physics P1 (4)

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  • Created by: haidee
  • Created on: 02-05-12 16:39


  • waves transfer energy from a source to other places
  • waves are a regular pattern of disturbances
  • in a transverse wave the disturbance is a right angles to the direction of travel of the wave
  • in a longitudinal wave the disturbance is parallel to the direction of travel of the wave
  • the amplitude is the maximum disturbance from equilibrium
  • it is measured in metres
  • the wavelength is the distance between one point on a disturbance and the same point on the next one eg, from crest to crest, tough to tough
  • it is measured in tough
  • the prequency is the number of waves produced by the source in one second, or the number od waves passing a point in one second
  • it is measured in hertz


  • all waves can be reflected
  • all waves can be refracted
  • all waves can be diffracted
  • diffraction is the bending of a wave into the region of shadow as it passes an obstacle
  • -the wavelength, frequency and speed of the wave do not change
  • -the longer the wavelength, the more the wave is diffracted
  • when drawing diagrams to show diffraction, we use waveforms, not rays
  • since light has a very small wavelength these is only a very small amount of diffraction
  • sonce sound has a longer wavelength these is a larger amount of diffraction so sound is bent round corners

Waves through gaps

  • gap large compared to wavelength and there is little diffraction
  • gap smaller and a little more diffraction
  • gap the same size and wavelength and the waves become curved

Waves past obstacles

  • obstacle large compared to wavelength and there is little diffraction
  • obstacle smaller and there is more diffraction
  • obstacle the same size as the wavelength and the waves meet as they cross over


  • the image produced in the mirror is virtual, it is formed where the rays appear to come from
  • it is also upright ans laterally inverted…


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