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# PHYSICS – General Wave Properties

LEARNING
OBJECTIVES
Core Supplement
• Demonstrate understanding that
waves transfer energy without
transferring matter
• Describe what is meant by wave
motion as illustrated by vibration in
ropes and springs and by experiments
using water waves
• Use the term wavefront
• Give the meaning of speed, frequency, • Recall and use the equation v = f λ
wavelength and amplitude
• Distinguish between transverse and
longitudinal waves and give suitable
examples
• Describe how waves can undergo: – • Describe how wavelength and gap size
reflection at a plane surface – affects diffraction through a gap
refraction due to a change of speed – • Describe how wavelength affects
diffraction through a narrow gap diffraction at an edge
• Describe the use of water waves to
demonstrate reflection, refraction and
diffraction
Waves
Waves
When a stone is dropped
into a pond, ripples begin to
surface.
Waves
The tiny waves carry energy
– but there is no actual flow
of water across the pond.
Waves
Waves are just the
up and down
movement in water.

Peak

Trough
Waves There are other
sorts of waves, such
as:
Waves are just the Sound
up and down
movement in water.
Light

Peak

Trough
Waves There are other
sorts of waves, such
as:
Waves are just the Sound
up and down
movement in water.
Light

## Waves have features

in common, and can be
divided into two main
types:

1. Transverse
Peak 2. Longitudinal

Trough
Transverse Waves Eg. light, ultra-violet, gamma
Transverse Waves Eg. light, ultra-violet, gamma

## The to-and-fro movements of the wave are

called oscillations. In a transverse wave
these oscillations are at right angles to the
direction in which the energy is travelling.
Transverse Waves Eg. light, ultra-violet, gamma

## The to-and-fro movements of the wave are

called oscillations. In a transverse wave
these oscillations are at right angles to the
direction in which the energy is travelling.
Transverse Waves Eg. light, ultra-violet, gamma

## Features of transverse waves

1. Wavelength.
The distance
between any two
corresponding
points on the
wave. (metres)
Transverse Waves Eg. light, ultra-violet, gamma

## 1. Wavelength. 2. Amplitude. The

The distance maximum
between any two displacement of
corresponding the wave from its
points on the rest point.
wave. (metres)
Transverse Waves Eg. light, ultra-violet, gamma

## 1. Wavelength. 2. Amplitude. The 3. Speed. The

The distance maximum speed of the wave
between any two displacement of is measured in
corresponding the wave from its metres per second
points on the rest point. (m/s).
wave. (metres)
Transverse Waves Eg. light, ultra-violet, gamma

## 4. Frequency. The number of

waves passing any point in
one second. The unit of
frequency is the hertz (Hz).
One hertz is one vibration
of the wave per second. The
time for one oscillation is
called the period.
Transverse Waves Eg. light, ultra-violet, gamma

## 4. Frequency. The number of For example, if five complete

waves passing any point in waves pass a given point in one
one second. The unit of second (i.e. five complete
frequency is the hertz (Hz). oscillations) then the
One hertz is one vibration frequency is 5 Hz.
of the wave per second. The
time for one oscillation is
called the period.
Transverse Waves Eg. light, ultra-violet, gamma

## Remember! The frequency (in Hz) is the

number of oscillations per second.
The period (in seconds) is the time for one
complete oscillation.

Frequency = 1
period
Transverse Waves Eg. light, ultra-violet, gamma

## The wave equation

together speed,
frequency and
wavelength.
Transverse Waves Eg. light, ultra-violet, gamma

together speed,
frequency and
wavelength.

## Speed = frequency x wavelength

Transverse Waves Eg. light, ultra-violet, gamma

together speed,
frequency and
wavelength.

## Speed = frequency x wavelength

v = fλ
(λ = Greek letter
lambda)
Transverse Waves Eg. light, ultra-violet, gamma

together speed,
frequency and
wavelength.

## Speed = frequency x wavelength

v = fλ
(λ = Greek letter
lambda)

m/s Hz m
Transverse Waves Eg. light, ultra-violet, gamma

together speed,
frequency and
wavelength.

## Example 1: a wave has a

wavelength of 12m. Calculate the
wave speed if it has a frequency of
20 Hz.
v = fλ
v = 20 x 12
v = 240 m/s
Transverse Waves Eg. light, ultra-violet, gamma

together speed,
frequency and
wavelength.

## Example 1: a wave has a

Example 2: a wave has a frequency
wavelength of 12m. Calculate the
of 10 Hz. Calculate the wavelength
wave speed if it has a frequency of
if it has a wave speed of 50 m/s.
20 Hz.
v = fλ
v = fλ
λ = v / f
v = 20 x 12
λ = 50 / 10
v = 240 m/s
λ = 5m
Transverse Waves Eg. light, ultra-violet, gamma

v
together speed,
frequency and
wavelength.

## Example 1: a wave has a

Example 2: a wave has a frequency
wavelength of 12m. Calculate the

f
of 10 Hz. Calculate the wavelength
wave speed if it has a frequency of

λ
if it has a wave speed of 50 m/s.
20 Hz.
v = fλ
v = fλ
λ = v / f
v = 20 x 12
λ = 50 / 10
v = 240 m/s
λ = 5m
Longitudinal Waves Eg. Sound

http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound/Lesson-1/Sound-as-a-Longitudinal-Wave
Longitudinal Waves Eg. Sound

http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound/Lesson-1/Sound-as-a-Longitudinal-Wave

Compression Rarefaction
Longitudinal Waves Eg. Sound

http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound/Lesson-1/Sound-as-a-Longitudinal-Wave

Compression Rarefaction
In longitudinal waves the
oscillations (vibrations) are
backwards and forwards.
The different sections are
known as compressions and
rarefactions.
Longitudinal Waves Eg. Sound

http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound/Lesson-1/Sound-as-a-Longitudinal-Wave

Compression Rarefaction
In longitudinal waves the
The oscillations in
oscillations (vibrations) are
longitudinal waves are in
backwards and forwards.
the direction of travel.
The different sections are
known as compressions and
Sound waves are
rarefactions.
longitudinal waves.
Looking at Waves
We can study the properties of waves by
using a ripple tank.
Looking at Waves
We can study the properties of waves by
using a ripple tank.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripple_tank
Looking at Waves
We can study the properties of waves by
using a ripple tank.
vibrates to
produce
waves.

wavefronts

A ripple tank
produces
water waves
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripple_tank
that can be
reflected,
refracted and
diffracted.
Looking at Waves
We can study the properties of waves by
using a ripple tank.

If a plain
barrier is put
in the way
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripple_tank
then the
waves are
reflected.
Looking at Waves
We can study the properties of waves by
using a ripple tank.

If a block is
submerged in
the tank then
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripple_tank
the waves are
refracted.
Looking at Waves
We can study the properties of waves by
using a ripple tank.
The block
makes the
water more
shallow
which slows
the waves
down.

If a block is
submerged in
the tank then
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripple_tank
the waves are
refracted.
Looking at Waves
We can study the properties of waves by
using a ripple tank.

If there is a
gap in the
barrier then
the waves will
be reflected –
if the gap is
smaller than
the
wavelength of
the waves.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripple_tank
Looking at Waves
We can study the properties of waves by
using a ripple tank.

However, if
the gap in the
barrier is
similar in
width to the
wavelength of
the wave,
then the
wavefronts
are
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripple_tank
diffracted.
Looking at Waves
We can study the properties of waves by
using a ripple tank.

If the gap in
the barrier is
larger than
the
wavelength of
the waves,
then the wave
will pass
through
unchanged
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripple_tank
apart from
slight
diffraction at
the edges.
Looking at Waves
Looking at Waves
Looking at Waves
Looking at Waves
LEARNING
OBJECTIVES
Core Supplement
• Demonstrate understanding that
waves transfer energy without
transferring matter
• Describe what is meant by wave
motion as illustrated by vibration in
ropes and springs and by experiments
using water waves
• Use the term wavefront
• Give the meaning of speed, frequency, • Recall and use the equation v = f λ
wavelength and amplitude
• Distinguish between transverse and
longitudinal waves and give suitable
examples
• Describe how waves can undergo: – • Describe how wavelength and gap size
reflection at a plane surface – affects diffraction through a gap
refraction due to a change of speed – • Describe how wavelength affects
diffraction through a narrow gap diffraction at an edge
• Describe the use of water waves to
demonstrate reflection, refraction and
diffraction
PHYSICS – General Wave Properties