AS Physics - Waves

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  • Types of Wave
    • Transverse
      • The disturbance in the wave is perpendicular to the direction the wave is travelling.
      • All waves on the EM spectrum are transverse.
      • Other examples include ripples on water and waves on ropes.
      • Can be shown as displacement distance graphs or displacement time graphs.
    • Longitudinal
      • Disturbances take place parallel to the direction in which the wave travels. (The Propagation.)
      • Most common type are sound waves. Consisting of compressions and rarefactions. e.g ||| | | | ||| | | |
      • Aren't normally plotted, but if they are then displacement time graphs.
      • Sound waves - a vibrating surface in contact with air.
    • Polarised
      • Only oscillates in one direction.
      • Can only happen for transverse waves.
    • Mechanical
      • Pass through a material and are vibrations of said material.
      • E.g: sound waves, seismic waves, strings.
    • Electromagnetic
      • Vibrating electrical or magnetic fields through space. (No material needed.)
      • E.g: EM spectrum.
    • Seismic
      • Can be longitudinal or transverse.
      • In an earthquake  the majority of the energy is transferred as wave energy and is transmitted over long distances.
    • Waves
      • Interference
        • Definition
          • The way two or more waves affect each other when they meet.
          • When two or more waves meet, the total displacement is the sum of the individual displacement that any given wave would cause at that point.
        • Constructive
          • When the crests of any two waves coincide, the create an amplified wave.
          • Both waves are in phase with each other.
        • Destructive
          • When the crests of two waves are different, they create a smaller wave.
          • Waves are out of phase, half a cycle different from each other.
    • Standing
      • Have nodes where two waves cancel out so there is no movement.
      • Anti-nodes where waves interfere and make height double wave. 2 anti-nodes equal wavelength.
  • Waves
    • Interference
      • Definition
        • The way two or more waves affect each other when they meet.
        • When two or more waves meet, the total displacement is the sum of the individual displacement that any given wave would cause at that point.
      • Constructive
        • When the crests of any two waves coincide, the create an amplified wave.
        • Both waves are in phase with each other.
      • Destructive
        • When the crests of two waves are different, they create a smaller wave.
        • Waves are out of phase, half a cycle different from each other.

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