Different kinds of waves and other information

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  • Created by: Rachel
  • Created on: 08-04-09 18:35

Different types of waves

  • Transverse- Propagation (direction of movement) perpendicular to oscillation eg a sine curve.
  • Longitudinal- propagation parallel to direction of oscillation
  • Mechanical- Require a medium to travel through
  • Electromagnetic- Do not require a medium to travel through- can travel through a vacuum
  • Plane waves- are straight
  • Circular waves- in circles, spread out
  • Pulse- A short section of wave, no repeated up and down motion
  • Continuous wave- a model used by physicists to ensure they are modelling the middle of a plane wave. Do not exist in reality.
  • Wave trains- have a beginning and an end
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Wave information

  • Wavelength = distance between two "equal" points on a wave eg crest to crest
  • Frequency = number of waves per second
  • Time period = time taken for one wavelength to pass a point
  • Velocity = velocity of the wave
  • V=fw
  • f=1/T and T=1/f
  • V=w/T
  • Amplitude = greatest distance from the equilibrium position (maximum displacement)
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  • Points on a wave that are a whole wavelength apart are in phase
  • Points half a wavelength apart are in antiphase
  • Principle of Superposition: when more than one wave meets in one place, the total displacement from the equilibrium position is the sum of the displacements of all the waves
  • Must take into account the direction of displacement
  • Applies to all waves
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Stationary Waves

  • Are caused when a wave is reflected back from a hard object or, for example, a string is tied at two points- superposition leads to the formation of a "stationary wave"
  • The amplitude must be 0 at both ends for string tied at both ends, so w=2l/n
  • l=length of string
  • n=an integer... 1,2,3... etc
  • w=wavelength
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