Ch 20: AP Physics 2: Waves

About This Chapter

Study for an upcoming test or better understand an assignment or project covering waves by reviewing the entertaining lessons in this short chapter. Assess your comprehension of this subject area with help from multiple-choice quizzes and a practice exam.

AP Physics 2: Waves - Chapter Summary

This chapter offers an engaging examination of waves. Gain greater insight into transverse waves, wave propagation, diffraction, constructive and destructive interference and much more. Fun lessons are available around-the-clock and are accompanied by short quizzes you can take to test your knowledge of waves. Our experts can answer any questions you have about specific lesson topics. Once you've completed this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Differentiate between transverse and longitudinal waves
  • Identify wave patterns by analyzing data and visuals
  • List and describe the five wave parameters
  • Compare mechanical and electromagnetic waves
  • Construct equations for wave parameters
  • Define the superposition principle and describe resultant waves
  • Describe double-slit diffraction and the significance of Young's double-slit experiment

7 Lessons in Chapter 20: AP Physics 2: Waves
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Transverse & Longitudinal Waves: Definition & Examples

1. 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.

Wave Propagation: Mechanical Waves vs. Electromagnetic Waves

2. Wave Propagation: Mechanical Waves vs. Electromagnetic Waves

In this lesson, we'll learn about key differences in the two main types of waves, mechanical and electromagnetic. By the end of the lesson you'll be able to define these two types of waves and compare how these waves move through space.

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

3. 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.

The Superposition Principle & Resultant Waves

4. The Superposition Principle & Resultant Waves

After completing this lesson, you will be able to explain what the superposition principle is, and use it to predict what will happen when two waves are combined. A short quiz will follow.

Diffraction: Relation to Sound & Light and Effects of Wavelength

5. Diffraction: Relation to Sound & Light and Effects of Wavelength

This lesson explores diffraction as one of the many behaviors of waves. Learn how diffraction occurs in sound and light waves and how it is affected by the wavelength of a wave. Find out how animals use diffraction to communicate and how scientists use it to study molecules.

Constructive and Destructive Interference

6. 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.

Double-slit Diffraction: Interference Pattern & Equations

7. Double-slit Diffraction: Interference Pattern & Equations

This lesson explores double-slit diffraction, including the significance of Young's double slit experiment and how the diffraction pattern forms. You will also learn to use equations to calculate the positions of minima and maxima in the pattern.

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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