AS Physics - Unit 2

Revision cards for Unit 2.

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Nature of Waves

Waves transfer energy away from its source

Progressive (moving) waves carrier energy from one place to another without transferring any material.

  •  Electromagnetic waves cause things to heat up
  • X-rays and gama rays knock electrons out of their orbits, causing ionisation
  • Loud sound make things vibrate
  • Wave power can be used to generate electricity
  • Since waves carry energy away, the source of the wave loses energy
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  • Displacement, X, (in meters) - how far a point on a wave has moved from its undisturbed position
  • Amplitude, a, (in meters) - maximum displacement
  • Wavelength, λ, (in meters) - the length of one whole wave, from crest to crest or trough to trough.
  • Period, T, (in seconds) - time taken for a whole vibration
  • Frquenc, f, (in Hertz) - number of vibrations per second passing over a given point
  • Phase difference (measured in degrees or radians) - amount of which one wave lags behind another.

File:Sine wavelength.svg (

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Reflection and Refraction and Frequency

Reflection and Refraction

  • Reflection - wave bounces back when it hits the boundary.
  • Refraction - wave changes direction as it enters a different medium.

Frequency - inverse of the time period

Frequency = 1 / period

Units 1Hz = 1s-1

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