Wave definitions

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  • Created by: Aabir
  • Created on: 31-03-16 11:40
Wave
A wave is a regular vibration which transfers energy without transferring matter.
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Wavelength
The distance from one wave peak to the next.
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Frequency
How many complete waves there are per second passing a certain point. It is measured in hertz. Frequency = 1 / Period
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Amplitude
The height of the wave from rest to crest.
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Speed
The speed of the wave. Speed = Frequency x Wavelength
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Period
The time it takes for one complete wave to pass a point. Period = 1 / Frequency
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Transverse
When the vibrations are perpendicular to the direction of energy transfer. For example, light waves are transverse.
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Longitudinal
When the vibrations are parallel to the direction of energy transfer. For example, sound waves are longitudinal.
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Reflection
When waves rebound off a material.
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Refraction
The change in the direction of the wave due to its change in speed when entering a medium of a different density.
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Diffraction
The spreading out of a wave when it bends around edges or through gaps. The amount of diffraction depends on the size of gap relative to the wavelength.
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Normal
An imaginary line perpendicular to the surface of the material, drawn as a dashed line at the point where the wave hits the surface.
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Refractive index
An indication of how strongly a particular material changes the direction of light. It equals the speed of light in a vacuum divided by the speed of light in the material (n=c/v).
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Critical angle
The angle of incidence where the angle of refraction becomes greater than 90°.
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Total internal reflection
The complete reflection of a light ray reaching an interface with a less dense medium when the angle of incidence exceeds the critical angle.
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Snell's Law
n = sin(i)/sin(r) = 1/sin(C)
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Oscilloscope
A device which can display sound waves as a trace on a screen.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The distance from one wave peak to the next.

Back

Wavelength

Card 3

Front

How many complete waves there are per second passing a certain point. It is measured in hertz. Frequency = 1 / Period

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

The height of the wave from rest to crest.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The speed of the wave. Speed = Frequency x Wavelength

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards

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