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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 
Ask

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