PHYSICS UNIT 2: WAVES

quick revision notes on waves topic of unit 2 physics, doesnt include any optics info, i.e. diffractiongrating and stuff, as thats in the other document. but enjoyy :DDDD

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UNIT 2 PHYSICS REVISION- WAVES
Waves transfer ENERGY, not matter
Longitudinal waves: oscillation is parallel to
direction of propagation (energy transfer)
Transverse waves: the vibration is
perpendicular to direction of propagation.
Electromagnetic waves are all examples of
transverse waves.
Frequency = 1/T. Measured in hz.
Medium = what the wave is travelling through.
V=fx
Progressive waves = waves that move
Phase = how much out of sync two points on a wave are, measured in radians or degrees
To calculate phase difference between particles in a progressive wave:
= 2d/
Transverse waves can be polarised as they vibrate in more than one plane. However longitudinal
waves cannot be polarised. This idea can be extended in the idea of white light being polarised, and
application to polarised sunglasses.
Waves can behave in different ways:
REFLECTION;
REFRACTION;
DIFFRACTION; The narrower the gap = more waves spread out/diffract. The longer the wavelength =
more the waves spread out/diffract.
(more information in my Optics notes)
Superposition:
When two waves meet, the total
displacement at a point is equal to the
sum of the individual displacements at
that point.
When waves reinforce each other, this is
CONSTRUCTIVE INTERFERENCE
When waves cancel each other, this is
DESTRUCTIVE INTERFERENCE.

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The level of interference is to do with the phase relationship between the two waves, to determine
points of intersection. For example, if in anti-phase with similar amplitude then they will cancel out.
Example of a superposition: Stationary waves
The formation of stationary waves is when two progressive waves of the same frequency are
travelling in opposite directions. Points of
constant cancellation are nodes, and these are
when the two waves are always out of
phase (180degrees).…read more

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