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What Are Waves Caused By Physics

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Characteristics Of Shock Waves

Introduction to waves | Mechanical waves and sound | Physics | Khan Academy

Comparing supersonic flows, we may achieve an increase in an expansion through an expansion fan. For instance, the known expansion fan is a Prandtl-Meyer expansion fan.

Coupled with, expansion wave may approach, collide and lastly recombine with the shock wave, creating a process of destructive interference.

The sonic boom associates with the passage of a supersonic aircraft, which is a type of sound wave produced as a result of constructive interference.

When a shock wave passes through matter, energy preserves, however, entropy increases. This change in the matter’s properties, as a rule, manifests itself as a decrease in energy. However, we can extract work from this energy, also, as a drag force on supersonic objects.

Therefore, shock waves are strongly irreversible processes.

Additionally, we have a few types of shock waves, lets understand these:

Sound Wave Graphs Explained

Sound waves can be described by graphing either displacement or density. Displacement-time graphs represent how far the particles are from their original places and indicates which direction theyve moved. Particles that show up on the zero line in a particle displacement graph didnt move at all from their normal position. These seemingly motionless particles experience more compressions and rarefactions than other particles. Since pressure and density are related, a pressure versus time graph will display the same information as a density versus time graph. These graphs indicate where the particles are compressed and where they are very expanded. Unlike displacement graphs, particles along the zero line in a density graph are never squished or pulled apart. Instead, they are the particles that move back and forth the most.

What Do Waves Do Physics

In physics a wave can be thought of as a disturbance or oscillation that travels through space-time, accompanied by a transfer of energy. Wave motion transfers energy from one point to another, often with no permanent displacement of the particles of the medium that is, with little or no associated mass transport.

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How Is Sound Produced

Sound is produced when an object vibrates, creating a pressure wave. This pressure wave causes particles in the surrounding medium to have vibrational motion. As the particles vibrate, they move nearby particles, transmitting the sound further through the medium. The human ear detects sound waves when vibrating air particles vibrate small parts within the ear.

In many ways, sound waves are similar to light waves. They both originate from a definite source and can be distributed or scattered using various means. Unlike light, sound waves can only travel through a medium, such as air, glass, or metal. This means theres no sound in space!

Classification Of Wave Based On Vibration Of Particles Of Wave


a. Transverse Wave: In transverse waves, the particles of the medium vibrate at right angles to the direction in which the wave propagates. Waves on strings, surface water waves, and electromagnetic waves are transverse waves. In electromagnetic waves , the disturbance that travels is not a result of vibrations of particles it is due to the oscillation of electric and magnetic fields at right angles to the direction in which the wave travels.

b. Longitudinal wave: In these types of waves, particles of the medium vibrate to and fro about their mean position along the direction of energy propagation. These are also called pressure waves. Sound waves are longitudinal mechanical waves.

Further, we have:

a. Matter waves: They are associated with constituents of matter: electrons, protons, neutrons, atoms, and molecules. They arise in the quantum mechanical description of nature. Though conceptually more abstract than mechanical or electromagnetic waves, they have already found applications in several devices essential to modern technology matter waves associated with electrons are employed in electron microscopes.

Terms Related to Waves

2. AmplitudeThe amplitude of a wave is the maximum displacement of the particles of the medium from their mean position.

3. FrequencyThe number of vibrations made by a particle in one second is called frequency. It is represented by \. Its unit is hertz \,\nu = \frac\).

\ = } \times }\)

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What Exactly Causes Mechanical Waves

I agree its all about vibrations the energy causes the medium to vibrate and the total over all displacement of matter is 0, but how exactly are ripples formed?

I read that a vibrating particle can push or pull the water molecules and later that water molecule pull or pushes the other water particle. How does that exactly happen?

Kindly enphasize on water waves.

Quite simply, a mechanical wave is unable to propagate through a vacuum, unlike electromagnetic waves, which do not require a medium, and can propagate through a vacuum. A wave, as you probably know, simply carries energy through a medium, and does not move the medium itself. Similarly, in the case of water waves, there is no overall displacement of matter, as you mentioned. When there occurs a disturbance in the body of water, which is the medium, water is pushed outwards, thereby creating what you refer to as ripples. There is no movement of water involved, there is just energy being moved through the water. At its most fundamental level, $_2\text}$ molecules collide with each other, resulting in the ripple.

Wave In Elastic Medium

Consider a traveling transverse wave ” rel=”nofollow”> pulse) on a string . Consider the string to have a single spatial dimension. Consider this wave as traveling


  • in the direction in space. For example, let the positive x direction be to the right, and the negative x
  • independent of amplitude .
  • with constant waveform, or shape
  • This wave can then be described by the two-dimensional functions


    or, more generally, by d’Alembert’s formula:


    representing two component waveforms G traveling through the medium in opposite directions. A generalized representation of this wave can be obtained as the partial differential equation

    1 2 . }}u}}}=u}}}.}

    General solutions are based upon Duhamel’s principle.

    Beside the second order wave equations that are describing a standing wave field, the one-way wave equation describes the propagation of single wave in a defined direction.

    The form or shape of F in d’Alembert’s formula involves the argument x â vt. Constant values of this argument correspond to constant values of F, and these constant values occur if x increases at the same rate that vt increases. That is, the wave shaped like the function F will move in the positive x-direction at velocity v .

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    What Are Progressive And Stationary Waves

    We can divide waves into stationary waves and progressive waves. Stationary waves do not propagate as they oscillate up and down in the same place. An example of this is the guitar strings when you play the guitar. Progressive waves move from one place to another. A classic example of a progressive wave is an ocean wave.

    Figure 1. A progressive wave moves from one place to another. Source: StudySmarter.

    Figure 2. A stationary wave does not move from one place to another. Stationary waves are oscillations that appear and disappear in fixed points of space, as shown above. Source: StudySmarter.

    Classification Of Wave Based On The Dimension

    GCSE Physics – Intro to Waves – Longitudinal and Transverse Waves #61

    a. Waves in one-dimension: These waves travel along a line, i.e., along with one-dimensional space. These waves are only a function of one space variable. A wave on a string is an example of a one-dimensional wave

    b. Waves in two-dimension: The two-dimensional wave travels along any two dimensions it can have either \ and \ or \ and \ or \ and \ components. Waves can also travel on a surface that is a two-dimensional space, such as the surface of water or in a layer of clouds

    c. Waves in three-dimension: The three-dimensional waves have the \ component, \ component, and \ component. Many significant waves propagate in a three-dimensional space. These include sound waves, radio waves, light, and other electromagnetic waves.

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    Characteristics Of Sound Waves

    There are five main characteristics of sound waves: wavelength, amplitude, frequency, time period, and velocity. The wavelength of a sound wave indicates the distance that wave travels before it repeats itself. The wavelength itself is a longitudinal wave that shows the compressions and rarefactions of the sound wave. The amplitude of a wave defines the maximum displacement of the particles disturbed by the sound wave as it passes through a medium. A large amplitude indicates a large sound wave. The frequency of a sound wave indicates the number of sound waves produced each second. Low-frequency sounds produce sound waves less often than high-frequency sounds. The time period of a sound wave is the amount of time required to create a complete wave cycle. Each vibration from the sound source produces a waves worth of sound. Each complete wave cycle begins with a trough and ends at the start of the next trough. Lastly, the velocity of a sound wave tells us how fast the wave is moving and is expressed as meters per second.

    Sound wave diagram. A wave cycle occurs between two troughs.

    Sound Intensity In An Air Column

    An air column is a large, hollow tube that is open on one side and closed on the other. The conditions created by an air column are especially useful for investigating sound characteristics such as intensity and resonance. Check out the video below to see how air columns can be used to investigate nodes, antinodes and resonance.

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    What Are The Characteristics Of Transverse Waves

    • The propagation of transverse waves is possible only through solids and not through liquids or gases.
    • Only transverse waves can exhibit the phenomenon of polarisation. The vibration of the particles in a medium takes place in the same place this is known as the plane of vibration or polarisation.
    • Properties such as pressure and density are constant in a medium when transverse waves are propagated.
    • The formation of typical crests and troughs in transverse waves is periodic in nature.
    • The propagation of transverse waves depends on the mediums rigidity.

    Classification Of Wave Based On The Propagation Of Energy

    Optics: What

    a. Stationary waves or standing waves: These are the waves that possess vertical oscillating movement but do not undergo forward motion in a horizontal direction. It results from the superposition of two identical waves of the same amplitude and frequency, propagating in the opposite direction. Stationary wave generates vibration pattern within the medium. Thus, energy is confined within it. It never appears to get travelled as the nearby points of the wave are of similar phase, and so the energy is not transferred from one point to another

    b. Progressive waves: These waves are the ones that allow the propagation of energy through the medium as the wave continuously travels in one direction where the amplitude is kept constant. The molecules in the progressive wave transfer their oscillating energy in the forward direction. It leads to the propagation of energy from one point to another through the medium.

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    Why Are Water Waves Transverse And Longitudinal

    On the water surface transverse waves are formed because of the water ripples passing on the surface.And as we go deep inside the water body, the particles are displaced parallel to the direction in which the wave travels, therefore, longitudinal waves are found.Hence, water waves are both transverse as well as longitudinal.

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    Anatomy Of An Electromagnetic Wave

    Energy, a measure of the ability to do work, comes in many forms and can transform from one type to another. Examples of stored or potential energy include batteries and water behind a dam. Objects in motion are examples of kinetic energy. Charged particlessuch as electrons and protonscreate electromagnetic fields when they move, and these fields transport the type of energy we call electromagnetic radiation, or light.

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    How Are Waves Related To The Transport Of Energy

    Waves involve the transport of energy without the transport of matter. In conclusion, a wave can be described as a disturbance that travels through a medium, transporting energy from one location to another location without transporting matter.

    How are gravitational waves used to study the universe?

    Though its mission is to detect gravitational waves from some of the most violent and energetic processes in the Universe, the data LIGO collects may have far-reaching effects on many areas of physics including gravitation, relativity, astrophysics, cosmology, particle physics, and nuclear physics.

    Which is the most important property of a wave?

    The prime properties of waves are as follows: Amplitude Wave is an energy transport phenomenon. Amplitude is the height of the wave, usually measured in meters. It is directly related to the amount of energy carried by a wave.

    How Does Sound Travel

    Light Is Waves: Crash Course Physics #39


    Before we discuss how sound travels, its important to understand what a medium is and how it affects sound. We know that sound can travel through gases, liquids, and solids. But how do these affect its movement? Sound moves most quickly through solids, because its molecules are densely packed together. This enables sound waves to rapidly transfer vibrations from one molecule to another. Sound moves similarly through water, but its velocity is over four times faster than it is in air. The velocity of sound waves moving through air can be further reduced by high wind speeds that dissipate the sound waves energy.

    Mediums and the Speed of Sound

    The speed of sound is dependent on the type of medium the sound waves travel through. In dry air at 20°C, the speed of sound is 343 m/s! In room temperature seawater, sound waves travel at about 1531 m/s! When physicists observe a disturbance that expands faster than the local speed of sound, its called a shockwave. When supersonic aircraft fly overhead, a local shockwave can be observed! Generally, sound waves travel faster in warmer conditions. As the ocean warms from global climate, how do you think this will affect the speed of sound waves in the ocean?

    Propagation of Sound Waves

    Compression & Rarefaction

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    Wave Frequency And Wave Period

    To calculate wave frequency and period, it is helpful to remember the inverse relationship between these two properties. Frequency is measured in waves per second and period is measured in seconds per wave. For example, if the period is 2 seconds, then the frequency is 0.5 waves per second.

    Create standing waves in a wave tank and look at the effect of frequency and length of wave pulse on wavelength, wave height, wave speed, and wave period.

    Standing waves are waves that do not appear to move forward or advance in position. Rather, they oscillate or vibrate in place. A plucked guitar string is an example of a standing mechanical wave with two fixed ends. Standing waves occur when waves with the same frequency, wavelength, and amplitude interact. In contrast to standing waves, transverse waves advance in position. Water waves on the surface of the ocean do not typically behave like standing waves. Instead, they behave like transverse waves, propagating their energy forward as they move.

    What Causes A Tsunami An Ocean Scientist Explains The Physics Of These Destructive Waves

    On Jan. 15, 2022, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haapai volcano in Tonga erupted, sending a tsunami racing across the Pacific Ocean in all directions.

    As word of the eruption spread, government agencies on surrounding islands and in places as far away as New Zealand, Japan and even the U.S. West Coast issued tsunami warnings. Only about 12 hours after the initial eruption, tsunami waves a few feet tall hit California shorelines more than 5,000 miles away from the eruption.

    Im a physical oceanographer who studies waves and turbulent mixing in the ocean. Tsunamis are one of my favorite topics to teach my students because the physics of how they move through oceans is so simple and elegant.

    Waves that are a few feet tall hitting a beach in California might not sound like the destructive waves the term calls to mind, nor what you see in footage of tragic tsunamis from the past. But tsunamis are not normal waves, no matter the size. So how are tsunamis different from other ocean waves? What generates them? How do they travel so fast? And why are they so destructive?

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    Pulse Waves And Periodic Waves

    If you drop a pebble into the water, only a few waves may be generated before the disturbance dies down, whereas in a wave pool, the waves are continuous. A pulse wave is a sudden disturbance in which only one wave or a few waves are generated, such as in the example of the pebble. Thunder and explosions also create pulse waves. A periodic wave repeats the same oscillation for several cycles, such as in the case of the wave pool, and is associated with simple harmonic motion. Each particle in the medium experiences simple harmonic motion in periodic waves by moving back and forth periodically through the same positions.

    How Do You Calculate The Frequency Of A Wave

    Static wave

    To calculate a waves frequency, you need to find a fixed point in space and then measure the time it takes for two consecutive crests to pass that point. The time it takes for a wave to repeat its oscillation pattern is known as its period. To obtain the waves frequency, you need to take the inverse of this period, as shown in the formula below:


    Be perfectly prepared on time with an individual plan.

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    How To Create Standing Waves

    With PASCOs String Vibrator, Sine Wave Generator, and Strobe System, students can create, manipulate and measure standing waves in real time. The Sine Wave Generator and String Vibrator work together to propagate a sine wave through the rope, while the Strobe System can be used to freeze waves in time. Create clearly defined nodes, illuminate standing waves, and investigate the quantum nature of waves in real-time with this modern investigative approach. You can check out some of our favorite wave applications in the video below.

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