the principle axis. This means that each ray is reflected with rent angle of reflection and the rays are no longer parallel. An observer sees that the intensity of light is maximised. the incident ray. surface is some distance away from a light source.3.5 The incident parallel Incident Reflected rays arereflected fromtheplane surface rays rays and remain parallel. the reflected ray and  concave normal to there surfaces flecting surface and rmal at the point of incidence in  the reflected ray When light .E LAW OF REFLECTION a wave is reflected from a flat-surface plane it will obey the Law of on. although an observer e (see figure 4. they are reflected so that they eisat 90 to theplaneof the they can all be drawn as though they theplan reflectconverge ing surface.3 Theincident ray. the reflected rays will not be as intense as the incident When light is reflected by a convex mirror.Incident : the angle of incidence equals the ray Normal of reflection. A and B. Reflected Angle of in diagrammatic form as shown in ray incidence 4.

o They can transmit more information than traditional copper-wire analogue system which send information encoded as electrical pulses through large cables/  Mobile phones use a digital signal for data and voice transmission  Television is now broadcast as a digital signal  The internet operates on digital transmission along data and phone lines . then the receiving instrument can still generally tell whether the pulse represents a 1 or a 0.  The data sent along optical-fibre cables is always a digitalized signal o Optical-fibre communication systems for transmitting data or sound use special lasers to transmit messages that are encoded as pulses of light. ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES HAVE POTENTIAL FOR FUTURE COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AND DATA STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES .THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS  perform a first-hand investigation and gather information to calculate the refractive index of glass or Perspex  solve problems and analyse information using Snell’s Law 5. on or off (1s and 0s) Advantages  enhanced security  ability to persevere the signal and still be able to read it after it has suffered more interference and superposition. be cleaned and re- transmitted by a repeater station without loss of information from the original transmission The digital revolution Optical fibres and the laser were inventions made to transport digital signals and the devices to encode and read digital information. information added to the wave (due to interference) changes the actual shape of the wave. in analogue waves. and hence the data it is carrying  If a digital signal is subjected to interference or degraded due to attenuation occurring over a long distance. The message can then be decoded or if necessary. identify types of communication data that are stored or transmitted in digital form Digital communication: systems are based on signals that have two values.

600 km  The location of these satellites is such that the entire surface of the globe has a direct line-of-sight connection between at least some of the satellites  To locate you position on the surface of the Earth you must have a GPS receiver and be in line-of-sight contact with at least three satellites  This is necessary for the GPS receiver because it only detects line-of- sight transmissions from the satellite  Satellites act in conjunction with a series of ground stations that are in constant communication with the satellites by radio.  The in-car navigation system is an advanced GPS developed through combining small hand-held mobile computing devices with clever software. These radio communications tell the satellites exactly where they are with respect to the Earth’s surface at any time. This is called triangulation. process and present information from secondary sources to identify areas of current research and use the available evidence to discuss some of the underlying physical principles used in one application of physics related to waves. detailed maps as well as voice simulation. gather.THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS  identify data sources. Hence. Software corrects for any delays the radio signal experiences as it travels through the atmosphere on its way to GPS receivers.  Each satellite is constantly broadcasting a radio signal that contains information about the time that the signal was sent and from which satellite the signal was sent. such as:  Global Positioning System (GPS)  GPS is made up of a set of satellites orbiting the Earth in precise locations at elevations of about 17.  The position of the GPS receiver is determined by the intersection of the different spheres of possible position suggested by each different GPS satellite. metal-coated disc that stores information digitally. the more accurate it can determine your position  Due to the satellites’ high orbit and the curvature of the Earth.  The GPS can locate a position accurately because the speed of transmission of the radio signal from the GPS is known.  The more satellites your GPS receiver can receive radio signals from at the one time. . the distance of each satellite from the GPS receiver on an imaginary sphere drawn on the surface of the Earth can be very accurately calculated.  CD technology The compact disc is a plastic. a GPS receiver may see up to nine satellites at any time  A minimum of three satellites must be seen to locate a position on the Earth’s surface.

THE WORLD COMMUNICATES PRELIMINARY PHYSICS  Information (that can be converted to picture or sound) is stored as a series of pits.  the internet (digital process)  DVD technology . the disc spins in a CD player while a laser beam shines on the pit spiral. on a spiraling track. The intensity of the reflected light changes as the beam enters and leaves the pits and it is the difference in this reflected beam’s intensity that translates into an electrical signal. The lack of a pit burned into a track represents a 0. representing 1s.  When playing an audio CD.  The metal coating on the CD reflects the light.