Physics Vocab - Waves

41 terms · For the Physics Waves Quiz

a wiggle in time

wave

A disturbance that carries energy through matter or space

simple harmonic motion

Periodic motion where restoring force is directly proportional to displacement; a back and forth motion

amplitude

the distance from the equilibrium position - where it would end if it stopped oscillating

period

the time needed for an object to complete one full cycle of simple harmonic motion time for one full movement; 1 complete back and forth

spring constant

relates how easily to the equilibrium it is to stretch string

pendulum

mass on string (N/m)

straight down

Electromagnetic Waves

no medium is needed

mechanical waves

need a medium to travel through (transverse waves, longitudinal waves, and surface waves)

transverse waves

medium is displaced perpendicular to direction of wave motion

longitudinal waves

medium is displaced parallel to direction of wave

surface waves

combination of transverse and longitudinal waves

wave pulse

a single disturbance that travels through a medium

traveling wave

when more than one disturbance occurs, like pulses at regular intervals

aomplitude

max displacement from equilibrium

wavelength

distance from crest to crest (m); the shortest distance between two points where the wave patterns repeats

trough

the lowest point of a transverse wave

crest

the highest point of a transverse wave

compression

region where squeezed

farther apart

frequency

waves/seconds; cycles/second; (Hz); The number of complete oscillations a wave makes each second

period

time for 1 full cycle or for 1 wavelength (s)

Principle of superposition

the displacement of a medium caused by 2 or more waves is the algebraic sum of the individual wave displacement (add the amplitudes)

interference

the result of the superposition of 2 or more waves

destructive interference

When waves in opposite directions meet + their displacements are in opposite directions, new waves will have a smaller amplitude (in phase)

constructive interference

When wave displacements are in the same direction + 2 waves meet, the result will be a larger amplitude (out of phase)

in phase

crests + trough overlap for 2 waves

out of phase

crest of 1 wave overlaps trough of the other

superposition of waves

2 waves can be in the same place at the same time

standing waves

2 or more waves that interfere with each other so that they appear to be stationary

node

When waves are superposed, any point that does not experience displacement; the stationary points

antinodes

When two waves interfere constructively, the point with the greatest displacement; max displacement

Doppler effect

the apparent change in frequency of a wave due to relative motion of the observer and/or source

red shift

moving away from you; lower frequency

blue shift

moving toward you; higher frequency

Law of reflection

angle of incidence equals the angle formed between incoming wave and the normal

normal

perpendicular to the boundary

refraction

change in direction of waves at a boundary between 2 different mediums

diffraction

the spreading or bending of waves around a barrier

periodic motion

any motion that repeats in a regular cycle