Physics GCSE - P6 Waves !

These notes are about the 4 wave phenomena

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How it works:


Angle of incidence               =            Angle of reflection

The line traveling towards the barrier and the line traveling away from the barrier are the same angle.

 The dashy line is called the 'normal'; it is always at a right angle to the barrier


An example of a wave being reflected is light on a mirror, as the light hits the barrier (the mirror) it reflects off. It reflects off at the same angle at which it started from, so if there was an image the light would reflect off it, onto the mirror and into your eye.

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How it works:

Interference is a place where two waves meet


 - Where the two waves are similar in shape (the crests are corrosponding meaning that they face the same way)

-The two waves add on to one anouther (a crest is placed ontop the other crest) this enables the waves to merge and make one HUGE wave


- The two waves have uncorrosponding crests (they face the opposite direction)

- The waves are pathetic and can't merge so cancel one anouther out

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How it works:

When a wave passes an edge or moves through a gap it spreads out :


-The faster the wave or smaller the gap, the wider the angle of refraction

-The wavelength remains the same before and after the gap


The spreading out of the wave = a loss of energy

Therefore...... the amplitude (height) of the waves decreases as they move away

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meduim 1- shallow water                         meduim 2- deep water

(There should be a line before the incident ray to indicate where it entered the shallow water. It should be fast, then slow, then fast (deep, to slow, to deep again)

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How it works:

When a wave enters a medium where it is slowed,it bends towards the normal :

-For water, the wave slows in the shallows

-For light, this is for when it enters something denser (like glass)

And like normal the normal is at a right angle to the barrier (where the glass or shallow water ends)

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camille hutchinson


thank you 

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