Waves: Wave Behaviour

Waves: Wave Behaviour

-Wave Behaviour:

  1. Waves can transfer energy and information from one place to another without moving matter the whole way.

  2. Types of Waves: There are two types of waves, transverse and longitudinal.

    • Transverse Waves: In these waves, the vibrations are at right angles to the direction of wave travel. E.g. light and other electromagnetic waves, S waves (an earthquake wave).

    • Longitudinal Waves: In these waves, the vibrations are along the same direction as the direction of wave travel. E.g. sound waves in air, P waves (an earthquake wave).

  3. Amplitude: This refers to the maximum extent of a vibration or oscillation, measured from the position of equilibrium. In other words, it’s the distance from rest to crest or trough.

  4. Wavelength: The distance between two successive crests or troughs in a wave.

  5. Frequency: The number of waves passing a point each second. It’s measured in hertz (Hz).

  6. Wave speed: How fast the wave is moving. This can be calculated using the formula: wave speed (v) = frequency (f) × wavelength (λ).

  7. Reflection of Waves: Similar to light, sound waves also bounce off surfaces. This is known as reflexion. The law of reflexion states that the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflexion.

  8. Refraction of Waves: This is the change in direction of a wave due to a change in its speed. This is most commonly observed when a wave passes from one medium to another.

  9. Diffraction of Waves: This is the bending of waves around obstacles or the spreading of waves when they pass through a gap.

  10. Superposition: When two waves meet, their displacements at any point add together to produce the resultant displacement.

  11. Polarization: This is a property of waves that can oscillate with more than one orientation. Electromagnetic waves such as light exhibit polarisation, while sound waves do not because they oscillate along their direction of propagation.

  12. Interference: When two or more waves of the same type are in the same place at the same time, they will interfere with each other. This can result in constructive interference (where the amplitudes of the waves add together) or destructive interference (where they cancel each other out).

Remember to practise different wave calculations and understand how wave behaviours change under different conditions. Practicing past problems will significantly help in mastering these concepts.