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23 terms

Physics Waves

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Wave
A disturbance that carries energy through matter or space without the transport of matter.
Mechanical Wave
Needs a medium to travel through. Energy is needed to create a disturbance in the elastic medium. Used in models for waves you cannot see. EX) water waves, sound, rope wave.
Medium
A material that a wave travels through like water or air.
Wave Pulse
A single disturbance that travels through a medium.
Periodic Wave
When a wave moves up and down at the same rate.
Transverse Wave
The displacement of particles in the medium is perpendicular to the direction of wave motion.
Longitudinal Wave
The displacement of particles of the medium is parallel to the direction of wave motion. EX) sound
Surface Wave
Have properties of both transverse and longitudinal waves. EX) ocean wave.
Electromagnetic Waves
Don't need a medium. Travel through vacuums at the speed of light. EX) light, x-ray, radio.
Wave Velocity
The speed of a wave. Distance/time.
Amplitude
The maximum displacement of a particle of the medium from the equilibrium point. Does not depend on speed.
Wavelength
The shortest distance between two points on a wave that are "in phase." Consists of troughs and crests. Equal to velocity/frequency.
Period
The shortest time interval during which the motion of a wave repeats itself. Does not depend on the speed or medium, but only the wave source. Indicated by the letter T.
Frequency
The number of waves per unit of time. Equal to 1/period. Does not depend on speed or medium, only the source of the wave.
What does the speed of a mechanical wave depend upon?
Properties of medium, not amplitude or frequency.
Incident Wave
A wave that strikes a boundary between two mediums.
Reflected Wave
A returning wave that results from the nervy from an incident wave being reflected back.
Superposition
If 2 waves exist in the same phase in a medium at the same time, they affect the medium independently. The displacement of the medium is the sum of the individual displacements.
Interference
The result of the superposition of two or more waves.
Destructive Interference
When two pulses from equal but opposite amplitudes meet.
Node
A point in interference where the displacement of a medium is zero.
Antinode
Point of largest displacement in interference.
Standing Wave
The result of 2 or more waves of the same wavelength, frequency, and amplitude traveling in opposite directions through the same medium.