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# Waves

Types of Waves 

List types of waves.

Types of Waves 
   

Water Sound Light People Zombies

Wave 

A continual disturbance, oscillation, or vibration that transfers energy from one location to another. 

Oscillation: a repeating fluctuation in a physical object or quantity. 

Pulse: a single oscillation.

Types of Waves - Scientific 

Mechanical 

A wave that must travel in a medium.
Water  Sound  

Electromagnetic 

A wave consisting of electric and magnetic fields. 

Light

Mechanical Waves 

Two Types: 

Transverse A wave in which the particles of the medium move perpendicular to the motion of the wave. 

Longitudinal A wave in which the particles of the medium move parallel to the motion of the wave.

Characteristics of Waves 

Frequency (f) 

How often do they come? 

Example: 5 per second 

Period (T) 

How much time does one take to pass? How tall are the waves? How long are the waves? How fast are the waves going? 

Amplitude (A)  

Wavelength ( )  

Speed (v) 

Wavelength 

Wavelength: the distance between consecutive corresponding points

Amplitude 

Amplitude: the distance from the middle of the wave to the top of a crest or to the bottom of a trough.

Frequency 

Measured in cycles per second . 


s- 1 Hz

hertz
1 January 1894) 

Heinrich Hertz
(22 February 1857   

Laid the foundation for the photoelectric effect (for which Einstein won the Nobel Prize) Experimentally proved the existence of electromagnetic waves. When asked about the ramifications of his discovery Hertz replied, "Nothing, I guess."

Frequency  

Period

If a wave has a frequency of 5 Hz (5 cycles per second) how long does it take for 1 cycle?
0.2 second 

If the period of a wave is 0.1 second, what is the frequency of the wave? (How many cycles per second?) 

10 Hz 

What is the relationship between period and frequency? 

T = 1/f

Speed of Waves 

Let s figure out the equation for the speed of a wave!
What equation do you already know for speed?  

v = d/t Wavelength! Period! V = /T 

What characteristic of a wave is a distance?  

What characteristic of a wave is a time?  

So, the equation for wave speed is 

Speed of Waves 


v = /T 1/T is the same as what? 

Frequency 

So, we can call the speed of a wave v=f 

Wave Speed 

Practice Problems

What is the speed of a water wave that has a wavelength of 8 meters and a frequency of .25 Hz? What is the wavelength of a sound wave that is 250 Hz? What is the frequency of a wave on a slinky that has a wavelength of 24 cm and is traveling 5 m/s?  

Phase

Phase
B F

A

C E

G I

D

H

Motion of Particles 
Remember! 
Waves

transfer energy WITHOUT transferring mass. 

Particles on transverse waves only move UP and DOWN. Particles on longitudinal waves only move RIGHT and LEFT. 

Motion of Particles
A

A

Which way did particle A move?

Motion of Particles 

yourself: 

Q: Which part of the wave is coming next?  A: Crest. 
Particle

will move up to be on crest. 

A: Trough. 
Particle

will move down to be in trough.

Standing Wave 

A pattern of wave crests and troughs that remains stationary.
node

anti-node

Natural Frequency - Resonance 

Natural frequency - a particular frequency at which objects vibrate if disturbed. Resonance the vibration of a body at its natural frequency due to the action of a vibrating source of the same frequency. 

Natural Frequency - Resonance 

Tacoma Narrows Bridge Mythbusters Breaking Glass 

Doppler Effect 
 

Fire Engine Car Horn Bike - Air Horn Kent & East Sussex Railway Big Bang Theory Listener in Motion Efecto Doppler The Doppler Effect 

   

Doppler Effect 

The apparent shift of a wave s frequency due to relative motion between the wave s source and an observer.

Stationary

Forward

Reverse

Doppler Effect 

If the source and observer are getting closer (relative motion toward) the apparent frequency will be increased. If the source and observer are getting farther apart (relative motion away) the apparent frequency will be decreased. The actual frequency of the wave does not change.  

Interference 

When two waves are in the same place in a medium at the same time (superposition) (superposition) they will interfere with each other.
Constructive Destructive

+

+

Phase & Interference
90° 90° 90°

270° 90° 90°

270° 90°

270°

270°

270°

270°

Phase Difference = 0°

Maximum Constructive Interference

Phase & Interference
90° 90° 90°

270° 90°

270° 90°

270° 90°

270°

270°

270°

Phase Difference = 180°

Maximum Destructive Interference

Interference 

For each of the following, determine the amplitude of the resulting wave when the two pulses are superimposed.

+4 +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 -4

Interference
+4 +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 -4

Interference
+4 +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 -4

Interference
+4 +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 -4

Interference
+4 +3 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 -3 -4

Diffraction 

The spreading out of a wave beyond an obstacle. 

Maximum diffraction occurs when the wavelength of the wave is similar to the size of the obstacle.

Electromagnetic Waves 

List types of electromagnetic waves.

Electromagnetic Waves 

Speed of light: c = 3 x 108 m/s 


in a vacuum Light travels at different (slower) speeds in other materials.

Electromagnetic Spectrum

Waves at a Boundary 

What are some things that can happen to a wave when it strikes a boundary between two materials? Absorb Reflect Transmit  Refract 

 

Reflection
Incident ray normal Reflected ray

i

r

i

= angle of incidence
i= r

r=

angle of reflection

Law of Reflection

Types of Reflection

Types of Mirrors
Plane Mirror

Convex Mirror Concave Mirror

Light in a Medium 

Speed of light? 


3 x 108 m/s In what? 

Vacuum 

How fast does light travel in other materials? 


Faster or slower? Slower!

Light in a Medium 


Light travels slower in a medium. How much slower? 

Depends on the medium. (Reference Tables) 

Every medium has an index of refraction.  

What medium has the smallest index of refraction? The largest?

Light in a Medium 

The index of refraction is an indicator of how much light slows down in that medium. Ratio (unitless) of speed of light in (unitless) vacuum to speed of light in the material.  

n = c/v

Practice 

Calculate the speed of light in 4 materials other than air.

Refraction 

When light changes speed, it bends. 

Refraction! 

The bending of light as it travels between two media with different indices of refraction.

Refraction
n
1
AIR WATER

n:

1

>

2

2

Refraction

n
1

n

:

1

<

2

WATER AIR

2

Snell s Law 

n1sin

1

= n2sin

2

35°
AIR WATER 

What is

2?

2

Refraction 

n1sin

1

= n2sin

2

1
WATER AIR

50° 

What is

1?

Total Internal Reflection  

This can occur when light travels from a material of large index of refraction to that of small index of refraction. The angle of refraction is 90 degrees. Can you calculate the angle of the incident ray? 

Total Internal Reflection

1
WATER AIR

What is

1?

Polarization 

The orientation of a wave.

Mirror Images
Object Image

Mirror

Interference
+4 +3 +2 +1

-1 -2 -3 -4

Interference
+4 +3 +2 +1

-1 -2 -3 -4