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Module 4: Waves
Spread 1: Wave Motion:
Key Definitions:
Progressive Wave: Waves that travel away from a source.
Transverse Wave: A wave where oscillations of particles are perpendicular to the direction of
the wave's motion. For example, water waves and EM waves.
Longitudinal Wave: A wave where oscillations of particles…

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Sound waves are pressure waves (caused by the vibrations of particles). In one region, some particles
are moving towards each other (compressions: areas of high pressure ) and other particles are moving away
from each other (rarefactions: areas of low pressure).

Spread 2: Wave Terminology:
Key Definitions:

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Wavelength: The smallest distance between one point on a wave and the identical point on
the next wave (e.g. the distance from one peak to the next peak), measure in metres.
Period: The time taken for one complete pattern of oscillation, measure in seconds.
Frequency: Number of oscillations per unit…

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Deriving the Formula:
· Speed = Distance/Time
· Therefore, wave speed = Wavelength / (1/f)
· Wave speed = Frequency x Wavelength.

How a Progressive Wave Transfers Energy:
· In the case of light, energy is transferred from a source to your eye. The wave transfers
photons to your eye.…

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Refraction: When waves change direction when they travel form one medium to another, due
to a difference in wave speed in each medium.
Diffraction: When waves spread out after passing around an obstacle or through a gap.


· One of the most common phenomena that we see is…

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· This phenomena describes the change in direction of motion, as a wave enter one medium
from another. The change in direction is due to the change in speed of the wave. As light passes from
a less dense material to a more dense material, the speed of the wave…

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Gamma Rays 10-16 10-9 3 x1024 3 x1017 Nuclear Decay Photographic Diagnosis and
film/Geiger cancer
tube treatment

X-rays 10-12 10-7 3 x1020 3 x1015 Bombarding Photographic X-ray
metals with film photography/Cr
high energy ystal structure
electrons analysis

Ultraviolet 10-9 3.7 x10-7 3 x1017 8 x1014 High Photographic Disco
temperature film/Sunburn…

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oscillated by electronic o/Telecommuni
electric fields circuits cations
in aerials

· UV-A: Wavelength 315-400nm
Causes tanning when skin is exposed to the sun (accounts for 99% of UV).
· UV-B: Wavelength 280-315nm
Causes damage such as sunburn and skin cancer.
· UV-C: Wavelength 100-280nm
Filtered out by the atmosphere…

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Transverse waves have oscillations perpendicular to the wave's direction of travel. The
oscillations of the particles can be in any direction, as long as they are at right angles to the wave's
Polarising filters called 'Polaroids' cause oscillations to occur in one plane only; this is called a

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A normal light wave passes through a sheet of polaroid. The first polaroid sheet is called a
polariser. It produces plane-polarised light. The light wave then carries on to a second sheet of
polariod, called the analyser, which is rotated through an angle X, relative to the polariser sheet. The…


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