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Ch 12: AP Physics 1: Mechanical Waves

About This Chapter

Explore the structure and nature of various types of waves in this chapter on mechanical waves. Complete the assessments to gauge your preparedness for the AP Physics 1 exam.

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
  • Sound
  • Resonance
  • Interference
  • The Doppler Effect

Video Objective
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.

13 Lessons in Chapter 12: AP Physics 1: Mechanical Waves
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Vibrations and Waves: Energy and Motion

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.

Wave Parameters: Wavelength, Amplitude, Period, Frequency & Speed

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.

Transverse & Longitudinal Waves: Definition & Examples

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.

What is Sound? - Definition and Factors Affecting the Speed of Sound

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.

Pitch and Volume in Sound Waves

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.

How Sound Waves Interact: Definitions & Examples

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.

Resonance: Definition & Transmission of Waves

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!

Constructive and Destructive Interference

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.

Wave Front Diagram: Definition & Applications

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.

The Doppler Effect: Definition, Examples & Applications

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.

Standing Wave: Definition, Equation & Theory

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.

The Superposition Principle & Standing Waves

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.

Standing Waves: Physics Lab

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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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