About This Chapter
AP Physics 1: Mechanical Waves - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
Knowledge of the physics of waves governs our understanding and manipulation of everything from sound to radar and radio technology. Learn the basics of the physics of mechanical waves with these entertaining videos from our expert physics instructors. Use the lesson transcript as a useful study guide, and hit up our instructors with any questions you still have. Among the topics discussed here are lessons on:
- Wave parameters, types, and properties
- The Doppler Effect
|Vibrations and Waves: Energy and Motion||Here our instructors describe how waves originate from and are defined by vibrations.|
|Wave Parameters: Wavelength, Amplitude, Period, Frequency & Speed||This video describes the basic properties of waves and how they are move through space and matter.|
|Transverse & Longitudinal Waves: Definition & Examples||Here you will learn about the two main categories of waves and how each travels through certain mediums.|
|What is Sound? - Definition and Factors Affecting the Speed of Sound||Instructors discuss the basic properties of sound waves and factors which affect them.|
|Pitch and Volume in Sound Waves||The properties of sound waves which govern pitch and volume are explained in this lesson.|
|Resonance: Definition & Transmission of Waves||The effects of resonance on wave transmission are described in this video.|
|Constructive and Destructive Interference||Students learn about the effects of constructive and destructive interference on waves.|
|The Doppler Effect: Definition, Examples & Applications||Instructors explain how the Doppler Effect works and how scientists use it to study space.|
1. Vibrations and Waves: Energy and Motion
What is a wave? What causes waves, and how do they travel from one place to another? This lesson will guide you through the basics of waves. We'll discuss their origins from vibrations and investigate how they carry energy through a medium.
2. Wave Parameters: Wavelength, Amplitude, Period, Frequency & Speed
How do we measure and describe waves? How do waves differ based upon their shapes? This lesson will guide you through the five wave parameters - period, frequency, amplitude, wavelength, and speed - that we use to characterize waves.
3. Transverse & Longitudinal Waves: Definition & Examples
What comes to mind when you think of a wave? Chances are your mental image takes the form of a transverse wave. But, longitudinal waves are just as important, and understanding the difference is vital to learning about waves. In this lesson, explore both types of waves and the unique characteristics of each.
4. What is Sound? - Definition and Factors Affecting the Speed of Sound
Explore the minute workings of sound waves and how they travel. We'll discuss the main factors that affect the speed of sound waves, and we'll try some mathematical problems involving the wave equation.
5. Pitch and Volume in Sound Waves
What do pitch and volume mean when talking about sound waves? Further your understanding of sound waves in this lesson as we explore the more familiar aspects of sound. We'll learn about pitch and volume and how they relate to sound wave parameters.
6. How Sound Waves Interact: Definitions & Examples
Sound waves move through the air and hit your ear. If sound waves collide, they change the wave and ultimately how you hear the sound. How the wave changes depends on whether the waves meet constructively or destructively.
7. Resonance: Definition & Transmission of Waves
This lesson describes how sound and light waves are affected by the principle of resonance. Learn how resonance occurs through the vibrations and resonant frequencies of objects. You'll investigate everyday examples of resonance and learn how to break a wine glass with your voice!
8. Constructive and Destructive Interference
What happens when one wave meets another? Do the waves converge to make one giant wave? Or, do they destroy each other? In this lesson, we'll explore the workings of wave interference.
9. Wave Front Diagram: Definition & Applications
A wave front diagram is a simple way to demonstrate waves and see how the waves are moving. In this lesson we will learn what a wave front diagram is and how it can be used.
10. The Doppler Effect: Definition, Examples & Applications
What is the Doppler effect? How does it affect our perceptions of sound and light? In this lesson, learn how traveling wave sources can change the way we observe sound and light waves. Explore the applications of the Doppler effect on shock waves, sonic booms, and the movements of distant galaxies.
11. Standing Wave: Definition, Equation & Theory
In this lesson, you'll learn about the kind of waves that are responsible for our experience of musical notes. These waves are called standing waves. Learn what makes them unique and how they represent the notes we hear.
12. The Superposition Principle & Standing Waves
After completing this lesson, you will be able to explain what the superposition principle is, and how this leads to the formation of standing waves. A short quiz will follow.
13. Standing Waves: Physics Lab
After reading this lesson, you'll be able to conduct a physics experiment with a vibrating string. You'll see how your collected data compares with your theoretical values from using formulas.
14. Reflection: Angle of Incidence and Curved Surfaces
How do waves reflect off of surfaces? How do we account for the images that we see reflected in various objects? Discover the answers to these questions as we investigate the rays and angles defining the law of reflection.
15. Refraction & Dispersion: Definition, Snell's Law & Index of Refraction
Refraction explains why light bends in water. But, did you know that mathematical laws determine exactly how light waves are bent? In this lesson, we'll explore the mechanics of wave refraction, including Snell's Law and the index of refraction.
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Other chapters within the AP Physics 1: Exam Prep course
- AP Physics 1: Systems
- AP Physics 1: Vectors
- AP Physics 1: Kinematics
- AP Physics 1: Graphing Kinematics
- AP Physics 1: Newton's First Law of Motion
- AP Physics 1: Newton's Second Law of Motion
- AP Physics 1: Newton's Third Law of Motion
- AP Physics 1: Work, Energy, & Power
- AP Physics 1: Linear Momentum
- AP Physics 1: Motion
- AP Physics 1: Oscillations
- AP Physics 1: Rotational Motion
- AP Physics 1: Electrical Forces and Fields
- AP Physics 1: Direct Current Circuits
- AP Physics 1 Flashcards